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on November 11, 2010
I made a hot tub out of a 100 gallon stock tank, some insulation, and a small pool filter. The only thing missing was hot water! I tried a large aquarium heater, but it didn't get hot enough (94F). This solves the problem - it gets it as hot as you want. You have to unplug it and take it out before you get in, but it still stays hot long enough for a nice long soak. I love this thing.

Update. It raised the temp around 5 degrees an hour (plus or minus a couple - my thermometer has a duck on it). I forgot about it a couple of times and MAN was that water hot! The bucket heater lasted two winters of use, but not a third. Another review mentions this problem: now every time I plug it in it pops the outlet breaker. Even so, this is the best solution for the indoor redneck hot tub that I have found. I'm ordering another one right now (just in time for the frigid weather).
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on February 10, 2008
I use this for all grain beer making when the weather is too cold to use propane outside . Normally it would take around 2 hours for my wimpy stovetop to bring 7 gallons of wort to a boil , but with the aid of this baby I can do it in 45 minutes , which is a huge improvement . Haven't had any problems with scorching . The way it is designed it circulates liquid while it heats it . For the price it can't be beat !
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It seems like everyone is using this for something different, and almost no one is using it to heat buckets! Sous Vide cooking. Baptismal warmers. Home brewing. Wet tile saw heating. I think Marshalltown needs to re-brand!

My wife is Japanese, and Japan's bath technology is so much more advanced than American technology we might as well be out in an old washtub set over a wood fire. Even the cheapest apartment has a nice big tub that you can fit your whole body in and a heater that keeps the water toasty. For her birthday this year, I assembled a few items to try to replicate a Japanese bath as much as possible.

I got this "MARSHALLTOWN Premier Line Bucket Water Heater" to use along with the Better Bath Deep Water Bath. This gives us a nice, full bath that doesn't slowly cool down into a tepid bowl of no-fun-whatsoever.

I was really nervous to use this "Bucket Water Heater" at first. All my life I have been taught not to climb into big tubs of water that have electrical appliances hanging out of them. I felt better after reading the reviews here, and realizing that products like these have been used for years without electrocuting people and farm animals the world over. It has a nice, big safety cable and I keep it connected to a surge protector just in case. We have it mounted so that just the heater is in the water, but the cable stays dry.

It works awesome. We fill the bath up with hot water (at least as hot as it will get until our apartment water heater gives out) then stick this in and let it heat up for an hour or so. The water gets really nice and hot--I like it hot enough that I am sweating sitting in the tub. I'm still nervous about hanging out in the tub with it connected, but so far so good. I take it out when the water gets hot enough, and that usually gives us enough soaking time for the hot water heater to recover and give us another blast if needed.
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on June 22, 2011
This is the second year for my 4000 gallon (15' X 4' circle) above ground pool and we felt it did not warm up enough last year. Over the winter I looked at different ways to warm it up for this swimming season. After finding this item I decided to give it a try. I calculated the time needed to warm up the water and found that if these really do put out 1000 watts, then I could expect about a 1 degree increase in water temperature for every 10 hours of heating time. I decided to buy two. So far so good. The weather here is still lucky to hit the low 70s during the day and drops to the low 50s at night. Still between running two of these heaters directly in the pool as well as keeping a solar cover on the pool (last year we just had the solar cover) when not in use, my pool has heated from 60 to about 78 degrees in the first week.

A couple of items to note. First the instructions that come with this specifically say you should not use it in a pool :) Second, the instructions say that these should not be fully submerged, so I used a couple of noodles to provide flotation. Finally, I am running them on two separate circuits both of which are GFI protected and there is no electrical shock hazard. I can stick my hand in the pool and even touch the heating element without anything bad happening.
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on August 29, 2011
The heater on my hot tub broke right before a party, so I used two of these to heat the hot tub instead.

It worked great--they brought the water from room temperature up to 120 (oops!) over the course of a day (something like 8-10 hours?). We had to let it cool down a little before anyone could get in. We didn't want to leave bucket heaters in the water while people were using the hot tub for safety reasons, so once people got in, we moved the bucket heaters into 5-gallon buckets of water right next to it. That gave us a constant supply of hot (nearly boiling) water to refresh it with every half hour or so. We were easily able to maintain a ~100-104 degree range in the hot tub all night, although it did require a little bit of finessing.

