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12644Re: [Distillers] Re: boiler insulation

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  • Harley Daschund
    Jul 1 1:26 AM
    • 0 Attachment
      I have to agree...converted my Water Heater in appx 10 minutes...my 14 year
      old son could have done it as well....probably 7 minutes or
      less...:>)...maybe its too simple for 'great minds' to grasp......read
      somewhere that Einstein(sp?) couldnt recall phone numbers....:>)


      >From: "rodmacd2000" <rmacdoug@...>
      >Reply-To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
      >To: Distillers@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: [Distillers] Re: boiler insulation
      >Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2003 23:03:01 -0000
      >
      >I bow to your greatly superior knowledge Mike. Can just speak of my
      >personal experience (non-plumber, non-engineer, and - sob - son of an
      >accountant who couldn't change the oil in his car if the instructions
      >were tatooed on his ass).
      >
      >I had absolutely *no* problems coverting a 43 litre GSA water heater
      >into a boiler for my still following John Stone's clear (to me anyway)
      >instructions. They included removing the "sacrificial anode",
      >bypassing the thermostat, etc. and required no materials or tools not
      >readily available at your local Canadian Tire or Home Depot store.
      >
      >It seems to me that anyone who can't see clearly that a still boiler
      >must be open to the atmosphere (and therefore incapable of expolding
      >from overpressure) shouldn't be building their own boiler anyway.
      >
      >IMHO the conversion of a water heater to a still boiler requires no
      >more plumber or engineer qualifications then any othere means of
      >building a still boiler.
      >
      >--- In Distillers@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Nixon" <mike@s...> wrote:
      > > rodmacd2000 wrote:
      > > Subject: [Distillers] Re: boiler insulation
      > >
      > > For heaven's sake why don't you all just do the *simple* thing:
      >i.e. use a hot water heater as your boiler! If I may quote John Stone
      >once again (this time from his book "The Carriage Still".
      > >
      > > ====================================
      > > When it comes to amateur distilling there seems to be a burning
      >desire on the part of the handyman to improvise a boiler out of some
      >odd vessel which happens to be available, and no- one should be
      >surprised to learn that everything from pressure cookers to beer kegs
      >to milk churns to vacuum cleaner tanks have been adapted by ingenious
      >do-it-yourself types for this purpose. However, we strongly recommend
      >that you save yourselves a lot of time, trouble and expense by using
      >an ordinary domestic hot water heater. In N. America these are
      >available in all sizes from 9 litres up to several hundred litres,
      >and are ideally suited for acting as the boiler in all amateur
      >distillation systems. They are rugged, glass lined, already have an
      >immersion heater installed, they are insulated, they have pipe
      >fittings in all the right places, and are housed in attractive white-
      >enamel steel housings. What more could you wish for? If you had
      >drawn up the specifications yourself for the ideal boiler required
      >for a still it would not be very different from a hot water heater.
      >In N. America they cost around $140 in all sizes up to 100 litres.
      > > =====================================
      > > For the simple reason that modifying commercal water heaters is not
      >always that simple. I note that John no longer talks about removing
      >the magnesium sacrificial anode, nor the thermostat, nor the down
      >pipe that is often attached to the inlet port, nor any of the other
      >things that have to be done to convert a water heater into a safe
      >distillation boiler. If you know what you are doing, and know the
      >design of the particular water heater you are working on, then
      >modifying something intended for an entirely different purpose is
      >feasible ... and yes, it is a cheap solution and looks like an
      >attractive proposition. If you do not (and how many are experienced
      >plumbers?) then it can result in unforseen problems. I have
      >personally seen a domestic water heater modified in this manner which
      >blew up and caused a hell of a mess, fortunately without without
      >injuring anybody. Before even thinking of modifying a commercial hot
      >water heater, please be absolutely honest with yourself ... do you
      >really have enough practical experience to do it safely? If you do,
      >then please also remember that not everyone is as experienced as you
      >are before endorsing a potentially hazardous procedure. I am am a
      >crusty old engineer, and would like to think that I have a fair bit
      >of experience, and I personally use a hot water heater as a boiler.
      >However, I first asked a plumber to make all the necessary
      >modifications needed and, despite my 'extensive experience', I was
      >very surprised at all the things he had to do to convert the thing so
      >it would operate safely. It rammed home the lesson that a little
      >knowledge outside your speciality can be a very dangerous thing.
      > >
      > > Mike N
      >

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