Try a plastic barrel for the GWHX

I tried a plastic barrel that I bought earlier for garage thermal mass.

It has a removable top of about 15 inches in diameter -- maybe enough to get the pipe coils into?  The top has screw threads around the 15 inch dia, and a  gasket -- see pics.

Overall height = 42 inches

Max diameter = 23.5 inches

The standpipe goes up 57 inches above top of barrel.

The lid had a removable plug in the center that matches the 2" PVC pipe thread fittings -- I took this out, and installed the standpipe so the drum could be tested for leaks with a little pressure.

I bought this barrel used from the local Ag supply place for $30.  As I recall they had a similar one that was shorter -- which might be better.


The barrel started leaking slowly when the standpipe was filled with water (about 2psi).  I tried tightening the lid with a block of wood and hammer.  This slowed the leaks down more, but did not stop them.  It also looks like the barrel lid bulges out a bit -- this may not be a problem.   Not sure if maybe a new gasket, or some type of supplementary sealer might help?

If the steel barrel seals well, then maybe its the best deal  -- I just thought that I had the plastic barrel on hand, so why not give it a try?

The Ag store sells a lot of new Ag related poly containers -- from a few gallons up to more than an thousand gallons -- lots of shapes and sizes.  I strolled through them, and did not see anything that was just right, but the manufactures would have more.  The prices were fairly reasonable, but nothing like the 15 bucks a barrel or used steel barrels.

Just some more data to think about.

Gary  050501

The barrel.

Inside of lid showing gasket


Barrel and standpipe

Left pic shows slow leaks -- Right shows slight bulging of the barrel lid under pressure.