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Thread: Heating Water with wood?

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    Join Date
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    Heating Water with wood?

    Just curious if anyone has ever tried to heat their pool using a wood stove (or something similar)? Saw some youtube videos of people pumping their pool water through piping which ran through wood heat (fire, burn barrel, etc) and back into the pool. Sounded like a pretty easy way to heat it if you have the space, time, etc.

    Any thoughts or ideas?
    Intex 15 ft x 42" Above Ground Pool bought from Amazon (3, 284 gallons)
    Standard pump and cartridge filter that came with the set up (1,000 gph)
    I live in Northern, MN

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Heating Water with wood?

    Check the search box.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Heating Water with wood?

    Check my pool pics album and the sub album.
    http://s1094.photobucket.com/user/bc...?sort=3&page=1

    I've made two different styles of heater, the first being a direct burn, and the second -- current one -- being rocket stove style.

    Search my posts, I've given a description of the builds in other threads.

    Heating with wood is only viable if you have a source of free or almost free wood. Otherwise it would actually be less expensive to use natural gas or propane.
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: Heating Water with wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie_R View Post
    Check my pool pics album and the sub album.
    http://s1094.photobucket.com/user/bc...?sort=3&page=1

    I've made two different styles of heater, the first being a direct burn, and the second -- current one -- being rocket stove style.

    Search my posts, I've given a description of the builds in other threads.

    Heating with wood is only viable if you have a source of free or almost free wood. Otherwise it would actually be less expensive to use natural gas or propane.
    Tried doing some searching to read about your builds but wasn't able to find them. Do you know the exact posts?
    Intex 15 ft x 42" Above Ground Pool bought from Amazon (3, 284 gallons)
    Standard pump and cartridge filter that came with the set up (1,000 gph)
    I live in Northern, MN

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Heating Water with wood?

    Heating a pool with wood requires ridiculously huge amounts of wood and constant attention on the heater as more wood needs to be added frequently. It is completely impractical for anything but a stunt.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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    Re: Heating Water with wood?

    I have a small intex pool 16' by 48" deep and I checked into all methods of heating including wood and went with a Hayward natural gas heater. I bought on Craigslist and hooked up myself. If you are handy enough to create a wood stove heater than I would just go with gas, buy on craigslist and do the install. I actually have my gas heater right next to the house and ran PVC pipe to the pool. About 60 feet one way so I didnt have to bury the gas lines. i have ground cover plants that cover the PVC.

    To me this is the only way to go, easy to switch on and off. I have 1.5 inch PVC running to the heater and it takes about 4 hours to raise the pool 10-15 degrees. That would be alot of wood.
    Intex Ultra Frame 16' by 48" deep - Pentair Superflo 1.5 HP pump with sand filter, Hayward H150 Heater, Hayward Skimmer and 2nd return

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    Charlie_R's Avatar
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    Re: Heating Water with wood?

    Believe me, if I could afford the higher gas bill, I would go with that. Since I get the wood for free, and had most of the parts sitting around, I went with the home built heater. Yes, I agree it take a huge amount of wood to bring the pool up 15 degrees.

    Here's the link to the description:

    http://www.troublefreepool.com/threa...557#post702557
    15'x48" 4500 gallon Intex pool, buried 1.5 ft. Pac-Fab Dynamo 3/4 hp pump. Hayward S180T sand filter, bought used. Taylor K-2006 test kit. Rocket mass heater based wood fired pool heater.

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    Re: Heating Water with wood?

    I put in a cheap submersible pump ($16 at harbor freight). Connected about 50 foot of garden hose to the pump which connects to a zig-zag pattern I made out of of galvanized pip. This is in my fire pit. Then another garden hose connected to the galvanized pipe and back into the pool. Water coming out of pool is 68 deg. Water going back into the pool is 110+ deg (my pool thermometer topped off). I can't hold my hand in the return water for more than 5 seconds. I used scrap construction wood for right now (have plenty of access to that and lumber from our property). I plan to get 55 gallon drum and cut that and place zig-zag in there with wood. I will keep every one posted if it works for me or not.
    Intex 15 ft x 42" Above Ground Pool bought from Amazon (3, 284 gallons)
    Standard pump and cartridge filter that came with the set up (1,000 gph)
    I live in Northern, MN

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Heating Water with wood?

    A heater like that is not at all efficient. Counterintuitively, the lower the water temperature coming out of the heater, the more efficient the heater is. You want high flow rates and low temperature gain for efficient heating. Because of the low flow rate you will get very slow heating and won't be able to raise the water temperature in the pool by very much.

    Also, galvanized pipe won't hold up to swimming pool water. For some while it will release iron into the pool water and eventually it will fail.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
    Creator of PoolMath and Pool Calculator. Other handy links: Support this site, TF Test Kits, Pool School

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