Digital Hot Rock Sauna Heater Installation and Technical Overview

Hot rock sauna heaters are the traditional way of heating a sauna. Elements heat the rocks, rocks heat the air, and the air in turn heats the occupants. Water is sprinkled liberally onto the rocks giving off bursts of super-heated steam that soon envelope the entire sauna, and slowly dissipates again.

 

Sauna Body


Sauna Control Panel


 

 
Typical Installation of heater body and control panel installation.
See gallery for more pictures.
Specifications:
  • Energy efficient 5Kw (single phase), 6Kw (single phase or 9kw (three phase)
  • Digital Control panel
  • Flat wall mount design
  • Double overheat protection
  • Stainless steel elements
  • Stainless steal body
  • Body Dimensions: 410mmx250mmx570mm (WxDxH)

Installation Drawing of Sauna Heater:

Technical Data:


Heater installation dependencies:

External Sauna structure must be complete.
Floor should be tiled. (Slight 'fall' to floor drain is optional).
Electricity supply from main Distribution Board (DB) with appropriately rated wiring in place:

Note: for a 9Kw 3phase unit:
  •  2.5mm thick , four core and earth wire; 
  • 3 pole 20 amp circuit breaker at Distribution Board (DB);
  • splash proof isolater switch located in close proximity to the sauna heaters anticipated final position under and to the side of the heater body
  • 32mm conduit with 'pull wire' for low voltage control wires; running from heater body to digital control
  • 20mm conduit with 'pull wire' for temperature probe to be installed in roof or wall
  • external light switch with dimmer, with wiring inside conduit running on top of sauna roof to anticipated location of the sauna light
How to Build your own sauna ( Sauna DIY ):

This section gives an overview of how to build an average sized traditional sauna of +- 8 Cubic meters (+- 2m deep x 2m wide x 2m high).
Assumption is that it is being built inside an existing brick and mortar 'room', that is being converted into a sauna.

Although most of the hardware supplies required to build a custom DIY sauna are available at your local hardware store, the following should not be compromised on:
  1. Accurate thermostatically controlled Sauna Heater.
  2. Appropriate wall and ceiling wood cladding.
  3. Appropriate wooden bench topping.
  4. Blind fixings to  avoid hot  spots. (avoid burns)
Main Structure:
  • Sauna walls should be smooth plastered or bagged and the floor tiled.
  • Note: A weatherproof 'wendy house like' structure can similarly be used as the main structure.
Battens:
  • +- 5 pine battens (44x22mm) running horizontally across walls.
  • 1st batten at base then
  • 2nd batten 400 mm from base,
  • 3rd batten 800 mm from base,
  • 5th batten at the top, 2000 mm from base, and finally the 
  • 4th batten evenly spaced between the 3rd and 5th battens.
  • +- 40mm thick ‘Isotherm Insulation’ is placed between all wall battens for insulation. (directly against the wall).
  • Isotherm insulation should also be placed on the roof between perlins  (44 x 44 mm thickness).
  • ‘Sauna Light’ can be any standard 'down-light' with a light switch (preferably a dimmer), situated outside the sauna.
Wall and ceiling cladding:
  • 'Profiled Tongue and Groove Board's' are ideal cladding for sauna walls and ceiling.
  • Board dimension12.5mm x 96mm x 2000 mm
  • Tongue and groove boards to be fixed to wooden battens. No nail heads are exposed (blind fixings)
  • Cladding must run vertically starting 10mm above base of the floor.
  • Cladding must not touch the floor to avoid moisture absorption.
Benches:
  • Supporting structure for benches can be 44 x 44 mm.
  • For 'open front' benches use 32 x96 mm running full width of sauna and sitting on 44 x 44 mm runners
  • NOTE: Top Bench must be at the height of the 800 mm wall  batten and the bottom bench must be at the height of the 400 mm wall batten, onto which bench will be bolted.
Bench Topping:
  • Recommended dimensions are 69 mm x 22 mm x +- 3000 mm
  • Bench surface/topping should ideally be a soft and light wood, whose colour matches well with walls and ceiling boards.
  • Bevel the topping edges.
  • Use +- 6 Slats, evenly spaced, for surface of benches.
Duck Boards:
  • The off-cuts from the benches, will be used to assemble the duck boards (to cover the sauna floor tiles).
  • The duck-boards should be easily removed, to assist with cleaning.
Door:
  • The door can be constructed using a standard hollow core door after being clad with boards.
  • Door must open outwards for safety reasons.
  • Jigsaw a window in door (300 x 300 mm) and insert glass +- 4 mm thick. 
  • Alternatively use a frame-less glass door with strong hinges.
We hope that the above sauna building suggestions have proven useful. 

Happy Sauna Building!