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Old May 25, 2016   #46
Worth1
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Ron that link is to another Tomatoville thread.
No worries about pasting your pictuer here too.

All you have to do is open that link in a new tab and copy and paste it to this thread.
For a quick reply to a question you should put a dial probe meat thermometer in the soil as was mentioned before.

Worth

Here is one of your pictures.
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Old May 26, 2016   #47
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Default Heat Bulbs

Hi... I have one aspect of my plans That I am not entirely comfortable about and it is the Ceramic heat bulbs ....Will they create enough heat to penetrate the soil and what precautions can I take to ensure there is no risk of damage from the heat to the freezer .....I have used these bulbs and they are really hot when one touches them but I do not consider the heat they emit is dangerous .....of course I will ensure the bulb sockets are positioned safely..

I am hoping that by putting the thermostat probe in the soil in one of the stainless steel pots the bulbs will be controled to provide a constant exact soil temperature???
My pots being washing machine drums have "air holes" round them which should help the soil temperature..and they have been cleaned since photographs were taken..And I will buy Trays that each can sit on to keep water ending up in the freezer .... Regards Ron
Attached Images
File Type: jpg HEATB.jpg (414.7 KB, 54 views)
File Type: jpg FREEZE.jpg (173.5 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg FREE2.jpg (193.4 KB, 53 views)
File Type: jpg POT_A.jpg (292.9 KB, 54 views)
File Type: jpg POT_B.jpg (321.8 KB, 53 views)

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Old May 26, 2016   #48
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That heat bulb is the strangest thing I have ever saw.
Worth
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Old May 30, 2016   #49
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Hi..I have been exploring an idea of using continuous loops / rings of a pipe/tube within a "planter drum" and flowing a liquid through it to heat the Soil up to around 75 degrees F....

I have found a tubing that I think could work ..Its an under floor Alloy/Pex heating pipe/tube @ $1.20 metre on NZ's version of Ebay...
http://www.trademe.co.nz/a.aspx?id=1096180568

I would be very grateful if anybody could help me here ...with my limited knowledge this could be an ideal tubing for me although its not copper.....So I asked the seller for advice on how many rings or loops he would suggest I use within the planter drum which is 450mm wide with a depth of 350mm..(his reply is in the Questions and Answers Link) ....He suggested at least 10 hoops?? Well this is away above what I had been thinking especially as water in the soil would conduct the heat from the tubing...

Looking at costs ... One ring / hoop would equal around 1.350 metres or $1.70 and here am I hoping to keep my cost to well below $10 a drum for tubing...

I would be extremely grateful for any comment on how many hoops I would need ..It would be of great help to me.....Thanks Ron...
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Old May 30, 2016   #50
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If I understand your post correctly, you are trying to heat a pot of soil to a temperature (75F) and then maintain it at that temperature. You want to that inside an insulated box (an old freezer) so temperature loss will be slow.

The soil will act to store heat. The water in the soil will act as a thermal conductor to distribute the heat. If you apply heat at the bottom of the via a heat pad or heat lamp the heat will naturally move up the soil. You won't need extra tubes in the soil to evenly heat it. What you want is a small heat source at the bottom that supplies enough heat to replace the heat that goes into the air at the top of the soil. This is not going to be a lot unless you turn the freezer on. Remember your soil is in a insulated box.

The washing machine drum is metal which will conduct heat all around your soil. This is a cooking pot. You put your thermostat in the soil somewhere between the heat source and the plant roots. Just remember that heat will keep moving even when you switch the heat source off.

This means that a small heat source is going to be easier to regulate than a large one. The small heat mats sold for seedlings are about 25 watts. You can leave them on a long time and they won't get very hot. The bulbs in refrigerators are about 25 watts and they are used because they won't cause the refrigerator to heat up very much while the bulb is on when the door opens. The toy ovens given to kids to play with (e.g. Barbie's oven) use a 100 watt bulb inside an insulated box and they get hot enough to bake cookies and bread. You will have to experiment with the thermostat setting and position to find where to position the temperature sensor so it maintains the desired temperature at the roots. Start with the sensor at the bottom of the pot and another thermometer at the roots. Leave the heat on so the system stabilizes (with wet soil) and notice what the difference in temperature is. It should be pretty close, maybe a few degrees difference. That will tell you the approximate temperature gradient. You should have a similar temperature difference at air temperatures within 15 or 20 degrees of what the air temp is when you measure. If the gradient is 2 degrees then you set the thermostat at 77 so the roots are 75. Now you can plant your seeds in your bespoke Dutch oven and be sure you won't be making fried tomatoes.

