Most everyone knows the importance of clean potable water. But what about the luxury of hot water? What various ways / methods to get hot water when the power is out – the grid is down – without electricity… Or when there is no electric grid…
Hot Water – Without The Electric Grid
I’ll throw out a few thoughts how to have a source of hot water without electricity. There are a number of solutions. Some are more costly and permanent installations. Others, quite portable.
In no particular order,
Pot Of Water Over A Fire
Well, the most primitive method of getting some hot water without electricity is heating it over a fire. This could simply be a pot over an outdoor fire. It could be set in the coals, or maybe a kettle hung from a tripod stand over a fire.
You might build your own fire pit. Configure it to hold a grill/grate (for cooking too!). Or, again, configure a tripod to hang a dutch oven (or whatever). I’ve done this. It can be fun to cook up a pot of ‘fill_in_the_blank’ over a fire. This is the one I have:
Dutch Oven Tripod Stand
Hot Water From A Pot Of Water On A Portable Stove
I have a “Solo Stove”. It’s a rocket stove design. Very efficient with the small pieces of wood / twigs. Way less fuel than you would use in a conventional fire pit! All it takes to get it roaring are a handful of twigs. Feed it a few times, and your water will be boiling in less than 10 minutes (depending how much water / size of pot). There you go… hot water without electricity.
[ Read: Solo Stove Review ]
Got a camp stove? I have several, including the good old Coleman with the pump tank. It takes “white gas”. Their popular model these days is the dual burner propane. I also have a portable propane camp stove and a butane stove (butane being a bit safer for cooking indoors).
Coleman Dual Burner Classic Propane Stove
(view on amzn)
LP Gas For Your Home Appliances
My primary fuel source for my rural home is a buried 1,000 gallon liquid propane tank. So, I have a propane stove/oven in the kitchen. No problem for me to heat up water on the stove! My furnace and hot water heater runs off propane. That much fuel will last a very long time, especially if conserved. Maybe you have propane too. You’re all set – until your tank runs out.
[ Read: Off-Grid Living – Propane Gas ]
Hot Water Solar Shower Bag
You might get one of those solar shower bags for outdoors. Used for camping or any outdoor time when you might to warm up some water.The sun heats it up. It won’t get real hot, but warm enough to comfortably clean up. Not hot enough for boiling water for food prep.
Solar Shower Bag
Hot Water From Roof Mounted System
You could even install a permanent hot water system. It’s basically a series of black pipe that heats up from the sun. It could be integrated as a pre-heater into your existing hot water supply system. Years ago (more than a decade ago) I had a similar system installed on the roof of a previous home. It heated up our swimming pool water. It worked great!
However, this wouldn’t work during the winter in cold climates. It would have to be drained due to freezing temperatures.
Length Of Garden Hose Heats Water From The Sun
I’m sure you’ve all experienced this. The surprising heat of standing water inside of a garden hose that’s laying out in the sun. You turn it on and wow – it’s hot! (at least until the standing water squirts all the way through).
How much water in a 100 foot garden hose…
For every 100 feet of assembled garden hose,
Using mathematical conversions, the volume of water inside a 3/4-inch hose is about 1 gallon. A 5/8-inch hose is about half a gallon. Inside a 1/2-inch hose, there’s about 0.25 gallons of water.
Solar Oven Heats Up Water – Even To A Boil
Got a solar oven? That will heat up water quite nicely. (when the sun is shining!)
Not so good during cold weather. However, other times of the year it’s great. I’ve built a few over the years. And I’ve purchased one that actually gets up to 375 degrees!
[ Read: All American Sun Oven – 10 Years Later ]
Any Black Bucket or Container
Any BLACK container. No electricity required! Fill with water, set in sun. Preferably on a insulated surface rather than directly on the ground (heat sink).
Paint a 5-gallon bucket black. Preferably flat black. Set in sun. Later, enjoy nice hot water. You could even get ‘fancy’ and rig up a valve and/or shower hose/head. Place bucket up high and enjoy a warm shower. WhooHoo – Almost like ‘The Ritz’!
Wood Stove During Winter Months
Those who heat their home with a wood stove do this anyway. But I’ll mention it nonetheless. Place a pot of water on the stove. Not only will it steam some humidity into the room (winter’s are always dry inside), but you’ve got hot water too.
Okay, lets hear your thoughts on this subject. What would you do for hot water without electricity?