Monday, January 19, 2009

Just one leak - that's all it took

Began the day charging my Ryobi 18v batteries. These 3 guys are showing their age after over a year of constant use. Two of the batteries are still in pretty good shape. When the first one was charged, I cut the parts for the SHWH frame. Drilled out the holes for the pipes to pass through and soldered the valve connectors. Painted everything black and assembled the unit for a hot water pressure test. Filled the coil and installed the glass front and set 'er in the sun. After an hour I had one small leak - one out of 36 solder joints ain't bad. Will re-solder the bad spot tomorrow. After an hour and a half in the sun with the valves closed, I drained the coil and that water was steamin' hot. The coil volume is 1.25 gallons. Will be interesting to see how long it takes to heat 40 gallons of water to a cozy shower temperature.

Hooked up with my buddy Doug down at the Starlight for 241 night. He is building a stone house in a much more remote part of the ranch. I'm only 2.5 miles from the highway - he is 15. That's 45 minutes of slow dirt road driving. Hope to go check out his project very soon.


Anonymous said...

20 minutes.......

Anonymous said...

That looks really good, excellent craftsmanship.

Our 1/2" polypipe system holds about 4 gallons and heats to a nice temp. in about 2 hours of overcast [indirect sun], in direct sun it only takes about half hour to get steaming Hot.

Came across this excellent source for anyone working with copper pipe, might be helpful to others doing their own designing and building. It also gives volumes for pipe [wish we had found this when we were designing our system].

Copper Tube Handbook