Energy & Sustainability
Wood stove from water heater

In the oldies but goodies department, Mother Earth News has an article on how to make a junked water heater into a fancy wood-burning stove. And yes, successfully completing this project does make your hair grow back:)

10 thoughts on “Wood stove from water heater

  1. They also have an article about using a water heater to make a used-oil burner. While I’m certain it’s not what most consider eco-friendly, used oil can typically be burned at a high temp and release far fewer hydrocarbons, and it doesn’t stink since you’re vaporizing the oil before it burns, so you get a complete burn.

  2. If you are looking to build one of these jobbeys, keep in mind that most home insurance companies prefer you have a certified stove. as well, you’ll want to have lots of clearance to combustibles, being in the wood energy buisness for a while, I’ve seen a few DIY jobs that amazed me that they didnt burn their home down.

  3. How the times change — scrap metal is so valuable now that water heaters are a lot scarcer, and city dumps are nonexistant.

  4. Wow, Rip Taylor cooks his own confetti over a water heater stove!
    Seriously, the waste oil version of the burner is quite efficient if you do it right. The double flash plates w/ air holes, flash burn more of the oil. And having the air intake get pre-heated by the exhaust vent, makes it burn hot enough/clean enough. (remember the VW Beetles not meeting emmissions because they didn’t burn hot enough) The drip rate has to be fine tuned to burn right also. That heater can blaze red hot for an hour on a quart of used motor oil with no smell or smoke!!!! That is efficient my friend. And in a drafty garage, using a ‘new’ fuel such as gas or electric is a waste, yet people do it everywhere.
    My main concern is galvanized tanks being used.

  5. I know things are not so good and people like to explore and invent but isn’t making your own heater unit for the home just a little dangerous. There are many companies that make inexpensive stoves with qualified techs that build them. I don’t think I would risk it.

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Luke Iseman

Luke Iseman makes stuff, some of which works. He invites you to drive a bike for a living (, stop killing your garden (, and live in an off-grid shipping container (

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