Install an Outdoor Wood Stove

  • 15-30 hours
  • Advanced
  • 6,500-8,000
What You'll Need
Outdoor wood stove
Twine or rope

The outdoor wood stove is an energy efficient device designed to have the best of both worlds. The wood stove itself remains outside the house, but is connected to the home via pipes. These pipes carry heat back into the house, although they can also be used to heat greenhouses and patios. Installing an outdoor wood stove removes the odor of burning wood from your house, but keeps it at a useful distance, and keen home improvement fans might enjoy the task of installing and using their own outdoor wood stove. This may take several hours to complete, but following a few simple steps can make it seem like an easy task.

Step 1 - Preparation

There are 2 things which need to be done before the outdoor wood stove can be installed.

  1. Dig a hole the size of your stove, and around 4 inches deep. Fill this with concrete, and allow to set.
  2. Dig a trench, below the frost line, for pipes. The frost line is the maximum depth that frost penetrates in your area. The trench will need to be big enough to hold 2 rows of 1 inch PEX pipe, and a 6 inch pipe for wires.

Step 2 - Install the Stove

Follow the manufacturer's instructions when building the outdoor wood stove on the concrete flooring. Check that all pipes and connections can travel into the stove's frame without being damaged, and add a little bit of cement to the bottom of the stove to keep it in one place.

Step 3 - Install the Heat Exchanger

The heat exchanger should be installed along with the furnace, and be connected to the output plenum. Sizes to fit the plenum should be available from all good hardware stores, or online. Connect pipes to the furnace and the heat exchanger using compression fittings. Use a wrench to tighten the fittings so that the pipes are held tightly.

Step 4 - Connect the Wires

Install the pipe into the house's hot water heater, so that it is a complete circuit. The hot water will now circulate backwards and forwards through the hot water heater, using the heat exchange furnace. Once you have completed this part of the job, you can add a circuit breaker to your breaker junction, and connect the wires to the breaker box. Add a thermostat which will help to regulate the amount of heat produced by your stove, and connect it to the wire pipe. Use the next wire in the pipe to connect to the pump, so that it will only run when the demand for your hot water is triggered.

Step 5 - Finishing Up

Fill your heater with water, and then place wood in the stove, and set alight. Make sure that there are no leaks and failures in the pipes, and that the hot water is circulating throughout the system. Check that you have hot water. You can now either use this water for heating, or simply as another source of hot water for the family.