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Re: Tank Too Hot

Wright ---

Unless you're looking for cooling of 1-2 degrees, wouldn't you need to dig the hole much, much deeper and insulate the exposed parts of the tubing which are above-ground)?  Polyethylene isn't the greatest conductor of heat, so I don't think the tubing will be cool enough for a long enough time to cool the water significantly.  You might also want to have a sub-micron filter before the tubing goes underground to avoid needing to dig the tubing up to clean it.

I believe that This Old House once had a project where they used a 50' deep hole and 100' of 1-1/2" or 2" dia. polyethylene pipe to circulate water through a heat exchanger to cool a house in lieu of air conditioning (I don't think they ever did a followup story to show how effective that was).


Date: Thu, 06 Jun 2002 16:30:01 -0700
From: Wright Huntley <jwwiii at pacbell_net>
Subject: Re: Tank too hot

Tank heat is a chronic problem in CA and many other warmer summer
locations. Many equatorial rainforest fishes live at high enough
altitude that they just will not breed in summer, here. Try getting eggs
from an *Aphyosemion jorgenscheeli* at anything above 78F, for example.
Likewise, Madagascar Lace plants have been out of the question, for me
- -- difficult even when I was in much-cooler Fremont.

After contemplating the various alternatives, I would like to try
something has never been discussed here, AFAIK.

Dig a hole 3' deep anywhere in the US, and the ground at the bottom will
be cold! I think near-surface underground temperatures average somewhere
around 55F or so, and it is not very different from FL to ME, once you
are several feet down (and not in a geothermal zone). [Do wine caves
ring a bell?]

My thought is to bury a loose coil of drip-irrigation 1/2" line, deep
enough that water slowly flowing through it would be chilled down into
the 60s. For an operating cost of one powerhead, one could have a source
of cooled tank or reservoir water constantly available. No?

I'd love it if someone can shoot holes in this idea *before* I dig a big
hole in the yard in this Modesto heat. :-) [Predicted to hit 100, today,
but so far only 95F.]