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Discussion forum for the various methods and structures used for getting an early start on your growing season, extending it for several weeks or even year 'round.

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Old May 31, 2016   #61
Worth1
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Ron I am completely lost we have bounced around from one thing to the next on one thread.

Freezers and washing machine tubs and so on.
I have tried to read everything you have asked about but am totally confused.
I mean I am lost big time and want to help.

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Old May 31, 2016   #62
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I'm relieved to learn that your plans are now different. I use ceramic infrared heat bulbs in small greenhouses together with heating cables and am satisfied with them. As for equipment for germinating and raising seedlings there are tons of suggestions on Tville, coming from professionals and amateurs. You just have to take your pick, you will play it safe. Avoid metal if you use electric heating, plastic and wood will be much safer.
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Old May 31, 2016   #63
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Post #58 asks a question:
Quote:
First..I have not got a plan yet..its an idea...Where did you get the idea I was intending to use a rubber hose with a liquid in it ..and saving money???
I suppose the picture of a Westinghouse washing machine tub with a length of rubber hose in it in Post #46 or 47 had something to do with it. Also, you linked to an article on Extension.com that describes how to heat a greenhouse with hot water in rubber tubing. You also have numerous posts about sourcing materials from scrapyards for a few dollars.

I am cheap myself and I think most people, including myself, would be very impressed if you put together a heated greenhouse with scrap parts you had on hand.

You have also posted pictures of your freezer with lines drawn in for shelves and racks, which looked like a plan to me. I apologize for my mistake.

You paint a poignant word picture of your sacrifice for your winter tomatoes
Quote:
my living room is freezing ?? Well nearly because my tomatoes in their growing room IE the freezer have my electric blanket ..they have my best blankets wrapped round and over them and they have inside the blankets eight only five foot floro T8 tubes providing light and warmth... They appear to be now quite happy growing since I put the electric blanket and blankets round them whereas previously I considered they had become dormant... Its amazing how cold the house is since I did this....I only have my beloved cat to keep me warm..but the Tomatoes come first
I followed your suggestion
Quote:
please read this article
http://articles.extension.org/pages/...or-greenhouses. As I understand written by experts.
and got an idea that will possibly kill two birds with one stone, (no birds will be harmed, I assure you, that is just a figure of speech).

The article describes how to heat a fairly large greenhouse with hot water from an ordinary water heater, like you may have in your house. Most water heaters come with an outlet for hot water and two inlets, one for cold and one for recirculated hot water. The recirculating system is installed so the residents don't have to wait for hot water to arrive from the water heater. What you would have to do is put a Tee into the hot water plumbing somewhere and connect the end of the tubing to the Tee. Then run the tubing to your washing machine tub and back to another fitting that screws into the recirculating inlet. (The recirculating inlet is also where you can attach a pressure-relief safety valve, so if you have a valve there you will need another Tee to keep that important safety valve on your water heater.) Your pump can be located anywhere along the tubing that is convenient. There is no water waste because the pump simply pumps water out of the water heater and back into it. The water pump is usually controlled by a switch that senses the pressure drop when a faucet is opened but you can almost certainly use the pump from your Westinghouse washing machine to pump the water and control it with the STC 1000 thermostat relay you already own. The Westinghouse pump is probably not rated for continuous duty but you could rig up a cooling fan from one of the computer PSUs you bought. (Don't get me wrong, I don't recommend the Westinghouse pump for this, but I think it will work for a while. I would monitor it closely.) You will have to experiment with that a little bit.

The article you linked also has the crucial thermodynamic data you are looking for.
Quote:
For benches, a 6-inch to 9-inch pipe spacing covered by 3 inches to 4 inches of sand will provide even temperature. The sand should be kept wet to transfer the heat and is usually covered with a sheet of plastic or weed barrier. An alternative arrangement consists of laying the pipe in the bottom of the bench and covering with wire mesh and a layer of plastic. Some growers have attached the pipe underneath the bench to get it out of the way and to allow the heat to spread.
What that means is you just need to arrange your tubing so it is 6"to 9" apart in a spiral or parallel grid in your washing machine tank to get optimal soil warming.

As an added benefit, you can run the tubing under your carpet and even under the seat cushions of your couch and heat your entire living room to greenhouse temperatures. The article states
Quote:
Some manufacturers supply a slotted insulation board for placing the tubing on top of the bench.
but if you put this insulation board under your carpet you will eliminate the lumps. You could also just lay boards under your carpet and put the tubing between the boards.

You can estimate how much tubing you will need from the data in the article.
Quote:
For tomatoes or cucumbers grown in rows in the soil or in bags with a single line of pipe under each row, you can estimate it takes 10 Btuh/linear foot of row length (10 watts per meter). For example, a 30-foot-by-100-foot greenhouse with 10 rows of plants would require 10,000 Btu/hr (3kW) of heat (10 rows x 100-foot length x 10 Btu/hr/linear ft). Add about 10% to this total for heat loss from the supply pipes.
In your case, any heat loss from the supply pipes will be heating your living room so you will be in a win-win situation. The 3000 square foot greenhouse in the example is easily scaled to your 300 Sq. Ft. living room, just divide the tubing length by 10. The added tubing length to run under your carpet will also make it possible to run your water heater at a temperature higher than 100F (due to the heat loss from the extended length) for more pleasurable baths.

Last edited by Rosedude; May 31, 2016 at 03:05 PM. Reason: To add details about the safety valve.
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Old May 31, 2016   #64
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Hi..Yes I acknowledge that I made a mistake by not creating new threads...Theres a lot of reading now to do but I have to be honest here and I ask myself have I the ability to put a control unit together ...the answer is no without direct help ....

