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  1. #1

    Heating - budget solution.....

    None of my previous ponds have been heated.
    For this latest pond I researched this topic at length and as is so often found myself gravitating back to the wisdom of Manky Sanke and his website to which I imagine most enthusiasts go for water quality enlightenment.

    The heating regime would need to be decided before pond construction, because the type of regime would determine whether to insulate or not.


    Our latest pond has had a number of "aesthetic constraints" placed upon it. No visible pipes, air lines, bubbling and, most relevant here, no covering in Winter. As I have said elsewhere, an ornamental pond designed to be able hold koi as opposed to a dedicated koi pond.
    This last restraint guided me towards the "basic protection" regime of keeping the water temperature above 4C over the Winter however cold the ambient temperature gets.
    An uncovered pond at a much higher temperature than ambient would cost a fortune to heat and so was not really an option for me.

    With this in mind, pond insulation would be counterproductive for this regime as the subsoil temperature is well above 4C all year round and I want some of that "heat" to be conducted into the water as the temperature gets very low.


    The next choice was how to heat the water when required.
    For the relatively low temperatures I want to maintain there was no point considering a large complex arrangement with boilers, heat pumps or similar (been there done that with swimming pool heating).


    I retained a rather old fashioned element to the filter system, that is inlet and outlet chambers (of which I am a fan).



    An outlet chamber meant I could buy inexpensive floating heaters and group them in a "heating cluster". Floating heaters usually have a problem in that they have a relatively low temperature cut out. Fine if all you want to do is keep a small area ice free, but less fine if you want to actually heat a larger volume of water. Fortunately the rapid water turnover flowing around the heater elements in the outlet chamber overcomes this problem. This meant I was able to easily add 4 X 600W heaters, giving up to 2400W for £100 in total.
    Temperature of the pond water coming into the inlet chamber is measured using a standard STC-1000 thermostat unit, calibrated accordingly and a standard delay-off relay to give full control of cycling.


    So, what happens when the water temperature drops below 5.5C in my system?
    1. Water heaters turn on (2.4kW - can easily be switched to 1.8kW, 1.2Kw or 600W)
    2. Soil heating cable wrapped around mains water supply pipes turns on.
    3. My pump house is less than a metre from the house, so a small fan draws warm air from the house into the filter shed through the same 110mm pipe which carries the power, etc.

    In the picture below you can see this fan in the centre (hidden behind anti-backdraught flap) and the green heating wire on the water supply.



    And below you can see the heater cluster in the outlet chamber.
    There is a weir between the outlet chamber and the inlet chamber so that in case of any blockage in the pond return the weir will overflow into the inlet chamber. And yes - you can see I use standpipe valves in the inlet chamber to control bottom drain and skimmer inlets. Cheap, ultra simple and ultra reliable.




    Please note - I am not trying to suggest that any of the above is the way anyone else should heat their pond.
    I am aware that many choose to heat to much higher levels and often do cover their ponds in winter.
    For those that keep their water at higher temperatures, anti-frost measures such as heating cables and warmer air introduction should not be necessary, though warmer water can lead to condensation issues discussed eleswhere.
    This has been posted purely for interest and sharing experience.




    Last edited by Ukzero; 10-01-2021 at 11:58 AM.
    My DIY ponds from 1988 until present day.
    All can be found here:
    https://www.ukzero.com/pond.htm

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Rank = Yonsai farmergoggin's Avatar
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    Iíve got one 300 watt in my pond and itís on for 20 hours a day and holds 120gallons with no covers at 16c no problem. Itís hooked up smart plug so I can monitor energy use and it appears itís drawing 330watts

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  5. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by farmergoggin View Post
    I’ve got one 300 watt in my pond and it’s on for 20 hours a day and holds 120gallons with no covers at 16c no problem. It’s hooked up smart plug so I can monitor energy use and it appears it’s drawing 330watts
    Thanks for the info. Good to get some real world data.

    I recon that's about £1 per day, which doesn't seem bad for that temp.

    120 gallons is about 544 litres and unfortunately my system holds 12500 litres - about 23X as much to heat

    So for now I will stick to my modest (aka miserly) target of 5.5C as a minimum - which hasn't been reached yet this Winter.
    My DIY ponds from 1988 until present day.
    All can be found here:
    https://www.ukzero.com/pond.htm

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  7. #4
    Senior Member Rank = Yonsai farmergoggin's Avatar
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    Just under £1 a day thankfully as the heater is only set to 16c so switches it self off a few timeís a day at moment but canít see this lasting long! Iím definitely wasting money as not insulated or covered.

    Yes just watch the draw on the heaters as it could add to another 240 watts if you work on 10% extra per heater.

    Great write up on your ponds btw.

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  9. #5
    Senior Member Rank = Jussai Mikeh83's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing, some good info.



    Iím curious as to what the jar is being used for. Heating - budget solution.....


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  11. #6
    Senior Member Rank = Jussai Mikeh83's Avatar
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    Also interested in seeing photos of the pond.. you have just shared the filter house to date.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  13. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeh83 View Post
    Thanks for sharing, some good info.

    I’m curious as to what the jar is being used for. Heating - budget solution.....
    As part of the filter equipment package I bought came a KoizO3 Ozone generator - That's what the jar is part of (contains the electrodes in distilled water and a fine tube arries the O3 to the pipework).
    No idea how effective it is.
    My DIY ponds from 1988 until present day.
    All can be found here:
    https://www.ukzero.com/pond.htm

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  15. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeh83 View Post
    Also interested in seeing photos of the pond.. you have just shared the filter house to date.
    Here you go - the whole build......

    https://www.ukzero.com/pond5M.htm

    This link has been shared under the pond construction
    My DIY ponds from 1988 until present day.
    All can be found here:
    https://www.ukzero.com/pond.htm

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  17. #9
    Revision to original post:
    The STC-1000 type thermostat has a delay built in for cooling, but not for heating. Thought it had a delay for both.
    To prevent rapid cycling I have added a variable delay-off relay which now gives me more control than I'll ever need to fine tune the on/off temps, sensitivity, differential and cycle delays.
    The relay added about £12 to the heating system, so still a "budget solution"
    My DIY ponds from 1988 until present day.
    All can be found here:
    https://www.ukzero.com/pond.htm

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