Installing the heater

A project log for DIY electrically heated sauna

I'm building a sauna as cheaply as possible, and the only item I won't be building myself is the heater. It will have regulated temperature.

mimemime 01/14/2017 at 19:030 Comments

It's time to mount the heater.

As I mentioned before, I'm only going to use one of the heater elements of the heater, so that it's 2 KW max power.

The wall behind the heater is just plasterboard and behind there insulation material. So to mount the heater I'm using a 5mm thick aluminium plate. It will protect the wall behind from heat, and it will also provide a sturdy base to hang the stove from.

I happened to have the 5 mm plate already (taken from a skip), but it was a bit too wide, so I used an angle grinder to cut it to size.

For the last meter of the power cable I used some special 180 degrees C resistant cable, as often is advised in saunas. This type of cable will not get brittle insulation material when heated over boiling point. I used some new mounting method that I didn't know of before, that uses some sticky slime to insulate the connection. I wrapped some extra electrical tape and a tie-wrap around, because the goo kept opening up the box.

Using a 13 mm drill, I milled a slot in the plasterboard for the cable to run through, and then I taped everything back up with aluminium tape.

The electrical hook up is a piece of cake: earth, neutral and phase. I double checked everything several times with the multimeter so that there was no connection between earth and neutral, and earth and phase, and that there was only 26 ohms between neutral and phase.

The aluminium plate is only held to the wall with two 50 mm screws in the top. There is no weight on those screws, because the aluminium plate is resting on the floor. The stove and the rocks together are about 25 kg.

My stove required a distance of at least 120 mm above the floor. In the image above it may look like the stove is standing on the floor, but it is hanging 140 mm above the floor.

Time to test! It clearly works.

It's drawing close to 9 amps, or 240 * 9 = 2160 W.

It's looking pretty good, and it heats up the room nicely. I haven't tested to what temperature it brings the room, but I'm pretty confident it will be hot!

Things left to do:

- mount the controller

- clad the room in wood

- mount an extra window (pane).