The chip heater is a single point, tankless, domestic hot water system popular in Australia and New Zealand from c1880s until the 1960s. Examples of this form of domestic water heating are still in current use.
The chip heater consisted of a cylindrical unit with a fire box and flue through which a water pipe was run. Water was drawn from a cold water tank, circulated through the fire box and when heated was drawn off to the area where it was used typically in a bath or shower.
The fire box was relatively small and fed by newspaper, with pine cones, small twigs and chips from the wood heap. There often was an ash box under the fire box which also allowed air under the fire as well as various dampers in the flue. The use of chips from the wood pile gave the heater its name – chip heater.
Water was run in at a trickle otherwise it did not get very hot. The rate of combustion was controlled by the flues and the ash box. With lots of fuel and the flues open the water could be quickly boiled which was not a desirable result. With practice the correct combination of fuel, flue settings and water flow could result in a decent hot shower or bath in about 20 min.
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Famous quotes containing the word chip:
“Look Johnny, Spig just joined the Navy. Im married to it. I run the mess hall. I swab the deck. I chip the rust. Youre afraid that theyll kick Spig out of the Navy. Im afraid that they wont.”
—Frank Fenton, William Wister Haines, co-scenarist, and John Ford. Minne Wead (Maureen OHara)