How Do I Build A Donkey Water Heater?


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Hannah Barton answered
First of all you will need the following equipment to build your donkey water heater. One metal tank or drum with the size dependent on your requirements. One length of metal piping, about 150 mm (6 inches) in diameter and twice as long as the tank. One shorter length of metal tubing, about 25mm (1 inch) inside diameter, bent into a "J" shape, if possible, if not, supply it with loosely-fitting cap, to keep livestock out.130 mm (about 5 inches) high metal cylinder upon which the drum or tank can stand when it is full of water. This must be open at the top.

Start by measuring and cutting one hole centrally in each end of the tank or drum, so that the 150 mm pipe fits through snugly. Push the pipe right through the tank, and solder, weld or braise in place, ensuring that the joints are water-tight, so that it is flush with one end. This will be the bottom of the water heater. The pipe is the chimney.

Then measure and cut a hole in the top of the water heater, into which the J-shaped pipe fits snugly, and solder, braise or weld the longer leg into it. This is the overflow/expansion/pressure release pipe, without which the heater will either not function at all, as you will not be able to pipe water into it, or will turn your water heater into a bomb that will explode with devastating consequences.

Next cut one or two holes into the bottom of the tank and insert, solder, weld or braze them into place to act as inlet and outlet, or use one pipe to perform both functions, or just cut a hole in the top and pour water into the tank. You will, nevertheless, require an outlet at the bottom, onto which you should fit a tap (faucet), if you do not want the water to run out as fast as you pour it in.

Cut a rectangular hole into the bottom of the topless 300 mm high cylinder, through which you will feed fuel for your fire and via which you will remove the ash. Position the tank on top of the topless cylinder and weld or braise in place.

Then finally fill the tank with water, make a fire in the bottom and let the water heat up.

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