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Old 12-04-2006, 02:00 PM   #1
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Default Burner from old water heater - salvageable?

Last night, I replaced my water heater. When finished, I looked at it and thought, "I wonder if I could somehow salvage the burner out of that thing." I also remembered that I have a natural gas hookup on my backporch that was initially used for a grill.

Anyone ever tried to take the burner out of a water heater?

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Old 12-04-2006, 02:05 PM   #2
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I don't have any links, but I've seen several threads about making a kettle out of an old water heater.

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Old 12-04-2006, 02:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42
I don't have any links, but I've seen several threads about making a kettle out of an old water heater.


Even better . . . links, anyone?
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Old 12-04-2006, 02:37 PM   #4
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I made one, well, a friend of mine did and gave it to me. Works GREAT. I just got a digital camera recently and when I figure out how to post a picture, I'll post it. It's pretty crude. Take the gas line coming off the burner, not the regulator because they are usually designed for natural gas and have very low psi operating pressure, propane is a lot higher. Rig up a hose from the gas line coming from the burner to the propane tank regulator. You have to have a way to adjust the pressure, either from the propane tank itself or put in an adjustable valve on the line. What my friend did was take an old 16 inch wheel and weld the hole burner assembly to it. Made a grate out of rebar to lay on top of the wheel. Crude, but effective and didn't cost me squat. Also, this thing is heavy duty. He built it to boil a 55 gallon drum of water for plucking chickens. Country boy ingenuity at its finest!

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Old 12-04-2006, 02:53 PM   #5
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Grog, I would love to see those pics.

I don't necessarily wish to convert the thing for propane, however. Would I get enough heat from a natrual gas burner to get 6-7 gals of water boiling? I have a natural gas hookup on my back patio.

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Old 12-04-2006, 03:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ol' Grog
I made one, well, a friend of mine did and gave it to me. Works GREAT. I just got a digital camera recently and when I figure out how to post a picture, I'll post it. It's pretty crude. Take the gas line coming off the burner, not the regulator because they are usually designed for natural gas and have very low psi operating pressure, propane is a lot higher. Rig up a hose from the gas line coming from the burner to the propane tank regulator. You have to have a way to adjust the pressure, either from the propane tank itself or put in an adjustable valve on the line. What my friend did was take an old 16 inch wheel and weld the hole burner assembly to it. Made a grate out of rebar to lay on top of the wheel. Crude, but effective and didn't cost me squat. Also, this thing is heavy duty. He built it to boil a 55 gallon drum of water for plucking chickens. Country boy ingenuity at its finest!
That is awesome.
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Old 12-04-2006, 07:42 PM   #7
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Well, if it's a normal size hot water heater already geared for natural gas, it should work great. It's already heating up 20 to 30 gallons. One thing on the natural gas line already there. You'll have to get a hose bib connection unless your going to "hot wire" it in. The problem is that you got to seperate operating pressures from natural gas to propane. In a lot of systems, there is a oriface that limits the amount of gas coming in to the system. Propane will have smaller ones since it's under higher pressure than a natural gas one. Try hooking up your propane grill to a natural gas line...won't work. All those mechanisms are located within the regulator on a gas hot water heater, your just bypassing it. It's not rocket science. Just have a way to control the pressure either on the tank itself or on the line going to the burner. Also, this type of setup doesn't give you that aerospace-Saturn V-rocket motor sound. It's quite.

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Old 12-04-2006, 08:53 PM   #8
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This forum never stops amazing me with the ideas put forth here. Awesome!

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Old 12-04-2006, 09:09 PM   #9
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Pics, man pics.... A write up... this is friggin great.


Also, we all need the much required, how do we sabatoge our water heaters to make them not work while SWMBO is in the shower AND still make them usable for this purpose?

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Old 12-04-2006, 10:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by olllllo
Pics, man pics.... A write up... this is friggin great.


Also, we all need the much required, how do we sabatoge our water heaters to make them not work while SWMBO is in the shower AND still make them usable for this purpose?

Hmmm my water heater is 80 gallons . Oh wait it's electric. Damn, Sam!
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