Best improvised water heating system for off-grid shelter?

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demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,337
329
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Thanks. I'm more interested in simplicity than cleverness, so I'll apprciate it :)

There is a version I've seen in an Australian bushcraft book, made from two differing diameters of metal drainpipe (basically its a jumbo height Kelly Kettle) and used as a chimney.
Our scanner is on the blink (or rather its not seeing eye to eye with our computer) but if I sort it I'll post a pic of that up as well.
 

tombear

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 9, 2004
4,099
193
51
Rossendale, Lancashire
There is a version I've seen in an Australian bushcraft book, made from two differing diameters of metal drainpipe (basically its a jumbo height Kelly Kettle) and used as a chimney.
Our scanner is on the blink (or rather its not seeing eye to eye with our computer) but if I sort it I'll post a pic of that up as well.

See post 30 ;)

ATB

Tom

Best series of books I've read
https://ramsskullpress.com/product-category/bushcrafts/

i didn't bother getting 8 and 9 as at the time ( when the Aussie dollar was really weak ) but as my interests have changed I think I'll look for a cheap copy of 8 now.
 
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demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,337
329
-------------
See post 30 ;)

ATB

Tom

Best series of books I've read
https://ramsskullpress.com/product-category/bushcrafts/

i didn't bother getting 8 and 9 as at the time ( when the Aussie dollar was really weak ) but as my interests have changed I think I'll look for a cheap copy of 8 now.

Oops, missed that.
Yeah, I have one of them I bought from a secondhand bookstore in the UK. Seems like few in the UK know about them and there's a LOT of good info in them.
 

Jared

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 8, 2005
2,622
148
47
Wales
Really Cool! Thank you! I just don't get why the indirect way of heating instead of just pulling out water from the tank directly.. Do you?

Think it needs less fuel, once the tank (thermal mass) is hot it'll stay hot for awhile after the fire has died out due to the insulation.

And the other is safety, I think, if it gets too hot the tank water will vent steam, and not direct it through the shower.
 

tombear

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 9, 2004
4,099
193
51
Rossendale, Lancashire
I was wondering how you regulate the temperature coming out of the shower head with water coming straight out of the directly heated tanks types. Some sort of mixing from whatever header tank is used to fill the boiling vessel? Precise control of the fire heating the water?

Aye, I love the Ron Edwards books. I was lucky and got most of them cheap from various sources and a few at full price when there was about three Au$ to the pound .

atb

Tom
 

VikingGirl

Member
Mar 23, 2016
42
0
Gent
Think it needs less fuel, once the tank (thermal mass) is hot it'll stay hot for awhile after the fire has died out due to the insulation.

And the other is safety, I think, if it gets too hot the tank water will vent steam, and not direct it through the shower.


But, couldn't the same thing be achieved by just pulling the water out of the tank?
The valve would still be there, and the heat also after the fire is gone, sometimes it feels uneccesary to me, is there something I'm not seeing?
Maybe is to keep the thermal mass always at the same level, but I rather fill the tank every now and then and avoid all the copper coil connection.
Am i crazy?
 

VikingGirl

Member
Mar 23, 2016
42
0
Gent
I was wondering how you regulate the temperature coming out of the shower head with water coming straight out of the directly heated tanks types. Some sort of mixing from whatever header tank is used to fill the boiling vessel? Precise control of the fire heating the water?

Aye, I love the Ron Edwards books. I was lucky and got most of them cheap from various sources and a few at full price when there was about three Au$ to the pound .

atb

Tom

One could add another tank for the cold water. But the simplest way would be just feeling the water, and adding cold water as needed ir order get the right temperature.
That's how I am planning to do it. I would never feel the tank all the way up, both for having room for regultating temperature and also to prevent spilling by boiling.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,264
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Thanks. I'm more interested in simplicity than cleverness, so I'll apprciate it :)
Hotwatertank close to fire,
Simply coiled copper pipe, zig zag style, at the back and above the fire. Going into an (insulated) hotwatertank. Tank needs to have a vent hole at the top, in case it works better than ai thought.
As the tank is close to the fire place, like in the room next door, the heat transmitted through the copper will heat the water in the tank.
No water in the copper pipe. The copper pipe is just a heat conductor.

I have seen a kind of jacket around the chimney flue in old houses with a cast iron stoves.

I used to own an historic house in the mountains between Germany and Czech Rep.
It had a stowe in the kitchen, a cast iron box construction surrounded by bricks, with a water tank beside the firebox. A tap on the front.
Worked super well.

Using that idea maybe the easiest is to have a metal ( copper?) pipe/ tube, good for 20-40 liters or so, copper pipe (cold water) in at the top, copper ( hot water) pipe out at the bottom.

You need a thermostat regulated tap/ shower though so you do not scald yourself!


That should work?
 
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Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,264
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
I read your first post again, Viking girl, and noticed that your off the grid shelter is a fair distance from the nearest civilisation. As most ideas here, including mine, include a lot of materials, I have a different solution for you: you need a galvanized bucket, a length of hose with a cut off valve and a shower head. The cut off valve close to the shower head.
Length of hose - to reach from bottom of bucket, over the ege and so the shower head is below the bottom of the bucket on the outside.
Heat the water in the bucket. When nice and warm, immerse the hose with shower head, hang on a branch so the bucket is above head height.
Turn on the water and enjoy!

