Step 3: Prepare Tank

Remove all parts that protrude from the water heater casing. This includes the burner, relief valve, drain valve, etc.
Take of the top and bottom of the casing, then use a screwdriver or pry bar to open the crimp where the casing is joined together. This can also be done using a grinder fitted with a cutoff wheel, or a Sawzall and a very fine blade. If using these methods be careful not to cut too deep as the inner tank is about an inch below the casing.

Pull the casing off and remove the foam insulation below, by scraping with a putty knife if necessary.
Sand the tank down and use a wire brush until most of the rust is removed.
Paint tank with flat black metal paint. Rusty metal primer is recommended but optional.
<p>i like your beveled sides, i just made a straight box. I would love to automate my hinged insulated cover with a photo cell and servo so it would close automatically at night and when there is no sun. But i have no Arduino skills.</p>
<p>Hi, I have an important question to ask you: I have a commercial vacuum tube solar heater and am very happy with it however this year I had a non-return valve get stuck open and the hot water almost disappeared completely from the system. Now I have just finished building a batch one like yours for my parents and would like to ask this: do I need to add some kind of non-return valve to prevent hot water to escape towards the cold water tank which sits higher in this setup? My guess is yes because hot water will try to rise up even though the batch tank's inlet and outlet on my design are at the bottom.</p><p>Thanks for posting this instructable and nice job.</p>
<p>Do you tap directly off the tank or do you transfer the heated water off into an insulated secondary storage tanks?</p>
<p>Do you tap directly off the tank or do you transfer the heated water off into an insulated secondary storage tanks?</p>
<p>Very excited to try this. Could you say a little more about how you plumbed this into your home? Do you have any safety measures to suggest if the temp goes dangerously hot?</p>
<p>Thanks for Sharing the blog,its really informative,its very safe during rainy season</p><p> &lt;a<br> href=&quot;https://www.demoport.in/home-products-services/solar-water-heaters-inverters.php&quot;&gt;solar<br> water heaters&lt;/a&gt;</p>
<p>Thanks for Sharing the blog,its really informative,its very safe during rainy season</p><p> &lt;a<br> href=&quot;https://www.demoport.in/home-products-services/solar-water-heaters-inverters.php&quot;&gt;solar<br> water heaters&lt;/a&gt;</p>
<p>I had a solar heater on my roof. Worked great at 7 am it was 65 df and about 8 am all hell broke loose. I installed a water heater relief valve on the top of the system. Well it hit what ever the relief valve was set for and did its jobs. One thing you may want to due is to add it in with a temp control shower controler. This way you can add cold water mix. That way you do not scald anybody. </p>
<p>Mr Ganeshruskin</p><p>Can you pls mail me more pictures on Batch Solar Water Heater on my Mail ID </p><p>satishkhabiya2007@rediffmail.com</p><p>I intend to build one myself.</p><p>Thanks</p><p>Satish Khabiya</p>
<p>Well, I love this Instructable, any time someone re-purposes something that is really hard to get rid of I am impressed. As far a Black is concerned, I once heated an entire pool to 76 degrees with a 100 foot roll of 3/4 I.D. black plastic Air Brake Hose for Truck Air Brakes. I just spread the loops across the roof of my house and plumbed the filter outlet to the tube and then to the pool. The pool was 58 degrees when I filled it and warm and comfy three days later. The pool is 45 feet by 26 feet and 10 feet deep on the deep end. </p>
just a thought, I keep seeing people say, &quot;use flat black paint to increase the surface heat&quot;. I once saw a demo that compared flat black colored cardboard side by side w/ a very dark colored green cardboard both with thermometers placed under them, all inclosed in a Styrofoam box. The heat source came from 2 60wat bulbs placed above each piece of board. There seemed to be a significant difference in the temp, with the green being the higher temp. Made sense to me as nature itself uses green not black to improve the suns reaction in making the plants food. anyone interested can easily perform this same experiment to see for them selves..Just hoping this may help improve your heat exchanger.
Yes, but plants aren't trying to make heat, but carbohydrates out of water and CO2. in fact plants want to limit the amount of heat they produce. I've not done the experiment you talk of but my understanding of physics is that if there is color coming off something, then light is being reflected, meaning heat is being lost. Could be wrong of course, but i havn't taken the time to experiment with it yet, so....
sweet, i will try this...
@ (author) ganeshruskin, Your right, I wasn't as clear as I could have been,sorry. My idea was, if you could heat up a used water heater by putting it into a trough and heating it with the sun, what if you used a radiator from a used air cond or car or truck or? place it in such a way in a trough type design using Mylar to reflect the sun onto the radiator and heating the water. Radiators are used to get rid of heat, could we just reverse the idea and collect heat the same way? One other &quot;idea,&quot; when heating a pipe becomes possibly dangerous, how about a one way valve? water expands when heated, therefore &quot;pushes&quot; the water through the pipe from hot to cooler &quot;collector&quot; where the water would be used or not. if not than circulated back to the &quot;heater.&quot; Again, use a one way valve, the type used on lawn sprinkler systems to avoid reverse osmosis from lawn chemicals etc polluting your water supply . I've never done this, but the idea seems doable... <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br> <br>
Yes, there is no reason you couldn't use an old radiator, but the point of this design is to store the water as it is heated, you know, 40 gal of it, and a radiator only holds maybe a gallon, so you need a separate storage tank, which changes the design. If you build one, please let me know how it works. <br>And valves are only needed if you have a situation where the water in the pipes could freeze while the water in the tank is brought to boiling, pretty unlikely ;-) <br>The tanks also come with a built in safety pressure and temperature valve.
Has anyone else actually built one of these and installed it? <br>I am about to try manufacturing these again down in Flagstaff and just curious if anyone has developed any improvements on this?
