I have a guy that's been experimenting flipping a standard electric water heater upside down, drilling a hole in the bottom (which is now the top) and going from there.
This way he gets much better draining as the top (now bottom) of GE water heaters are conical.
Anyone ever done this and if so, what sort of plumbing setup did you use?
Hey, I've seen it done. The conical shaped top of the water heater makes draining off glycerine much more effective. The design is just standard appleseed design, but with the water heater upside down. The mixing return line goes in through the bottom (now top) heating element hole. The drain hole at the bottom (now top) of the water heater is where the pressure releaf valves go. Most electric water heaters already have a fitting in the dead center of the top of the tank. just use that and seal up the other two. I'll see if I can find a picture of my friend's setup.
Oooo...cool! I'd love to see a picture of one!
That makes total sense to stick the inlet in the top (was bottom) element hole. I'd imagine you'd need to stick a check valve on it though in case you get the oil level up that high so it doesn't flow back down the tube.
I'll wait for the pic. The guy that's asking will be thrilled to see one.
The Picture he has on his site is his earlier try at it, that had a disastrous flaw in it (Picture a BMW covered in Veggie Oil)
While I wait on him to email me a new picture, I thought i'd post a mindbogglingly awesome MSPaint drawing of how it looks:
I heard of the same thing just a few months after the Appleseed design came out- a guy in Arizona did this, but never got a photo anywhere. Same setup- use the former heating element port for pump return line, and the drain for a vent line.
I think the odd bottom that water heaters have is designed for strength, though I haven't heard of anyone who does upside-down Appleseeds having any problems with their water heaters breaking . But I've only heard of two or three people doing this.
If the guy that's talking about doing this (he's halfway done now) get's it done, I'll try to get a picture from him & post it here.
I was thinking of the conical shape being decent for a wash tank, I figured it already had the 3/4'' pipe holes.
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So how long before we get to see the picture of the Upside Down Applseed?
Want to see Pictures! Don't care if it isn't done yet. Progress is part of the journey.
How do you run a thermostat?
Well, In it's simplest form the thermostat is just a switch that cuts the power when a certain temp is reached. So one wire will go directly from your power source into the heating element. The other wire will first pass through the Thermostat and then go to the other screw on the element. I'm not sure if this makes any sense so I'll probably just throw up another truely awesome MSPaint drawing to that effect.
You will have to excuse me, as you can tell I have no real experience with this form of communication.
I had contemplated the upside-down water heater because of the conical nature but was put-off by the idea of losing a couple of nice threaded penetrations to being capped off.
My solution was to tip my tank backward in the area of 15-20 degrees and then instill fiberglass resin up to the bottom threads of a 4" nipple. Before it fully hardened I took my nipple out and after curing when my tank is set flat I have a 20 degree decline to my exit. No dead space.
There we go... get this fast because I am not going to leave it up. Don wanna get sued:
The theory behind the upside down water heater being better than a tilted right-side-up one seems sound to me. With an upside-down tank, the funnel fixes it so that Almost all of the glycerine is forced out of the tank before the Biodiesel will even start coming out. With a Traditional tank, even with a tilt, the top of the fitting is still about 1.5 to 2 inches above the lowest point of the water heater, allowing more biodiesel to escape before the Glycerol has had a chance to fully escape, wasting Biodeisel and leaving behind more Glycerol
Fatkid, your idea is definitely worth looking into. I just got done building a more traditional Appleseed because I didn't have the extra space for an upsidedown configuration. I may have to try that.
I'm enjoying whoring out my MSPaint creations so here:
If any of the stuff I've posted turns out to be total BS, I apologise in advance.
Old300, please don't kill yourself.
Mr. MSPaint guy! Can you do something for me as I don't know how to use it?
1.) Set your tank upright.
2.) Make the convex surface less pronounced.
3.) Imagine a new solid surface (the fiberglass resin) extending from the bottom of your threaded insert upward and rearward (left to right in your picture) at about a 20 degree angle. Color in that new surface to denote that it is solid.
I know that it is asking alot of someone that I don't know yet but it would be helpful for me in getting my idea across.
Something like this? It seems to be a definite improvement over the standard water heater floor. I wonder how well the Resin in the fiberglass will hold up, though. I don't want to hijack this thread (any more than I already have) so I'm going to bed.
I went ahead and did the Paint thing but how do I get it into my post?
When you are posting, you just hit the "Add Attachment?" link just below the text box. I think that should do it.
I do it the hard way and host it on my own server.
Back on topic:
Ok I was unaware that the GE HWH has a dome top? You all keep referring to it being conical but from the excellent MSPaint(pat.pend) drawings it appears domed not conical.
Either way, flipping it over appears to move the high (now low(this gets annoying)) element much higher up into the oil.
Isnt it preferred to be near the bottom so it heats more efficiently? Being I am still in the construction stage I may change up my design to this. Although he looks like he is a very accomplished welder (I am not) and the top line looks to be welded (maybe thats JBWelded) in.
My main concern about using a HWH was that the bottom is essentially flat and all the glycerine could not get out. Now it appears that issue may have been solved.
Very cool I will be watching this develop (still waiting for a couple parts to finish anyway)...
1999 VW Beetle TDI
Thank you for the nice comments. However, I must warn you that I an NOT a very accomplished welder. Actually, I'm a rather pathetic welder. Which explains why the welding I did to install a 3/4" coupler on the new top looks like it may be JB Weld. After I welded it on I did a leak test and found it to drip about one drop a minute, so I went ahead and tried to reweld the spot that was leaking only to cause it to drip a tiny bit faster. (Pathetic) So I figured that since it was on the top and that it would never be asked to contain liquid I figured I'd coat the area with the JB Weld. The next day I retested it for leaks and it passed inspection.
I just finished doing my calibration and the Apple Turnover is not getting it's heating element tested..... Looking good.
Sorry, I wasn't clear with my question. With an upsidedown water heater the thermostat is potentially not in contact with the oil anymore. Do you relocate the thermostat or hope the oil is up past the level of the existing location?
We use the other thermostat.
We disable the bottom (now top) one and use the top (now bottom) one instead.
It's just the same as wiring a normal appleseed except you disable the one that's not going to be near the bottom.
This way it's just like if you'd done it w/ a normal appleseed, only upside down.
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