The only thing I would recommend is to stir the water in the bucket before you shower, and test as you would test a baby bottle. You do not want to scald yourself!

Of course, if you have a good friend that is skilled with welding or hot soldering, he/she can attach permsnrntly a length of pipe, an all metal valve and an all metal shower head to the bottom side of the bucket.
 
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VikingGirl

Member
Mar 23, 2016
42
0
Gent
I read your first post again, Viking girl, and noticed that your off the grid shelter is a fair distance from the nearest civilisation. As most ideas here, including mine, include a lot of materials, I have a different solution for you: you need a galvanized bucket, a length of hose with a cut off valve and a shower head. The cut off valve close to the shower head.
Length of hose - to reach from bottom of bucket, over the ege and so the shower head is below the bottom of the bucket on the outside.
Heat the water in the bucket. When nice and warm, immerse the hose with shower head, hang on a branch so the bucket is above head height.
Turn on the water and enjoy!

The only thing I would recommend is to stir the water in the bucket before you shower, and test as you would test a baby bottle. You do not want to scald yourself!

Of course, if you have a good friend that is skilled with welding or hot soldering, he/she can attach permsnrntly a length of pipe, an all metal valve and an all metal shower head to the bottom side of the bucket.

Hey Janne, thank you so much for taking the time to explain your idea in full details. Much appreciated.
After all the ideas I have recieved, I feel very inclined towards a simple heating of a metal bucket/tank inside of a stove, probably a rocket mass one. And directly connected to a short pipe leading to a closeby shower.

I didn't understand entirely the mechanism you had back at your place in Germany, but you think a coil without water in it would be a good enough conductor?
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,264
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Hey Janne, thank you so much for taking the time to explain your idea in full details. Much appreciated.
After all the ideas I have recieved, I feel very inclined towards a simple heating of a metal bucket/tank inside of a stove, probably a rocket mass one. And directly connected to a short pipe leading to a closeby shower.

I didn't understand entirely the mechanism you had back at your place in Germany, but you think a coil without water in it would be a good enough conductor?

A solid copper rod is more efficient, but more difficult to bend.
Yes it will transmit heat if the distance is short.

It would be easier if you told us more in detail how your house/ shelter is. Is it a house?

With my bucket idea I assumed it is a shelter type a tent, with an open fire outside. If you have a house or cabin there are better solutions, but just as easy.
Basically two buckets, the lower one adopted for a fire, the top one as described.

The house I owned on the German border ( in Czech Republic) was built in the early 1800's, comletely original and oldfashioned.
The iron plate ( not cast iron) cooking / hot water device was incredibly simple, yet ingenious. Built in in a large brick construction with the flue zig zagging inside, an brick oven beside and a bed above.

They were not stupid in those days, they used the fuel to the max. It takes a lot of hard work to get wood, so they used it as efficiently as possible.

Making fire 3 times a day, maybe one hour a time, cooked all our meals and drink, gave all the hot water for me and my family and heated the room. The brick construction as like a heat sink, radiated heat all the time.
Never baked any bread, just roasted chicken and pork in the oven.

It was our holliday getaway for 10 years. We did gently modernize it though. Electricity, pump fed water, sewage. But we hardly used the modern kitchenette I installed, the wood fired range/oven was much cheaper and better.
( I did buy the wood though)
 
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VikingGirl

Member
Mar 23, 2016
42
0
Gent
A solid copper rod is more efficient, but more difficult to bend.
Yes it will transmit heat if the distance is short.

It would be easier if you told us more in detail how your house/ shelter is. Is it a house?

With my bucket idea I assumed it is a shelter type a tent, with an open fire outside. If you have a house or cabin there are better solutions, but just as easy.
Basically two buckets, the lower one adopted for a fire, the top one as described.

Hi Janne :)

Ok, my shelter is basically a cabin. About 20 sq meters, 10mts per floor, and now I was considering building a low level bathroom. Fireplace would sit just right above it.
Structure is made of wooden beams. Walls are made of mud. Roof is made of tree bark, there's no artificial elements in the construction except two tarps for insulation, one on the floor, one under the roof bark.

If I understand correctly, you had a kind or russian stove at your place? I'm thinking of something similar but doable with natural elements, since I can't bring refractory bricks or iron that far away.

My plan right now is for a rocket mass stove. What do you think about it? The only external element I would need is a metal container, and connections to the shower plus shower head.

Thank you again for your response.
 
Apr 12, 2014
476
0
middle earth


And everyone put there heads on one side...



And back up.





All from various volumes of his 10 book series.

One of these built into the side of a fire place? How much of the time do you need hot water compared to heat/ cooking? If the boiler isn't separate it will be "on" all the time the fires going and in the summer when you may not want a fire you'll still have to have one if you need hot water. I remember as a kid the only hot water came from a back boiler in the living room which also fed the radiators and how hot that room got on a bath night in summer. It was bliss when the council fitted immersion heaters as a alternative .

Also unless you want to shower in front of the fireplace ( and have to deal with the run off ) you'll have to pipe the water somewhere which will require more materials and cause a greater heat loss the further you have to pipe it.

Just my rambling thoughts.


ATB

Tom
What are the titles of these books tombear? They look really interesting!

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