one last comment, I was thinking that if a radiator from whatever can be used to &quot;get rid&quot; of heat, why couldn't the reverse be true? couldn't it collect heat as fast as it gets rid of it? If so, than why not put a &quot;collector&quot;, (your used water heater) close to your use source, insulate the heck out of it and the pipes coming to it, use a &quot;one way valve&quot; in certain places so that when the water heats up it pushes the water through the pipe into the collector, Also have a return line so that it keeps circulating around until it begins to cool, neutralizing the pressure, and leaving nothing but useable hot water. Just an idea I have.
I dont know if i entirely understand you here walker, sounds unnecessarily complicated to me, but i could be wrong....
Nice 'ible. I am assuming that you can just add this to your existing plumbing system between the cold water supply and &quot;inside&quot; water heater. Do you think there would be any issues with the pressure of the system, either normal operating pressure, or additional pressure created from superheating during the summer?
Yes, you could, and i am quite confident there would be no problems with pressure or over heating. <br>In the summer however i would just turn the other heater off and if you only used it in the summer you could plum this into the hot system anywhere. I have yet to try this however, so i will let you know when i have tried this out.
These are usually painted matt black - to absorb the heat - not reflect it away... I made a similar thing using a central heating radiator.
Just a thought but if you where line the inside with a recycled mirror it would be way more efficient...you could glue the mirrors onto the insulation...this would reflect way better then the foil covered insulation...also if you mount it so you could properly tilt it directly into the sun, that would increase the efficiency<br>
good idea, but the glass on a mirror will absorb about 16% of light's energy, mylar sheeting would be the ideal reflective surface. cheap, easy to get, as reflective as a mirror, without the energy absorbtion<br>
OH YES...forgot about mylar..you can get that from certain chip bags on the inside...good response...<br>
or it's like $12 for that much at the hydroponics store.......
great recycling method, you may also use large steel drainage pipes just plugs the ends with end plates. the thinner walled piped works great!! some people also use old refrigerator condensing coils as the heat collector..
Where do you connect this into your heating system. Do you run a line to your furnace (all- in- one) cold water inlet? My furnace has no separate holding tank. Or where exactly, this is critical! I want to minimize the use of oil. My furnace keeps the water hot 24/7. So its very wasteful. I just got hit with an over $1,000.00 bill for only 300 gallons of oil!!! Any help will be deeply appreciated!
How about some focused fresnel lenses to add a turbo charge to it. Just get the little cheap ones that they sell as book magnifiers and mount them on sticks that you can move over the tank. focus them a few times a day and it should significantly increase the heat. Just a quick though I haven't thought of all of the implications yet.
Why no mention of what you did with the flue pipe that runs up through most gas water heaters? (I&nbsp; don't think electric heaters have a flue pipe)&nbsp;I would suggest that the flue pipe be blocked off at each end; or have some method of heating it's interior surfaces to aid in the solar heating cycle. Just a thought.
Will this work in Canadian winters?
no you will have to fill the tank with 60-40 anti freeze and add a solar activated 12v circulation pump down to a coil in your water storage tank
i believe it would work even better if the tank was painted black.
yes flat black enamel paint Tremclad
This sounds like a great idea. Have you any figures as to total cost?
Just got a free 40 gallon water heater yesterday. I have a design that's a bit different however very similar. I'll post my results and design when completed. <br>However, thanks for the idea and motivation to save energy.<br>
Curious question, you have covered the foil covered insulation with foil, would it not have been easier to have used a solvent to remove the manufacturers print on the insulation panel?
i have read that someone tolds you what i like to tell you , paint the tank enterely black and check if this raises the temperature of the water. nice work how much cost to you make this ? <br> <br>salutes frem mexico <br> <br>el ing. aLex
Perhaps line the inside of the lid with aluminium foil and prop it up to shine even more light onto the tank.<br><br>
nice one, i have been thinking of building a solar water heater, but most of the design i see use lots of copper tubing for the heat collector, which to is a tedious work to layout....<br><br>this one give a better and simpler design idea..
Great job!
the tank should be flat black to absorb the light otherwise looks good
I like the nice and simple design. If you are up to a more involved project, check out designs with curved panels behind the tank so that every bit of light entering the box is reflected directly onto the tank. More efficient, but also way more complicated to build than this design. Another way to boost efficiency is to cover the tank with a selective coating, rather than just black paint.
This is a good idea, but I think you might be able to make it more efficient? Maybe, as a start, paint the tank completely black. This will ensure light absorbtion.
Hmm, in reading the instructions, step 3, the author does say to &quot;Paint tank with flat black metal paint. Rusty metal primer is recommended but optional.&quot; But it sure doesn't look in the later to last pictures that it has been done so. I'm very seriously contemplating doing this, as I've put off replacing my useless water heater for quite some time. So, if you have any ideas for increasing the efficiency, I'd love to hear them! I'm no master of design, but I'm good with my hands and have no fear of tools of any kind. :-) And then I'll do an instructable! - Pj
Yes, yes, yes!<br>Sorry people, this picture is from a workshop I lead on building one of these, and we didn't have time to paint it. Yes it needs to be painted flat black for sure. <br>I will change that picture for a correct one soon. My camera is almost ready for action!<br>thanks for the comments, any more?
This is a wonderful idea i will be making this when i move to texas. you have given me a great idea and i love the fact that it reuses old water heaters. i see a lot of them in the trash piles here in miami

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