Note that these draw 8.3 amps each, so you can't run two of them on a 15 amp circuit at the same time.
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on July 17, 2013
We have an 8' plastic stock tank we use for a kids pool. We have about 400 gallons of water in it with a pump, filter and salt machine. We bought this hoping to keep the temp up at night so the kids could swim even in the early morning. We love it. We plug it in at night when the temps are expected to get down in the 60's. In the morning temp in the top 12 inches of water has been 90+. It gets cooler in the bottom 12" BUT after I plug the pump in and let it circulate the whole pool, top to bottom, is around 85. It has exceeded our expectations as a simple small pool heater.

Update 5-27-2014: Year two of using the bucket heater. Filled the stock tank pool two days ago. Water temp 55 degrees, I let it warm up for one day, which brought it up to 70. Air temp last night was 66. Put the heater in last night about 9 pm. After circulating the water this morning, water temp is 80 and climbing. Grandkids will be swimming today.
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on November 23, 2014
My hot water heater burnt out and I live alone. I decided not to repair it. I use this plus a 5 gallon galvanized bucket and a rechargeable camping shower in my bathtub and get a great bath every day. Will heat 5 gallons up to 140 degrees in about 40 minutes. I then cool it down to 125 degrees. My electric bill went way down without the hot water heater running continuously. Glad I bought it.
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on January 9, 2011
I had to have my gas turned off for the winter because of my finances. Since I didn't have hot water any more I needed hot water to just bathe and wash my hair. So I bought this bucket water heater and it works great! I highly recommend it! I use it in a five gallon bucket and it's been wonderful.
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on August 21, 2012
Like some other reviewers, I got because I wanted to supplement the heat from my apartment's gas stove for homebrewing beer, but I didn't want to wire up my own DIY heat stick. I wanted to do a full boil (5-6 gallons) and combined heat from my burner and this got it up to boiling pretty quickly. This alone would not heat the water to boiling, but combined with the stove burners, it works pretty well. Doesn't give a powerful rolling boil with 5-6 gal, but you will see it bubbling vigorously around the element

After a couple batches I heard that this might not be safe to use with drinking water, so I emailed the company and thought I would share what they said. The heater is actually made by Allied Precision Industries in Illinois, not Marshalltown, who just resells it. The sales/service rep from Allied said wrote back quickly and was very friendly. He said, "It is not approved for heating drinking water. While the solder that we use is RoHS compliant, thus containing no lead, there has been no testing to determine compliance for use with potable water. Also, the units are manufactured in an industrial environment as opposed to a clean room, therefore, we do not condone their use for heating water for human consumption... It is probably not dangerous but not necessarily safe either. I do not know what sort of chemicals are used in process the metal parts."

In addition to this, unless you remove the steel guard, it's basically impossible to clean properly. I noticed some stuff stuck onto it after my last use and gave it a long soak in hot oxiclean. I noticed there was some space in the crack where the screen is attached to itself and decided to break the welds/soldering points with a screwdriver. Inside I found lots of gunk from grain and wort that was not being cleaned by soaking in oxiclean - the standard way of cleaning homebrew equipment. So if I used it again, I would have been adding all that gunk into my beer.

I don't think I will use it again for brewing. I know that electric heating elements are very popular for brewing, and this model in particular is used a lot Camco 02963 5500W 240V Screw in Water Heater Lime Life Ripple Element - Ultra Low Wat Density. But I don't know what the risks really are in using this bucket heater for the same purpose. If there's anyone out there who knows how to test this 742G for safety with potable water, I'd be very interested to hear their results!
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on March 11, 2014
Update: 6-3-15 I purchased a second one, since I couldn't find an alternative. This one has worked for nearly a year, and takes about 2 hours to warm about 20 gallons of cold water in a drum. I have an RV pump transfer the warm water from the drum to the shower head in my tub at camp. Works good, but I might have to buy a third, as I'm afraid of the shelf life of it. Sometimes I have to unplug & replug because it stops working for a bit.

Worked great for heating water in a bucket for camp showers and baths. Took about 2 hours to heat a bucked of icy cold creek water to a nice temp for a shower in a solar bag. I had it heating a bathtub full of water and during my hours of waiting, the water was lukewarm. I noticed that the heat swirlys in the water had ceased to emanate from the heater. I unplugged it, then plugged it back in, and still nothing. I noticed a dark spot on the element, and am pretty sure it's toast. I used it about 10 times. Since my window to return it had passed a month ago, I will just throw it out. I can't see spending the money to buy another one, so it's back to the stovetop one pot at a time to warm my water.
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