Ken, most everyone knows the importance of clean potable water. It might be interesting to find out from the MSB group what people plan to do about the luxury of hot water. Thanks for one of the best sites on the internet.
~ from a MSB commenter
What a great question. And a important consideration for those into higher level preparedness. Where’s your hot water going to come from if the grid goes down? Got that one figured out? Which “alternative energy” source are you going to use?
This conversation presumes that you have a water source! That’s #1 of course. Don’t count on your municipal water flowing when the grid goes down longer than just a temporary outage. Their generators and pumps should function until such time that they don’t…
Hot Water – How to get it without the grid
I’ll throw out a few thoughts. There are a number of solutions. Some are more costly and permanent installations. Others quite portable.
The simplest of course are portable ways to get hot water. What do I mean by that? Well, heating water over a fire. This could simply be a pot over an outdoor fire. It could be set in the coals, or maybe hung from a tripod.
You might get into building a nice little (or bigger) fire pit. Configure it to hold a grill/grate (cooking!). You might get a tripod to hang a dutch oven. There are lots of ways to do this.
Do you want to know a really fast way to boil water over a fire outside? I have one of these. It’s a “Solo Stove”. A rocket stove design. It is very efficient with the wood. Way less 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).
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.
My primary fuel source for my rural home is a buried 1,000 gallon propane tank. So I have a propane stove/oven in the kitchen. No problem for me to heat up water on the stove! 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.
You might get one of those black solar shower bags for outdoors. Used for camping.The sun heats it up. It won’t get real hot, but enough to comfortably clean up. Not enough for boiling water for food prep.
[ Solar Shower Bag ]
You could even install a permanent system which basically is a series of black pipe that heats up from the sun. It’s integrated 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!
Got a solar oven? That will heat up water quite nicely. (when the sun is shining!)
Any BLACK container. Fill with water, set in sun. Preferably on a insulated surface rather than directly on the ground (heat sink).
Okay, lets hear your thoughts on this subject. What would you do for a hot water source?