The other thing I see people here at Tomatoville trying to caution you about is the possibility of you killing yourself. I concur. When you wet your soil the water is going to drain out of the holes in the pot and follow gravity down, down, down, to your electrical heat source. This heat source needs to be insulated from your skin. If you have fuses or circuit breakers on your electricity source you will protect your electric wires but you can still get a nasty shock. You should always be prepared for a shock when experimenting with electricity. Wear insulated (like rubber) gloves. Use insulated tools. Always put your body in a position that will fall away from the electricity source. This is very important because you might be paralyzed from the initial shock and not be able to lift yourself off the electricity source. Any metal or wet spot of this incubator could be an electricity source. The voltage does not kill you (usually). It is the current (amperage) that literally burns you. If you have a heart condition you are in more danger. I have been shocked from poorly grounded machinery and old insulation when I was careless and ignored these rules and I consider myself lucky to survive but I don't push my luck. Neither should you.
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Old May 30, 2016   #51
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A little off subject sort of but relevant.
In the oil field years ago they had disconnect boxes to kill the 480 volt to pump jack motors.
It was always common practice to slap the box with the back of your hand before you grabbed the disconnect handle.
about once a year a person would be found dead at the box.
He didn't follow the practice grabbed the handle and was electrocuted because he couldn't let go.

To this very day before I touch any electrical box I slap it with the back of my hand.
I also inspect my ground wire and stake outside to make sure it is connected.
When I moved here I had the guys doing my drive take out a side walk next to my house.
They accidentally pulled up the ground stake.
It was only 1 foot long.
The jackasses that put it in didn't take the time to drive a grounding stake in.
It was for looks.
The next day the concrete guys showed up and saw me driving an 8 foot grounding stake in.

My brother in laws house.
I was cooking and had my hand on the kettle and touched the stove and got the devil knocked out of me.
My niece said I had to be careful like it was my fault.
I took my fluke meter and got 120 VAC from the kettle to the stove top.
When I was a little kid my mother had to kick me off the outside water faucet, I was locked up on it.

Just saying everyone be careful and take nothing for granted.

Worth
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Old May 30, 2016   #52
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I worked with a guy whose idea of mounting a 220 receptacle that had fallen off the wall behind a kitchen stove was to run a drywall screw through it...directly through the middle of it, and touching the bare copper ground wire. Months later, I had to move the stove back. The outlet fell off again, and as I pulled the cord, the drywall screw exploded, as it became the ground. The blast tripped a few breakers, and somehow made the central AC rupture a line and leak out all its coolant. I was ok, but the wall had an impressive black sooty area afterward.
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Old May 30, 2016   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cole_Robbie View Post
I worked with a guy whose idea of mounting a 220 receptacle that had fallen off the wall behind a kitchen stove was to run a drywall screw through it...directly through the middle of it, and touching the bare copper ground wire. Months later, I had to move the stove back. The outlet fell off again, and as I pulled the cord, the drywall screw exploded, as it became the ground. The blast tripped a few breakers, and somehow made the central AC rupture a line and leak out all its coolant. I was ok, but the wall had an impressive black sooty area afterward.
I had an insulated bi polar transistor blow up in my face and it took a chunk out of my safety glasses right where my pupil is.
An electrician used a hole saw to cut an access hole and left shavings all over the circuit board.
When it blew it knocked out all of the power in the place killing everyone's computer.

Worth

Here is all the big it was and sounded like a 12 gauge shot gun going off.
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Old May 30, 2016   #54
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Hi everybody...Where is the electricity???It seems to me that my posts for help are getting completely misconstrued and I am getting lessons in electrical safety...Forget the freezer box ..its only a "grow room" situated in my living room to sit my planter drums in and look reasonably tidy....and protect the carpet?
I have attached a couple of photos of a drum with some tubing in it ...not very tidy but when I decide on what tubing I need to use it will be tied around neatly to the inside of the drum ...the liquid will be fed to the inlet and come out of the outlet to be reheated and pumped round again....There is a lot of trial and error here to arrive at a system to get a soil temperature of 70 to 75 degrees F..

I would presume I will need a header tank and a pump ....Thats why I look at a washing machine ....It has an outlet ...an inlet ..a motor and pump and even a heater plus a few other control things that are unknown to me at this point of time...
I am basicly only throwing ideas out at this point ....But I am thinking I would need to build a control unit with perhaps washing machine parts in it supplying a header tank and pushing the liquid round the drums ,heating the soil and my tomato roots ....
Later what I learn inside I will try to apply to next seasons greenhouse..

Is not what I am trying to do the same principal as soil heating in a raised bed ....except my soil requiring heating is located in drums ..

I do appreciate the posts and ideas in them....Regards Ron
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File Type: jpg DRUMB.jpg (443.9 KB, 29 views)
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Old May 30, 2016   #55
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It seems like you are trying to build something that is more complicated than it needs to be. A rubber hose with a liquid in it is not going to be a very efficient way of transfering heat to cold wet soil. It could work, but right away you are starting with an inefficient system, all in the name of saving money.

I looked at your ideas for grow lights that would go in this converted freezer and I could see you were asking for trouble.

