Last time we left off with deciding what kind of baptistery to get for your new or renovated sanctuary. At the end of that post I left you with a nugget of information regarding the temperature of ground water. For anyone who may have missed it, ground water is a chilly 55° F.
With that fact in mind, I’d say it would almost be a sure bet that you will want to consider a heater to go into your baptistery. Of all the different areas of church furnishings, heaters is one area that I am not as familiar with. Hopefully, by writing this post, some of the information will stick.
There are two basic types of heaters, and they function just as their names imply. First is the immersion heart. This heater, depending on the model, will either drop into the water fully or will mount to the side of the tub and hang into the water. For either of these models, there is no drilling of holes in your tub and are the easiest of the heaters to install. Just fill your tub, drop or mount the heater, depending on the model, being sure not to turn the heater on until it is submersed into the water. For the mountable heater, only the bottom 7 inches or so actually heat up so no need to submerge the entire heater. With these heaters, the water passes over the heater which is an enclosed heating element, heating the water. You may want to have a way to stir the water to help distribute the heat. Think of a bathtub where you are running hot water, if you do not stir the water up, the water nearest the faucet will be hottest. The same is the case for the immersion heater, the closer to the heat source, the warmer the water.
The second type of heater is a circulation heater, which circulates the water out of the tub, with the help of a pump, across the heating elements, and then returns the water to your tub. This style of heater will require holes in your tub and will need to be plumbed (piped) to the heater and back. This heater style will need to be installed by a licensed plumber or electrician. A circulation heater will work a lot like the heater on a pool or hot tub. The water is pumped out to the heater where it is heated and then returned to the tub. This helps circulate the water so that just one area of the water is not being heated, but the water is dispersed throughout the tub.
So that is a very elementary overview of how the two styles of heaters work. Now comes the part where my brain normally shuts down, knowing what size to get. This is really doing to be determined by the type of tub you decided on. Most baptistery tubs will hold up to approximately 750 gallons of water. Using this as a base size, a 240v Immersion heater will heat the tub in approximately 12 hours, depending on the room temperature and if the tub has a cover.
Circulation heaters are available in different sizes and with different options depending on your church needs. First is the basic circulation heater, which is available in a 6kw and 11.5kw size. Secondly, is the Deluxe Circulation heater, which is available in sizes of 5.5kw and 11kw. In comparison, the heaters will work basically the same; however the deluxe heaters are available with an option timer and also have additional accessories that can be added. When it comes to heating times, the 6kw Basic heater will increase the water temperature 20° F at a rate of 100 gallons per hour, meaning a 500 gallon baptistery will be heated in approximately 10 hours. The 11.5kw heater will increase the temperature at a rate of 20° F at 200 gallons per hour, heating a 500 gallon baptistery in 5 hours.
The Deluxe Circulation heater is available with an optional timer and is available in a 5.5kw and 11kw size. Just as with the Basic Heater, the Deluxe heater will heat differently depending on the size purchased. The 5.5kw heater will increase water temperature of a 500 gallon baptistery by 30° F in approximately 6 hours. The 11kw heater will increase the same baptistery by 36° F in approximately 4 hours. The Deluxe heater also has additional options that can be added, ask your sales team member for more details regarding these options.
I hope that you have found these posts helpful in working towards building or renovating your sanctuary or worship area. Wishing you nothing but success in dressing your sanctuary in the style that portrays the personality of your church, while at the same time, being part of your ministry to grow the Kingdom of God.