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Finished Greenhouse Wood Stove Boiler Heating System

I finished putting together the off grid winter greenhouse boiler heating system. This is a fully homemade system using a wood stove and two 55 gallon barrels. Some PVC pipe fittings and some PEX lines are all that were needed to complete the system.


This system will operate on the thermosyphon effect. Water will be self flowing through the boiler system. This works because cold water is more dense than hot water so the cold water pushes the hot water up through the pipes. As long as you continue to apply heat in the wood stove, the water will continue to cycle through the system on its own. There are no moving parts and nothing to wear out.


I had originally started out using all PVC pipes and fittings but I was told on the comments on my YouTube video that PVC pipe will soften and cannot handle heat. So I did some research and found out that it may be a problem. At the hardware store they told me that people use it all the time for hot water though. And some friends of mine told me the same thing. I just do not want to risk having any problems in the future so I went back to town and got some 3/4 inch PEX pipe and some Sharkbite adapters to fit the plumbing that I currently have in place.




If you missed the first part of the project, you can find the video and article here:


Video: Working On Greenhouse Wood Stove Boiler System


Article: Building A Wood Stove Boiler System For Greenhouse Heating


Otherwise, please read on.


I finished assembling the PVC fittings which to onto the 55 gallon steel barrels. These I had already purchased and started to assemble the other day. I had to reduce the large barrel fittings from 2 inches down to 3/4 inch PEX tubing and the smaller fittings just required a 3/4 inch pipe thread.


I wanted to have a filler neck and pressure release tube on the top fitting of the upper barrel. So I used a T connector and an elbow to make this happen. The fitting was loose in the PVC coupling though and I had trouble glueing it together. It was too loose. I was afraid that this will give me trouble later.


I changed out the fittings on the wood stove boiler with the PEX Sharkbite fittings. The 3/4 inch PEX tubing just slides right into these fittings with no tools needed. To remove them all you need is a little plastic tool and the tubing slides right back out again. This is perfect for temporary connections. In my case it was cheaper than buying a near $100 PEX wrench for compressing the cheaper clamps onto the tubing.

Finally I had all the fittings in place and cut the PEX tubing to fit. The top PEX tube was a bit stiff and actually made the loose PVC fitting move on me. The glue was not yet fully set up. Most likely due to the cold weather and temperatures inside the greenhouse at this time.


I got all the fittings and tubing together and went into the off grid tiny house on wheels for a warm up break.


Wood Stove Thermosyphon Heating System
Wood Stove Thermosyphon Water Boiler Heating System


Inside Melanie and I opened up a package that had arrived in the mail. This was a large box with gifts for Melanie, Chris and myself. It was jam packed full of goodies for us all. Thank you very much.


Melanie has been working on our recycled pallet wood products inside the tiny house during the day times. She is very talented and is doing the wood burning art work on the pallet wood products. Right now we are making coffee coasters out of recycled pallet wood. You can find our store here:


Please bookmark the site and check back often. We are constantly making new products using recycled pallet and barn wood. We have tons of ideas and new products on the way.


Wood Burning Pallet Wood Coffee Coasters
Wood Burning Pallet Wood Coffee Coasters


We had a medical emergency with our cat Felix about a week ago and took him into the vet. Thanks to a donation at the time, we were able to save our beloved cat. Melanie would be devestated without Felix. He is so special. He follows Melanie around all day and only sleeps at night. He plays fetch with us with his favorite mouse toy. This is a rare thing in a cat. Thank you for your donation. We also made it through some other crises that arrose at that time.


Baby cat is still around but she does not move as much in the winter months. She just sleeps the day away most of the time. She is generally on my lap but it is hard for me to show that when I am running the camera at the time.


You can see the video from today's work here: Greenhouse Wood Stove Boiler ~ Packages Arrived ~ Wood Working


While you are over there please subscribe to my YouTube channel and follow my daily videos as we strive to become self sufficient and off the grid on a budget.

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Troy Reid


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