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oil pan 4 08-04-2015 11:02 PM

Fast warm up ideas: 5,500 watt, 19,000 BTU per hour coolant heater
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The last post

My old coolant heaters were just screwed together steel water pipe with a hot water heater element.
The 5,500 watt heater element needs a 2 inch pipe and reducer bushing upon reducer bushing to bring 2 inch down to a useable 3/4 to 1 inch NPT, which makes the pipe section really bulky and heavy.

I am trading out the heavy iron parts for a length of 2''ID .065'' wall 316 steam pipe and 1.5 inch 304 stainless steel fittings.
I found that 2 inch pipe is almost too small for the doubled over heating element. The heating element also touches the sides of the enclosure with 1.5 inch pipe a lot. The steam pipe is part of a 15 foot section, still needs to be cut.

The ports on this will be 1''NPT and 3/4''NPT, which is perfect for the 5/8''ID heater hose inlet and 3/4''ID heater hose outlet.

This coolant warmer will be powered externally by high voltage 240 volt AC.

To install 240v power at your drive way can cost $50 to $100 in materials depending how close a main or sub panel is to your drive way if you can do it your self.
I already have drive way 240v power for powering my welder and plasma cutter.
To get 240v power installed at the drive way I have herd of it costing as much as $500 for an electrician to run a wire and install a plug if that is all that you need. It can cost up to a few thousand if all of your electrical is out of date and has to be redone.

oil pan 4 08-08-2015 11:56 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Here is the coolant heater tack welded together. I left my argon purge kit at work or it would be done.
The inside of the coolant heater will be purged with argon to get the best weld.
Then after its welded I was going to hydrostatic test it to about 100psi.

H-Man 08-09-2015 03:23 AM

Subscribed. My commute route means that I don't have heat for most of the drive since it is mostly downhill when I need heat and uphill when I don't need heat.

oil pan 4 08-09-2015 09:02 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Here are the pics of the work.
My gas purge rig just bushings and 1/4 inch hose barbs. I set the maxstar to 70 amps, used less than 1cm of 316L 3/32 filler rod for each weld, electrode is a 1/16'' 2% thoriated tungsten.

The hydro test had no leaks.

This winter I will be leaving to work well before sun up.

Daox 08-10-2015 11:50 AM

Looks purdy. I assume you're going to use an electric water pump with it to circulate the coolant.

user removed 08-10-2015 01:45 PM

It could thermo syphon?


oil pan 4 08-10-2015 05:18 PM

Its going to mounted pretty high up in the coolant system its going to be force circulated though the heater loop with my diesel's electric coolant pump.
At this power level I wouldn't try to thermo syphon it. Now if it were mounted differently and if this element was powered off 120 volt power maybe.
I will still have the the 2 passive/ traditional 600 watt block heaters installed.

Daox 08-10-2015 05:30 PM

Very nice. Can't wait to see how it works out. Gonna post data on how fast it warms up?

oil pan 4 08-10-2015 06:03 PM

My guess is the test will look something like this:


Originally Posted by oil pan 4 (Post 402883)
Starting temperature was -2'C (28'F) at 0900.
I would say the initial results are encouraging, already +1'C in 5 minutes that's an increase of 3 degrees C in 5 minutes.

5 minutes later, 13'C. Or increase of 16'C in 10 minutes

5 minutes after that, it reached the desired 22'C (68'F).

-2'C to 22'C in 15 minutes. Oh and this is with out the engine running, since I have an electric coolant pump.

Final test will conclude with a 20 minute measurement, because I am can.
Reading was 27'C after 20 minutes.
That's fast enough, for now....

That test was 3500 watts with out the heater fan going.
This test was also on a fairly mild day that was right about freezing. This winter it could be starting out at 0'F and would take about 15 minutes just to get the engine to where it was freezing.
My guess is it will warm up about 60% faster, if I repeat the test as I did before, but I want to use that heat for other stuff besides just warming the engine up some.
The 5500 watt element is so big because I want to be able to defrost the wind shield, possibly start to warm the contents of the diesel fuel tank and maybe run a second cab heater.

oil pan 4 08-10-2015 11:39 PM

1 Attachment(s)
A closer picture of one of the welds.

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