How Long do Wood Stove Baths take to Heat Up?

Wood stove baths (also known as wood-fired hot tubs) are soaking tubs that use a wood-burning stove rather than an electric heater to heat water.

They are usually made from cedar wood and are circular or barrel-shaped, but they can also be rectangular.

If you love soaking in a hot tub you might be tempted but how long do wood stove baths take to heat up?

Below, we’ll look at the details, explain how long wood stone baths take to heat up, and explore some other significant aspects you might want to consider.

How Long do Wood Stove Baths take to Heat Up?

In most cases, during cold seasons, a bath or hot tub of this design will take around 2 to 3 hours for the heat to warm your water from 45 degrees Fahrenheit to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. However, this will depend on what model you are using and several other factors.

What can affect the heat time?

  • The season/weather
  • The amount of water being heated
  • The type of wood being used
  • The size of the heater
  • Insulation
  • The size of the tub
  • Position of tub (exposure to elements)

How do Wood Stove Baths Work?

Heating a wood stove bath does require more work than if you were to use a gas or electric one, but the basics are the same.

First, the water from the tub reservoir passes through the heating element, then through a filtration system, and finally back into the bath. A big difference between a wood stove bath and other types of tubs is that they cannot keep your water at a specific temperature. This means that the hotter water will rise to the top and the cooler water will sink to the bottom. When you are soaking you can use a paddle to stir the water occasionally to combat this issue.

When starting a fire in the stove, you should use clean-burning paper for the first ignition, then dry kindling, overlaid with criss-crossed logs. The more wood you use, the faster the water in the tub will reach the desired soaking temperatures, which is around 104 F. Furthermore, the more wood you add, the longer the temperature will remain at the desired soaking temperature. 

Damp the fire and reduce the airflow if the water starts to get too hot. This will help reduce the temperature quickly.

Ensure you keep the wood heater’s exterior cooled because some stoves are made of metal and this will melt if you don’t monitor the cooling system. Smoke can also become an issue in a wood stone bath. If you use a high-heat, low-smoke fuel source, you can reduce the amount of smoke.

Lastly, make sure you keep your chimney obstruction-free and clean.

How to Heat a Wood Stove Bath?

During the summer seasons, it will take around one to two hours to heat a wood stone bath. But in colder seasons it can take approximately three to four hours. This needs to be considered before you start.

Step one: Prepare firewood

Make kindling, chop fine firewood and have larger logs ready. Use dry firewood to help avoid smoke production by the wood. Furthermore, combine softwood such as fir and pine along with hardwood such as beech and oak in equal amounts.

Step two: Fill your tub with water

Connect the water hose to your wood stove bath and start filling it with water. Fill it up until the water levels reach approximately four to eight inches below the tub’s top ridge.

Step three: Assess the water levels

Do not light your heater while the tub is empty or if the water levels are lower than the recommended four to eight inches below the top ridge of your tub. Turn the heater on once the water is at the right level and close the lid. Closing the lid will help the water heat up faster. Keeping a thermometer floating on the water will make it easier to read the water’s temperature.

Step four: Start with tinder and kindling

Try to avoid burning papers because the ashes and chips will end up getting out via the chimney of a wood stone bath and get into your water. Use softwood to build up the fire.

Step five: Burn firewood

Start heating your water by burning medium-sized firewood to help speed up the time it takes to for it to become hot. When using large pieces of firewood, it can take longer for the water to heat up. This is why medium-size wood is recommended.

Step six: Maintain the heat

Once the water has reached the right temperature, you should add ample firewood to your heater. It is also recommended to use hardwood at this stage because it burns for an extended period.

Wood stove baths can be a bit trickier to heat up than electric or gas options. However, when you do take the plunge (pun intended!) the actual heating process doesn’t take too long when you have the right materials and a good system in place.

As with anything stove related, a wood stove bath or hot tub can add character and charm to a home, as well as a unique experience. We hope this helps, and for everything else home heating stick with