Anyone know where these are available new? Note the reference to the old Mother Earth News Magazine article (free online) and the warning about providing a pressure relief valve.

Exchanger Wood Stove
(wood stove and oven with copper coil and salvaged water tank)
Tony’s Homemade Hot Water Heater
(not part of a wood stove but could be, separate tank with chimney up the middle, requires a fire underneath, best use where wood stove is not needed)
StillPE’s Wood Fired Water Heater
Gas Bottle Wood Stove Heat Exchanger

Note: As usual, if you find other good sources, please leave the website address in the Comment section.


Hot Water Jackets for Wood Stoves — 20 Comments

  1. Been using a country tee top with water jacket for 20 years. It pumps into a 100 gallon storage tank that feeds on demand water heaters. Great system to preheat water in winter months. Especially nice when we had 5 children at home. When water gets too hot, we let fire go out and use furnace if needed until we use enough of the hot water to cool down the system.
    System turns on/off by a thermo switch on back pipes of TTop. Wish we had a larger storage tank but no room. Thinking about a solar unit for summer time use.

  2. It’s true. It would be nice to have something like this so not to waste the energy. Maintenance-wise I’d imagine it can cause a few headaches. Probably best to go the Hilkoil root, a hacked version to get something like this working could be dangerous.

  3. Water jackets are not allowed in new EPA certified stoves. Cookstoves are still exempt but are already a rare breed, so this is going to be DIY for almost everyone.

    Pulling too much heat does have its problems, it will cause a less efficient burn and increased creosote. Be careful.

    • Right, good point. And I read where the EPA has new wood stove guidelines coming out next year. Some are saying it may be a scam that forces people to buy only EPA approved stoves from a few select companies (who may be political donors, etc.). I wouldn’t be surprised.

  4. We used to do this as a “drop over” onto the flue of a wood stove, for just this purpose. Bending copper tubing was pretty simple as long as you are careful.

    Condense the coil as tight as you can to maximize heat gain. Flow control (use a valve) will regulate the heat of the water.

    Or we would build a 55 gallon steel drum (TIP: Use stainless steel chemical drums) into the actual fireplace structure, to do something similar and then left gravity do the work (distributing the hot water).

    Capture all the energy you can. Reuse, repurpose…


  5. Lehman’s sells water jackets for wood stoves, but I’m not sure if they’re designed to fit their models of wood stoves or any wood stove. It’s worth a look.

    • I just checked. All they have at this time is one type for a specific oval wood stove, and the stove mentioned by Kathy. That seems odd to me. This is one of the simplest, easiest ways to heat water.

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