I know a post about a wood powered Pool heater has absolutely nothing to do with mountain biking but … I think this post can tell you a lot about the person who created this website … me!
Mother’s Day will take place May 8 at my patio/pool regardless of whether anyone goes swimming. However, I feel we will all have a lot more fun if we can swim. The problem? With exactly one week to go the pool water temperature was at 74 degrees.
Now 74 might seem pretty warm to you, but if May 8 comes and the pool remained at 74 I think the only swimmers will (maybe) be Bubby, Sissy, and Acoya (my grand kids) … certainly not any of the mothers in attendance! Especially not my mother (she is 86 years old, always cold, but she loves to swim).
I do have 6 solar panels to heat the pool but I can’t stand just sitting here hoping I get the sunshine necessary to bring the pool up to 88 degrees. I have all kinds of firewood as I have dozens of trees on the property which are always falling down or need trimming.
So, last year I decided to give wood heated water a spin. I bought a 20 foot roll of 3/8 inch copper coil and a aquarium water pump. I built a fire in the fire pit and supported the coil over the flames with a barbecue grate. Well, the hottest water I could produce was 118 degrees so my “heater” did not do much.
This year I vowed to make a greater effort. I got a free 55 gallon drum, bought and additional 20 feet of copper tubing, and a few other parts to make my new heater. It took me exactly one day to do the project.
So far, the hottest water coming out of my heater is about 150 degrees, but averages about 130 degrees determined by how much wood I have on the fire). The pump fills a one gallon milk jug in 45 seconds (that’s 1.33 gallons per minute). Using these numbers (and a little math I learned in high school chemistry) I figure I can raise all 40,000 gallon of water one degree every 9 hours. My first fire is shown below.
I have been using my new heater for approximately 24 hours (along with daytime solar) and the pool has gone from 74 degrees to 82.
I have got 6 more days until the big day! At this pace I think my wood powered pool heater is going to do the trick!
Update … 2 days later. Well I had to re-engineer the bottom grill. I had used a heaviest grate they sold at Home Depot. Well, I think the high heat and the weight of the logs just warped it into an unusable form (Cindy thinks we should use it as “Yard Art,” which translates to “Junk” to me.
I am happy to announce the water temperature is up to 88 degrees, with 4 days to go!