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Thread: Wood Stove Hot Water?

  1. #1
    Registered Member mmorris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Monson, Ma.

    Default Wood Stove Hot Water?

    I have a wood stove just outside my fish room, and I've been heating a 7 or 8 gallon pot of water on top of it to use for mixing before a water change. It isn't enough, of course, and I have to use a lot of hot water produced by my oil heater. I'd like to produce more hot water from the wood stove, and I've been researching plans on the internet. Most either leave out important information or they make it more complicated than I want to do. I'm thinking of coiling 50 ft of 1/4 in. copper piping around the stove pipe. I'd install an insulated, food-safe plastic bin to store the water above the wood stove. One end of the copper piping would run from the bottom of the bin to the coil on the stove pipe. The heat would force the water up the copper pipe and into the top of the bin which would draw more water from the bottom of the bin into the copper pipe (the thermosiphoning principle). Does anyone have any experience or technological know-how with this sort of thing? Thanks!

  2. #2
    SimplyDiscus Sponsor and MVP Nov.2015 Disgirl's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    Eastern North Carolina USA

    Default Re: Wood Stove Hot Water?

    Sounds like a good plan, but I wonder about the safety of the copper pipe for the water that will go into your tanks. Will this be safe for the fish? Can discus take copper in their water, even in tiny amounts? Good luck with it!

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  3. #3
    Registered Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    San Francisco

    Default Re: Wood Stove Hot Water?

    I agree with Barb copper can be damaging. I knew a contract breeder that claims that his breeding operation decline because of the copper pipes. I do have some copper pipes in my house but it didn't affect my operation. There is also a copper tester available at most LFS.


  4. #4
    Registered Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Long Island, New York
    Real Name

    Default Re: Wood Stove Hot Water?

    Most water in our homes is supplied by copper pipes and doesn't seem to be a problem. I've used tap water supplied by copper pipes for over 50 years in my tanks and never had an issue. It does seem like it's a lot of work for little gain. Could you just store water in a drum until it's at room temp? If it sits overnight the chlorine will disperse also. If you really want to do this i suggest going to a wood stove forum i've seen post on doing this.

  5. #5
    Registered Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    Default Re: Wood Stove Hot Water?

    Hi Martha
    Hope all is well with you. It's been a while since I've been up to your house, 3 years I think, but I remember the stove.
    Your idea of wrapping the copper around the pipe would be problematic at best. You would have to made sure it was in
    absolute contact with the pipe. This is almost impossible to to . Plus depending on temp differential to move the water
    is painfully slow.
    If I remember, your storage pail was pretty close to the stove. I would move it close to the stove and let it heat the water,
    to what ever temp you want and using a small submersible pump with a hose attached pump it in to your tanks.
    That said, copper pipe is not detrimental to fish and I would bet most of the folks on here have copper piping in there houses.

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