Your heater idea lacks the important thermostatically controlled relay that will shut the heater off when the desired temperature is reached. The thermostat is the key to success. There are plenty of heat sources you can connect to this thermostat that will work better than your hose and pump idea--a food warming tray from a garage sale would be great. You can get a thermostat control relay that you can connect to anything from a crock pot to a blow dryer or a coffee cup heater or a ski boot warmer. One that I have used is RANCO ETC-111000 Digital Cold Temperature Control. I got it for about $50 from Amazon but other places have it cheaper. Here is a link to wire it up so it will work with any electric heating device that has a plug
http://www.instructables.com/id/Wiri...-Temperature-/

You can even use this controller with the heater/pump you have started to build. It really doesn't matter how many hoops of tube you have as long as the fluid in the tube is as hot or hotter than the temperature you want for your plants. If your fluid temperature is hotter or you have more surface area for heat transfer it can make the heat transfer work faster, so more hoops could be better, but unless you know the heat conductance of all of the materials in your system plus the prevailing ambient temperature, and the diameter of a hoop you will have a hard time calculating exactly how many hoops you will need.

Last edited by Rosedude; May 30, 2016 at 09:02 PM.
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Old May 30, 2016   #56
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Ron, You said
Quote:
its only a "grow room" situated in my living room
How warm is your living room? 68F? 72F? Unless you are letting your living room get very cold, most of the heating will be done by your furnace. You just need a little extra heat to push the temp up to 75F and compensate for any evaporative cooling from the water in the soil. Your growing lights alone could push the temperature up more than 3 degrees and soon you will need to worry about cooling the air as well as heating the soil.
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Old May 31, 2016   #57
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Up to now I haven't felt the need of interfering again on that thread as I didn't see a sensible approach to a gardening problem.

The only use for a dead freezer I can think of is storing water, it doesn’t freeze in winter. The use of washing machine drums is original as well, but there are plenty of better solutions.

Murihikukid obviously doesn’t master the basic electricity safety rules. I can only suggest he should listen to the numerous warnings above and completely change his plans. I can’t remain passive when the risk of leaving orphans and a widow is patent !
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Old May 31, 2016   #58
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Hi Rosedude...Sorry to be so direct but are you actually reading my posts....You state """It seems like you are trying to build something that is more complicated than it needs to be. A rubber hose with a liquid in it is not going to be a very efficient way of transfering heat to cold wet soil. It could work, but right away you are starting with an inefficient system, all in the name of saving money.""""
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???
Second..I have enough intelligence to know in any heating system thermostats are crucial ...""""""There are plenty of heat sources you can connect to this thermostat that will work better than your hose and pump idea-"""" Is there?? please read this article
http://articles.extension.org/pages/...or-greenhouses

As I understand written by experts....They advocate using tubing with heated liquid for a raised bed ...I am just taking it another step ..IE instead of soil in a raised bed my soil is in a series of drums..

"''''''''''You can even use this controller with the heater/pump you have started to build. """
I have not started to build anything yet ...simply because I have not got a plan but one thing I know I will use the STC 1000 Digital Thermostat cause I already have one and know how to program it..
'''''' It really doesn't matter how many hoops of tube you have as long as the fluid in the tube is as hot or hotter than the temperature you want for your plants"""""
'
Ahhhh at last ....Yes you have given me information that I am looking for and I thank you for it....It seems to me that there is going to be quite a bit of trial and error here ..especially the number of loops in the drum but surely water in the soil conducts as does the stainless steel drums ...I am thinking of about 4 loops in the 450mm x 350mm drum with Alloy/Pex tubing ...if I can get a soil temperature of 70 degrees F from 100 degrees F flowing through the loops I would be more than happy....

RE your second posting .....Its nearly the shortest day of the year and 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...
The temperature guage directly above the foliage is showing 62 degrees F..It is not enough..I know that and when I switch the lights off at 2am it will go down to 50 degrees F......
These plants will need to be transplanted fairly soon into the drums in another freezer so its vital i get a system up and running as soon as possible ...
I realise I have to take a gamble and buy the Aluminium/Pex composite tubing which I understand is a great product ....loop some drums ...and build a header tank and control unit ....I was hoping for help which I may or may not get...

I am hoping to get advice on using the pumps controls etc from a Westinghouse washing or dishwasher machine ....same principal but would it be powerful enough ...Well my friend in Canada might reappear and tell me.. cause he is an expert on such matters...

Regards Ron.

Last edited by murihikukid; May 31, 2016 at 04:02 AM.
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Old May 31, 2016   #59
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Loulac... PLEASE READ MY POSTS .....Sorry but I am getting really upset through my postings not being read and understood ......What if I hung a tent up in my living room to put my plants in .,.would that be better than a freezer....

I was thinking off using CERAMIC heat bulbs or heat emitters originally THAT is why I used a freezer chest with cross rails in it for my plants to sit on ...it was to enable the ceramic bulbs to provide hot air under the rails...I then realised that this was not a good method and decided to heat the soil by feeding heat via loops in each drum .just as its done in this article... .
http://articles.extension.org/pages/...or-greenhouses

.. I saw no reason not to continue using freezer chests to sit my planting drums in....and give my carpet some protection.

FOR GOODNESS SAKE all the electrics etc have been removed...they are just ONE outer shell ....There is no safety issue ..See pictures on post 46 and 47..... but there will be if I do not get the control unit planned properly with pumps,thermostats,element etc to control the heat and the flow ..
Regards Ron

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Old May 31, 2016   #60
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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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