How to Heat Water Without Electricity (10 Easy Methods)

how to heat water without electricity

Having hot water in our pipes is one of the modern conveniences that we often take for granted. After all, hot water is available with just the twist of a tap. But, what happens when the power goes out? Or when you’re in an emergency situation and there is no electricity available. What do you do in these situations? 

Knowing how to heat water without electricity is a skill all of us should have. This will help you to be ready for any eventuality. Even though power outages are often for short periods. You never know when there may be a major disaster that can cause the power to be out for days or even weeks.

The good news is there are several ways to heat water without any need for electricity. In this article I’ll be sharing 10 simple methods to do just that. 

10 Easy Ways to Heat Water Without Electricity

How do you heat water without using electricity? Whether you are trying to heat water for drinking, cleaning or cooking, there are many ways to do this. Here are 10 easy ways to heat water without using electricity

1. Barbecue Grill

Making tasty BBQ chicken and ribs isn’t the only thing that your barbecue grill is good for. A BBQ grill is a quick and easy method for heating water. Whether it’s a gas or charcoal grill, all you have to do is get it fired up, put a pot or kettle with water on the grill and within a few minutes you’ll have hot water.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Barbecue Grill
  • Pot with Lid/Kettle
  • Charcoal/Propane
  • Lighter Matches

2. Camp Stove

A camp stove is another way that you can easily heat water without electricity. Those of you who are avid campers like myself, may already have a camp stove. If you don’t, the Gas ONE GS-1000 is a very affordable option. You’ll only need this stove and a canister of butane and you’re ready to have the hot water you need. 

Another option I recommend that’s a bit more expensive, but comes with some amazing features when the power is out, is the BioLite Campstove. I personally love it. The best thing about it, is that it uses twigs and sticks for fuel.

It brings water to a boil in only 4.5 minutes and also provides you with light and electricity to charge your phone. There’s even a survival gear combo that comes with a kettle and portable grill to make heating water that much easier.

Things You’ll Need

  • Camp Stove (Gas/Wood)
  • Pot/Metal Container with water
  • Canister of Butane/Propane or Wood, Twigs
  • Lighter/Matches

Recommended Reading: 30 Cool Survival Gadgets You Need to Survive Any Emergency

3. Gas Stove

If you have a gas range at home, then you don’t have much of an issue with having hot water during a power outage. The only problem you may face is the fact that your automatic ignition won’t work. So, it’s best to have some matches or a lighter on hand for these circumstances.

So, when the power goes out, simply turn on the gas, strike your matches or lighter and you’re all set. 

Things You’ll Need

  • Gas Stove
  • Propane
  • Matches/Lighter
  • Pot with Water

4. Rocket Stove

A rocket stove is another easy option for heating or boiling water. A rocket stove includes a feed slot, a burning chamber that looks like a chimney with an opening on top to release heat. These stoves are quite efficient because it’s well insulated and perfect for conserving heat.

Wood is fed through the bottom part of the rocket stove, then you light it up. Air gets into the stove through the feed slot, which causes the wood pieces to heat faster. The heat then travels up the burn chamber.

All you have to do is place a pot with water on top of the burning chamber and it will heat up fast. You can purchase a rocket stove, or make your own.

Things You’ll Need:

  • A rocket stove
  • A pot of water
  • Wood pieces, wood shavings
  • Lighter/matches

5. Fire Pit

Turn a power outage into a fun family activity. Use your fire pit and start a fire outside. The hardest part about starting a fire is finding the right materials to keep the fire going.

You will need some cardboard or paper so that the wood pieces catch fire easily. Making a fire is also an excellent survival skill to have in case you find yourself in a disaster.

Remember to use protective gear for your hands when removing the pot once boiled. Use oven mitts, or two thick pieces of cloth to hold the pot.

Things You’ll Need

  • Firewood
  • Lighter/Matches
  • Pot with Water/Kettle
  • Kindling to Help Start the Fire (Small Twigs, Cardboard, Pieces of Paper etc.)

Recommended Reading: 10 Best Canned Meats for Survival & Prepping

6. Solar Shower Bags

If you’re in an area that gets a lot of sunshine, then solar shower bags are a great way to heat water without electricity. For those of you who have never heard of solar shower bags before. They are bags that you fill with water, set in the sun and they use the power of the sun’s rays to heat the water.

This is a really easy way to heat water, the only drawbacks are that it takes between an hour to 3 hours depending on how much water you’re heating and the intensity of the sun. You’ll also need to have a place to hang the bag to get a shower

Solar shower bags work great in the case of a power cut and also if you’re in the great outdoors. 

Things You’ll Need:

  • Solar Shower Bag
  • Water 
  • Sunlight
  • Somewhere to hang the shower bag
Solar Shower Bag Demonstration

7. Sun Kettle Solar Cooker

Another great solar option for heating water is the Sun Kettle Solar Cooker. As the name suggests, this cool gadget is like a kettle, but it uses solar power to heat water. The sun kettle folds out to reveal solar reflection panels.  These panels catch the sun’s rays and heat the water in as little as 45 minutes. 

Things You’ll Need

  • Sun Kettle
  • Sunlight
  • Water
Demonstration of Features of Sun Kettle and How to Use It

8. Wood Stove

A wood stove is a great way to keep your house warm during winter. But you can also use it to heat water at the same time.

Fill your oldest pot with water and place it on top of the flames inside the woodstove and cover it well for good measure. The reason for using the oldest pot is because the outside will be filled with soot. Covering it will prevent the water from smelling or tasting smoky.

Things You’ll Need:

  • A Wood Stove
  • Wood
  • Wood chippings/ cardboard pieces
  • Matches/Lighter
  • Pot and water

9. Hexamine Tablets

Hexamine Tablets are a really cool and effective way to heat water. These lightweight tablets are very affordable and burn without any smoke. They light very easily and each tablet burns for around 10 minutes. More than enough time for you to heat water.

Things You’ll Need:

Heating Water Using Hexamine Tablets

10. Candles

If you’re really in a pinch, candles are an economical and easy way to heat water. It may take a little longer than the other methods mentioned above, but it does get the job done. The video below demonstrates how easy it is to heat water using a candle.

Things You’ll Need:

  • Candle(s)
  • Pot with water
  • Stand to Hold Pot Above Candle/Cans
  • Lighter/Matches
Video Showing How to Heat Water Without Electricity Using a Candle

Final thoughts

I hope that these methods of heating water without electricity are helpful. Utilizing these methods during power outages, will ensure that you have clean water to drink, warm water for a bath, and a warm meal until electricity services are restored.

Benjamin Hughes

Benjamin Hughes is a Vietnam Vet who has been camping, hunting, and fishing for most of his life. He enjoys testing out the newest tactical and survival gear and discussing survival in general.

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