Meantime my Tomatoes are growing and all my time and effort will have been wasted unless I can get them transplanted .....The only way out for me now is to go back to my original plan of using ceramic heat bulbs heating air under and around the drum containers with an enclosed top to try and hold the warm air around the drums sitting in the freezer(S) .....the bulbs will be controled by a soil thermostat probe ...its not ideal but its better than nothing ......I will have to take care of the positioning of the bulb holders eg between drums protecting them from any water seepage ..I will also make sure I put a cover over them to deflect seepage...

I cannot see warm air hurting my plant roots ...

I have not given up on my idea of tubing heat into the drums ...but without a plan ...I am lost...Originally I had relied on my friend to help me in this and it was his "disappearance" that led me to try and get answers via forums......Its now obvious to me that he is not going to contact me ...

Finally there are no seeds here...I have the necessary equipment for propagation etc ... These tomatoes are by necessity grown from cuttings ....in the "OFF" season....Yes I am hoping to get great Tomatoes out of season but also the laterals will be used for the next seasons greenhouse crop....and if the past season is any guide to what I am going to be faced with again I will require soil heating in the greenhouse..
thats how it is on the bottom of the planet??

Ron
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Old May 31, 2016   #65
Rosedude
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You rejected every good idea that was offered here. Now you say you don't have a control unit. What happened to Post #58?
Quote:
one thing I know I will use the STC 1000 Digital Thermostat cause I already have one and know how to program it..
The STC 1000 is a control unit. Is the problem that you know how to program it but you don't know how to wire it? Please explain.



I will give you another suggestion for a heater that should work on your washing machine tub and probably won't electrocute you:

http://www.alibaba.com/product-detai...838.0.0.nghSd9

This mat costs $5 and works on either 12 or 24 volts like the computer power supply you already have. I think it has adhesive. Anyway you can glue it on a ceramic tile and put it under your washing machine tub. If you put some epoxy or other insulation on the wire you can probably stick it in the soil (the specifications say it is immersible). You will still need something like the STC 1000. There are also several models of the STC 1000 and they differ in the wiring and programming. You do have an STC 1000, correct? Can you attach a picture?

This may gets quite hot so you don't want it right next to the roots, but it doesn't produce an overwhelming amount of heat. If you put the temperature sensor under the roots it should be ok. If you are using a 12 volt unit with the STC 1000 it will wire a little differently than the video.

Quote:
there are no seeds here
Finally, just out of curiosity, what happened to all of the tomato seeds in New Zealand? I know you are upside down but you didn't fall off the planet.

Last edited by Rosedude; May 31, 2016 at 08:14 PM.
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Old May 31, 2016   #66
murihikukid
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Default STC 1000

STC-1000
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Old June 1, 2016   #67
Rosedude
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Ron,
Thanks for posting the picture. It would be nice if you answered some of my questions so I can assess the level of your knowledge. It OK to be humble and play the fool but if you keep doing that you will get treated like a fool.

Your picture is of a different model of the STC 1000 than the one used in Post #65. The model you have is wired like this one:



He is wiring it for 110 Volt AC operation so if you are going to use it with 12 V DC or something else you will need to wire it differently. I don't know if you know how to use a volt meter. I don't know if you know how to solder. I don't know if you will understand my explanation.

The two models of this controller are similar to other brands of controllers like the RANCO that I have. One model, usually slightly cheaper, has only one relay, which switches the power to the device you are controlling. It can be programmed to Heat or Cool, which means it switches the power ON when the temperature probe senses a temperature BELOW the set point when heating or, alternatively, to cool when the temperature when the temperature is ABOVE the set point.

Your STC 1000 appears to be the more deluxe model which has two relay switches, one will be ON (closed) when the relay is BELOW the desired temperature, and the other will be ON when it is ABOVE. The combination is needed in a process like brewing or incubating live animals where there is more than one source of heat and sometimes you cannot electrically switch the heat off so you also need cooling. If you are not going to cool your plants you only need to use the Heat relay connectors.

I'm also going to caution you that I don't know the rating of the STC 1000. People on YouTube are using them to control small heaters and coolers so it looks like it will work for your application. They are using 110 V, so the amperage is lower than it would be if they were directly switching 12 volts (like the car headlights).

If you want to control your Westinghouse washing machine pump with this controller you probably could, but Westinghouse makes hundreds of models and unless you supply a model number or part number it will be hard for anyone, even an expert, to tell you if it will work for sure.

The $5 heating pad I found for you is made to glue onto plate glass at the bottom of 3D printers. It will get hot enough to melt plastic and you will need to provide a power adapter big enough. A power supply for a printer or computer is about the right size. You will also need to solder the wires to the pad. If you don't know how to solder you will need to learn or buy a pad that has the power wires already connected.
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Old June 1, 2016   #68
Worth1
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Since I am still lost all I can do is give information whether it is asked for or not.
The controller comes to mind.
If the dry contacts in the controller are rated for say 1/2 amp then that is all the currant you can draw but you would be batter off stepping it down a little so you aren't running at full capacity if the relay.
To activate something that draws more currant you have to use that relay to activate a bigger relay.

Are these wash tubes going to be outside or in a green house or in the house or what.

As far as how much tubing you need inside of them depends on the temperature they are trying to overcome and the temperature of the fluid you are going to pass through the tubes.

I am not going to contaminate your thread anymore with safety.
but for one thing.
If you get electricity anywhere around the tubs ground the tubs.
Do this by running a ground wire to each tube and connecting it to a stake driving in the ground about 6 feet or so.
This is what you call electrical bonding.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...-E666Ex9E699Og

Worth
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Old June 1, 2016   #69
murihikukid
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Default Please close the thread

I have decided enough is enough ....so I am closing the thread if this can be done ..Thanks for all your comments . Ron
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