Insulation added to the burner

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I got a couple 4 cubic foot bags of vermiculite insulation and added one of them to the space between the 55 gallon drum outer wall and the intermediate wall.  This definitely kept the outside wall at near ambient on the bottom and only warm to the top.  Definitely means a major improvement in efficiency.  I also got some stove insulation cord and put it round he joints between the burner and the water heater.  This did not work so well as there was no specific mechanism to hold the in place and the hole I originally cut in the bottom of the water heater is just a little to large so I need to make another circular adapter that does a better job of fitting between the burner and the water heater bottom.  I still have not found a closure for the pilot light hole on insulated the bottom shell of the water heater so there is still more improvement to be done in this regard.  The test burn was done with some kinda punky old pine split to a maximum dimension of 3 to 4 inches.  Guess less than a sack of pellets equivalent. Got about 150 gallons of 106 degree soaking water in the tub--hundred foot  outdoor hose run from the water heater.  Great looking gas re-burn action looking in the pilot light port (which also wastes considerable heat).  Did not see any smoke out the flue.  Overall burn was down so I suspect I may have closed of too much of the initial burn air holes.

The 4 cf of vermiculite would have been just right if I had not been sloppy and spilled some of it.  Cost was about $4 per cubic foot.  It is much finer size than what I had previously had experience with but should not matter in this case. 

So, yet a few more improvements and then I will get back to taking some more data to objectively document how it is doing.

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This page contains a single entry by Cavlon News published on January 9, 2013 2:24 PM.

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