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The Snorkel® and Scuba® Stoves

We invented the Underwater Woodstove    

The original Snorkel® Stove was created by Roger Evans while he was a physics student at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. The concept of wood-fired hot tubbing was so appealing to family and friends that Roger and skiing buddy Blair Howe formed a company to market the stove and wood hot tubs. The concept of the underwater wood stove for hot tubs was so unique that it was awarded a United States Patent, number 4455997, in 1981.  The Scuba® Stove was developed later and is a smaller version of the Snorkel® Stove designed for smaller hot tubs.

The basic design and operation of the Snorkel® Stove are very simple. It works just like any other wood stove or fireplace, as shown below. The only real difference is the fact that the burning chamber is submerged. Woodstove for a hot tub

  1. Above-water air intake
  2. Stove door/air regulator
  3. Underwater firebox
  4. Heat exchange tubes
  5. Mounting brackets
  6. Corrosion-proof powder-coat finish
  7. Cast aluminum door won’t rust or warp
  8. Simple and easy to clean

Snorkel® stoves: 120,000 BTU, standard with 6’ and larger diameter tubs

Scuba® stoves: 60,000 BTU,standard with 5’ diameter tubs

Take a closer look:
Our underwater woodstove is in complete, direct contact with the water it heats. Only the air intake and chimney are above water. Open the cast aluminum door (7) to load wood. Light the fire and place door as shown (2) for maximum draft. Slide door over air intake (1) as needed to reduce draft. The aluminum firebox (3) heats quickly. Heat exchanger tubes (4) increase the stove’s surface for even faster heating.

How does it work?
Even though our Snorkel® and Scuba® wood stoves are submerged UNDERWATER, water can’t get in. Seams are welded and only the air intake “snorkel” and smokestack are above the water line. Our stoves operate just like an ordinary wood stove or fireplace. To build a fire: place crumpled paper in the bottom of the stove. Put kindling on top, then add small logs or split pieces of wood. Light the paper and leave the air intake fully open. A good draft will immediately establish itself. Once the fire is going strong, add larger logs and split wood. To control the rate of burn, open or close the air intake by sliding the stove door forward or back. Because the entire stove surface is submerged, heat from the fire transfers to the water immediately. That’s all there is to it!

Why is the stove UNDER WATER?
Our wood stoves sit underwater – all but the feed inlet and chimney stack. Complete water contact allows immediate, super efficient heat transfer: our tubs heat hours faster than small, external wood-burning heaters that heat slowly and depend upon convection to circulate water through externally-mounted pipes and water jackets that can easily freeze and burst when not in use during cold weather.

What is the difference between the Snorkel® and Scuba® Stoves?
The Scuba® Stove is just a smaller version of the Snorkel® Stove. It is intended for tubs five feet in diameter and less. The design for the two stoves is the same. For more information, see Designing Your Snorkel® Hot Tub.

High-tech construction
We precision-cut marine grade aluminum with plasma cutting machines, then form our stoves using high-tech bending equipment and hand-weld every seam. More importantly, we powder coat each stove because many water supplies contain concentrations of minerals like calcium and magnesium that will corrode even the highest quality metal alloys if they’re not protected. Powder coating protection allows us to back our stoves with a 3-Year Warranty.

Energy Efficient & Cost Efficient

Expenses: $O

“Operating cost is where the real money gets spent. With Snorkel’s wood heat and well water, my cost is $0. I didn’t want to spend money heating water.”
—Dania Egedi, Corbin KY

The high-efficiency Snorkel® and Scuba® wood-burning stove s-q-u-e-e-z-e maximum heat from firewood: it’s reduced to fine ashes.

Burns Nearly Anything
You can heat your Snorkel® Hot Tub with virtually ANY wood: cut and split firewood, scraps of lumber, fallen branches, cut-up wooden palettes, even coal – though you must install a grate to burn coal. And wood heat is ECONOMICAL, too!

Ideal for Japanese-style, chemical-free hot tubbing
Because of the fast heat up times and the low cost of the heat, many of our customers adopt the Japanese style of hot tubbing. That is, they change the water frequently and don’t use chemicals. They simply fill the tub with fresh water; heat and enjoy a few times; then empty the tub. Scrub lightly with a dilute bleach solution and refill. True Japanese tradition would include a complete cleansing shower for each bather before entering the tub.

Tub Specifications and Heat Rate Chart

Tub Size Gallons Weight 11 kW Elec. Header 100 BTU Gas Heater Snorkel Stove Scuba Stove
  Approximate Temperature Rise (°F/hr)
4 x 3 209 1910 22 51   36
4 x 4 290 2596 16 37   26
5 x 3 336 3032 14 32 45 22
5 x 4 467 4129 10 23 32 16
6 x 3 495 4422 9 21 30 15
6 x 4 686 6028 7 15 22 11
7 x 3 683 5984 7 16 22 11
7 x 4 947 8174 5 11 16 8
8 x 3 902 7870 5 12 17 8
8 x 4 1251 10727  4 8 12 6
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