Tapping hot-water well for home heating
Haines, Ore. — To the real estate editor: I solved a heating need in the manager's house here which might be of interest to others who have access to a supply of suitable water with a temperature of at least 140 degrees F.
Utilizing the artesian flow of a hot- water well, a 1/12th-hp. pump of the type used to circulate hot water in motels, etc., and three used automobile radiators (boxed in a simple wood cabinet with a "breeze box" behind for air circulation), I have been able to keep the house comfortably warm even though the ambient temperature reaches minus 20.
The used auto radiators, flushed, and the connections adapted to pipe fittings by a radiator shop cost me about $35 each. The "breeze boxes" are our cooling fans in summer. The hot water is piped through 3/4-inch copper pipe, easily soldered together, and run in at the bottom of the radiator and discharged out from the top connection.
I leave the pump running all the time and turn on the fans at each location when needed. I could all be controlled by a thermostat.
I know of several underutilized hot springs in our area that could be heating homes, barns, and the like with this simple, low-cost equipment. There must be other sources of suitable hot water from power plants, mills, etc., that could be helping to relieve the energy crunch if more people were aware how easily this can be done.
Fortunately, our hot water does not calcify or corrode piping, and I find that plastic pipe is not affected adversely by 140-degree hot water.
If a supply of hot water is not suitable, perhaps a heat exchanger would correct the problem with a solution of water and antifreeze in the enclosed system. Jack H. Springs Radium Hot Springs Inc.