flower pot heater – here comes the science bit

astonished - the discussion rolls on

this lovely diagram from this bloke




this guy is a genius

and finally a fire warning from the London Fire Brigade



Fire Brigade issues warning over candle powered heaters

The heater uses a combination of tea lights, a loaf tin and flower pots.

Senior Brigade officers are concerned that rising fuel bills and increasingly colder weather will prompt households to copy the video’s creator.

They’re warning that such systems can be unsafe and cause fires which quickly spread out of control – often with fatal consequences.

Station Manager Charlie Pugsley, from the Brigade’s fire investigation team, said he sees “dozens of fires every year, including fatal fires, that are caused by people using alternative forms of heating and lighting, most of which include a naked flame.”

He added: “Candles and tea lights can be extremely dangerous – a small gust of wind can cause an innocent candle flame to set light to objects nearby if left too close.

“We understand that some people may be struggling to pay fuel bills, but we’d urge everyone to think carefully about their safety and the safety of those around them before using candles to heat their homes.”

The Brigade has issued the following safety advice:
• Candles need to be used in a safe, fire resistant holder or container – as you can see in the video, the flower pot would only need the slightest knock to cause it and the candles to fall.
• Candles need to be supervised at all times – so blow them out if you need to leave the room.
• Don’t cover candles with anything – anything placed over a candle flame will get very hot, and could melt or catch fire.
• Stick to radiators and if you’re especially cold, a hot water bottle is a much safer alternative.

Finally the old potheadforkandle story rolls on - it has been given the most marvelous political spin here



this is a work of genius from the UKippers who want to get Britain out of Europe - no real idea why but that aside you have to admire the way they can turn a flower pot and four candles into a political point.  Read and enjoy.



Heating Your Room For A Few Pence - It Really Works too!


I saw this little video on David Icke's website a few days ago, and I was intrigued.  How to heat your room for just pennies!  Well, being that the nasty parties LibLabCon are taking us back deliberately to pre-Victorian Times and making austerity a way of life, and even death, for their own citizens, the thought of a heater costing so little is brilliant.  So being curious I went out and bought some tea lights, a couple of terracotta flower pots and a bread baking tin from my local supermarket to try it out.  I'm delighted with the results; Whilst it doesn't actually produce enough heat to use instead of everything else, it does take the chill off of the air and in small rooms it actually does feel warmer.  Of course, you could use a couple of these in a medium sized room if you wanted to.  Tea lights are sold by the thousands, so I would think people are sensible when using candles of any sort, so be sure you place this little heater out of the way of pets or children and place it where it won't get knocked over. It's just few words of caution, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the lovely caring people in charge will try to put people off of heating their homes, whatever invention comes along (whilst they themselves bask in endless heat, a lot of it claimed back from us in their expenses for their second homes of course, bless them!).  Anyway be careful, but have a go if you want to; People are wonderful, inventive, inspirational and astonishing, no matter what the government's propaganda machine tells us. People will always find a way around problems, especially those problems created just to make our lives a misery!


I have enjoyed every moment of the past few weeks -




This is about Dylan Winter's Blog, Sailing around Britain.

25 Responses to “flower pot heater – here comes the science bit”

  1. 21 November, 2013 at 9:30 pmPaul Mullings says:

    It’s grown a life of its own, where to next?

  2. 21 November, 2013 at 9:33 pmdylan winter says:

    Newsnight – and my joy will be complete

  3. 21 November, 2013 at 10:50 pmJeff says:

    Good grief……..

    If that fire brigade walked thru my front door and witnessed the amount of candles my bride lights every evening we would be
    in jail.

    Clearly the “fire brigade” aren’t sailors. Too bad………they could stand a little “hardening up”

    Stay warm Dylan!

  4. 21 November, 2013 at 11:07 pmPaul says:

    How do ya feel D. After all the things you have done in your life, you have finally made it, not as an adventurer, engineer, horseman, farmer, sailor, writer, documentary maker, truck/tractor driver or journalist, no,, you will be most remembered as, the crazy old flower pot heater youtube guy from the UK. I cant wait to see what the authorities will say when your bubble rope film goes ‘viral’.,

  5. 22 November, 2013 at 8:57 amdylan winter says:

    you have sumarised it nicely – weirdness on a plate. However, it will pass and I shall go back all the dull stuff that does not involve candles and flower pots – other than when I am on the boat in the winter – although a fellow sailor has sent me an Origo heat pal.

