The house I bought this summer has an electric water heater that accounts for half of my monthly electric bill.
Now that the colder weather is here (at least in the north) I have been using the wood stove in the basement. Its not really a "stove" like the one my grandparents cooked on, it is about 4 feet high and is designed soley to produce heat. The wood stove sits about 4 feets from the electric water heater.
I know nothing about plumbing, but I have an idea that I would like to bounce off you guys.
Since the air directly over the wood stove is hot, why don't I hang a metal water tank off the floor joists directly over the wood stove, and insert this tank into the cold water infeed line for the water heater. The copper cold water infeed is located directly over the stove.
I would have to work out some details like size (20 gallons?) and type of metal (I was thinking copper?) and where one would even find a tank like this, but before I started off on a wild goose chase or call my local plumber, I just wanted to know if this is even feasible.
Even when the stove isn't on, I think it would still save money if the frigid well water were to rise even to room temperature.
I was thinking that there might be a problem if the water got too hot and started to turn into steam, and some sort of blow-off valve might be necessary, but the hot water heater itself has one, so maybe since they are connected, that one could work double-duty. I don't think the water would get that hot though.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. -Stephanie D.