DIY Solar Water Heater.

Written by Tom on Tuesday 12/12/06


We at Mission Technologies have been passionate about renewable energy.
I (Tom) have built several Solar water heaters. I set myself the challenge of building a Solar
water heater with parts from the local hardware store and stuff I had lying around.


Mark I. Was constructed using black butenyl garden hose and a 12 volt water pump with
an old washing machine as a water tank. Made a coil from the garden hose (approx 20 mtrs) and
put it under a pane of glass. A simple timer turned the water pump on/off circulating the water
for a minute every 20 minutes. Pro’s: The water got very hot 70°+. Problems: It got so hot under the
glass that the garden pipe melted where it was touching the glass. The water was tainted by the
garden pipe, I would not want to shower in it. The hot water melted the glue out of the bottom of
the (cold) water pump and the tank emptied all over the garage floor. (My wife loved that!)


Mark II. Replaced the black butenyl garden hose with green re-enforced garden hose. Pros: Same as above.
Con’s: It too perished.


Mark III. Was going to get an old slim line water radiator and use that or use the flexible hot water
pipe that you plumb your house with but I left the country so it is on hold.


Conclusion: the experts where correct you can not use normal garden pipe for solar water heaters.
But I had a lot of fun burning peoples hands as I got them to test the water coming from the collector to the tank.