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September 19, 2017

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Heat Exchanger in Tank

March 1, 2018

Heat Exchanger:


I went with a PEX heat exchanger.  One coil, 300 feet long, one-inch nominal size.  I liked the idea of having a large volume inside the tube.  However, it did have a nasty plastic smell for the first three weeks of use.  I’m not convinced it is any better or worse than a shorter copper coil, it’s just what I went with (3/4”x60’ copper was the same cost). I bought Uponor brand, and as I measured the inside diameter, there is 8.6 gallons of water inside.  The coil was $300. 


I installed four concrete blocks in the bottom of the tank, then put the PEX coil on top of it.  I then spent about five hours inside the tank struggling to make a neat spiral out of the mess.  The PEX is wire-tied to the concrete blocks and spacers.  For spacers I used some 16-inch-long, 2-inch diameter PVC pipe.  For wire I used aluminum wire sold for electric fences.  These were just items I had on hand and didn’t have to go buy items, but anything could have worked.




Coil of PEX tubing inside tank, 300 feet, one-inch nominal.


The ends of the PEX pipe run out the top of the tank.  This way, all connections are made outside the tank.  I used a funnel and gallon jug to fill the PEX heat exchanger with water.  I was worried it may have floated when I filled the tank with water.  Video on installing the heat exchanger is here:




Finished Heat Exchanger coil.



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