Chofu heater

706jim706jim Solar Expert Posts: 245 ✭✭✭

I have a 6' cedar hot tub presently heated with an external stainless steel wood fired stove. I also have a Little Giant propane heater that has been problematic. Won't stay lit, requires an expensive circulating pump etc.

I'm considering a Chofu propane fired convection heater as a supplement to the wood fired boiler.

Have any forum members used this heater and how well does it work?

There seems to be very few places that sell this unit and is fairly expensive. Have had no luck finding a used one on Ebay etc.

Island cottage solar system with 2400 watts of panels, 1kw facing southeast 1kw facing southwest 400watt ancient Arco's facing south.Trace DR1524 MSW inverter, Trace C40 PWM controller 8 Trojan L16's. Insignia 11.5 cubic foot electric fridge. My 27th year.

Comments

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,492 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The Chofu saved my marriage.  My wife would not help me build the house unless there was a hot tub. There was no solar at that point and we had just finished 10 years of sailing where I supplemented income doing marine electronics and generators.  I knew there had to be a way to do this without a generator which I had developed an immense disdain for. Generators in the tropics and the people who use them can both be a headache!

    We have had it over 15 years I think and it still works fine. There is a dealer (the only one?) in Washington and he has been helpful over the years. It works on thermosiphon. As you must know it can take a few hours or more to heat 250 gallons and so this is not fast. We have stirred it to speed it up and finally put a small AC pump in. It is not needed but jets are nice.

    We live in a pretty easy summer climate but winters can hit freezing and typically mid 40 to 50 degrees F.
    Hot tubs in the snow can be very nice!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • 706jim706jim Solar Expert Posts: 245 ✭✭✭
    It appears that it would be a good choice for us then. Our wood fired boiler works well, but you need to have really dry wood and stoke the stove about every 30 to 40 minutes. Really easy to forget to do this or when struggling with wet wood, it may never get warm. Our 450 gallon tub takes a good 6 hours using wood and the Chofu sounds like it would take a load off of this device. I'm guessing that a 20lb tank would heat the tub once or possibly twice at best.
    Island cottage solar system with 2400 watts of panels, 1kw facing southeast 1kw facing southwest 400watt ancient Arco's facing south.Trace DR1524 MSW inverter, Trace C40 PWM controller 8 Trojan L16's. Insignia 11.5 cubic foot electric fridge. My 27th year.
  • 706jim706jim Solar Expert Posts: 245 ✭✭✭

    According to Island Hot tub, the propane Chofu has been discontinued. Unless I could find one used somewhere.

    Island cottage solar system with 2400 watts of panels, 1kw facing southeast 1kw facing southwest 400watt ancient Arco's facing south.Trace DR1524 MSW inverter, Trace C40 PWM controller 8 Trojan L16's. Insignia 11.5 cubic foot electric fridge. My 27th year.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,141 ✭✭✭✭
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,141 ✭✭✭✭
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • stevewilliamsstevewilliams Registered Users Posts: 1
    HI all,

    I got a 12 year old Chofu propane heater that has just started cutting out instead of starting up when I go to position three. The igniter works great and theres plenty of propane, the thing just wont start up. Timer is disconnected (ten years)Any suggestions? 
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,729 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Maybe a bad or dirty thermocouple?  They sense flame heat, and are commonly used to prevent or interrupt gas flow if they don't sense flame heat.  On a standing pilot appliance, they only let the gas valve open if hot enough.  With no pilot, they may be used to close the valve to prevent continued flow if ignition fails. If sooted up, dirty, or misalligned, it may not get hot enough to work properly, or it may have just failed.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,241 admin
    If it uses a standard propane gas valve (thermocouple powered), they can fail. I had a valve fail for a natural gas fireplace.

    I have no idea what your setup is, but here is an example of the spare parts for propane/natural gas valving and thermopiles:

    https://www.amazon.com/s?k=propane+valve+thermopile

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • 706jim706jim Solar Expert Posts: 245 ✭✭✭
    You could always just sell it and let the new owner figure it out.
    Island cottage solar system with 2400 watts of panels, 1kw facing southeast 1kw facing southwest 400watt ancient Arco's facing south.Trace DR1524 MSW inverter, Trace C40 PWM controller 8 Trojan L16's. Insignia 11.5 cubic foot electric fridge. My 27th year.
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