found you on bkudell’s channel. i, too, am in arizona…Lake Havasu
City…hoping us Arizonians could show our systems (share info) since we
have to deal with such drastic heat in the summers. Thank you for your
Thank you! Later in the winter I removed the 1/2″ irrigation tubing and
made a revision using 3/4″ PVC pipes painted black and oriented vertically,
to make use of the thermosiphon effect. Water flows in one pipe at the top,
down one side, into a manifold on the bottom, then up through 12 pipes into
a top manifold, and finally out the opposite side it entered from. Flow
rate and temperature change both seemed to improve when compared to the
model shown here.
Hi man, appreciate your work and sharing! One word though, you REALLY want
to insulate your pipes, especially (but not only) the hot return one
-otherwise, there’s too much loses to the environment, first water cools
down while traveling to the heater, then heats up (but starts from already
lower temp than if the feed pipe was insulated), than heated water returns
and cools down again, on its way back. Insulation is crucial. Keep up!
That was my original thought as well, and to be honest, filling it up for
the first time I had my fingers crossed. Not too long ago there was a
failure in the system due to a low-flow condition which caused excessive
temperatures. Oddly enough, not one of the barbed or compression fittings
for the 1/2″ tubing failed. A blister formed in the tubing itself, which
eventually popped, and the slip-to-male-NPT PVC adapter partially melted.
By the time I found it, steam was coming out of the exit.
Rest assured, if this weren’t just a quick experimental setup, I would’ve
definitely picked up some insulation for the piping, as well as the AP
system itself. Notice the growbed, fish tank, and sump are all uninsulated
as well. Stay tuned to see a larger system that’s in the works! Considering
the flow rate and inlet water temperature, standard PVC should be plenty
safe, but I will note that CPVC and/or PEX are recommended for hot water
transfer. Legitimate concern though, good call!
Second thought: have you checked by chance the temps of the piping inside
the panel? I wonder if it doesn’t get too hot there – so some nasties could
be released from PVC in there? Appreciate your opinion/experience!