  6. 22 November, 2013 at 11:53 amlenny style says:

    Paul Mullings you asked to question “where to next?” answer EBAY! look -http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/301023185090?ssPageName=STRK:MESOX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1561.l2649#ht_525wt_1139

  7. 22 November, 2013 at 3:39 pmPhil Sitch says:

    If you have not got any tea lights, take four Almonds, cut a small cross through the brown skin in the pointed end and push the fatter end into plasticine so they are standing up and light them, you do not get that waxy candle smell……. Fun experiment! you get heat but not very practical I suppose. Could be another video though,

  8. 29 November, 2013 at 12:15 amJohn Davis says:

    This idea has been around for years – I was camping and heating my campervan with a flowerpot back in 2005, with friends who had already been using this method for years. Why the sudden attention for an old story?

  9. 29 November, 2013 at 8:20 amdylan winter says:

    You are so right – people used to heat Anderson shelters this way too. I have absolutely no idea why this film has taken off. Of course youtube promotes films more heavily if they can take all the money from the film rather than have to share it with the person who produced it. So Google have avoided paying out $3,000 dollars by promoting this film as opposed to the others where people earn adsense revenue. There are are a lot of people in fuel poverty. Youtube tells me where the film is being watched – a lot of the hits are now coming from Greece and Spain.

  10. 29 November, 2013 at 9:11 pmmark says:

    I made one!! not fantastic, but it was cheap and fun to build. I bought my pots from B&Q and the girl on the checkout said ‘are you building a heater’ lol… To get more life out of your tealights, try freezing them first, you will get at least another hour out of them!

    Love it :)

  11. 30 November, 2013 at 8:32 amdylan winter says:

    I agree…. not fantastic….but pretty good for taking the chill off a small space

    some of the comments on the film are pretty funny

    you also have to admire the way the human race are so good at tweaking things

    some people have tried to scale up to 12 candles under one large pot and they have caught fire… some people tried five side by side and the room smelt of burning candles…. one bloke tried them under a metal plate – eight candles – they caught fire…. one bloke complained that it did not heat his 24 foot x 12 foot room….there are a few crypto scientists who like to use the word thermodynamics with very little understanding of the words they use….the worrying thing is the combination of arrogance,ignorance and rudeness some people display…it has been great fun though – added to the entertainment value of an otherwise dull November.

  12. 1 December, 2013 at 6:49 pmmichael says:

    It works partially. You can also use an infrared light bulb. But if this system will ever become very popular, I’m sure the Geman government would decide to tax candles to the point of making them unaffordable. And Germany being the big boss in Europe, if they say so then every other country would have to comply, including the UK.

  13. 1 December, 2013 at 7:15 pmdylan winter says:

    I will go with partially – nothing wrong with partially

    of course it is only partially heating my office – a few watts are coming from me and the computers

    the inability of some people to listen to what the man in the video says is worrying

    even worse is the truly appalling understanding of physics some people demonstrate

    but worst of all is the combination of arrogance and ignorance some people show in their posts


  14. 19 December, 2013 at 7:38 pmSteve Habbishaw says:

    Sod the bloody fire brigade, it’s a brilliant idea! Here’s a tip people that the fire brigade neglected to mention…….don’t be a careless test and you won’t die! Besides they also need to remember who pays there bloody wages, cheeky sods!

    Stay warm Dylan


  15. 28 December, 2013 at 2:25 amkristen says:

    I am trying it now with two electric heaters running! I live on a boat 41ft cabin cruiser,I really think it is taking the dampness out. I live up North in the USA.

  16. 16 February, 2014 at 12:06 amHolyC says:

    I need to tell my experience to help people preventing same accident!
    I built my pot heater and for about 50 minutes everything worked fine. Then I went to the kitchen again as I smelled smoke and the kitchen table was burning! Thanks God it had only started but, it ruined anyway and will have to change it. The tea lights were sitting on top of cork glass holders that went on fire and burnt the wood of the table underneath!
    If I would have arrived 1 hour later probably my entire house would have been burnt!
    If you try this at home so, don’t leave candles unattended and especially put them on the floor, on tiles where nothing can burn underneath! I risked to set my house on fire today!

  17. 12 March, 2016 at 8:46 pmBrian Lennon says:

    Methinks this is a little bit of scientific trickery … but trickery nonetheless. A 4-candlepower heater can produce 4 candlepower of heat, no more, no less. So, where’s the trick? It’s comparable to putting a very fine nozzle on a hose. The water gushes out at impressive pressure. However, it will take just as long to fill a gallon tank as the same hose with a wider nozzle. The flowerpot arrangement concentrates the heat output from the candles into a small space and the heat in that space is impressive. However, it will provide exactly the same heat to the room (or cabin) as the four candles without the pot! It will, of course, reduce dampness . . . with or without the pot … and the psychological effect may be superior to four un-potted candles. I am open to correction but I cannot see how four candlepower can produce anything more than four candlepower.

  18. 12 March, 2016 at 8:53 pmdylan winter says:

    what the flower pots bring is better convection

    just like a 1kw convection heater as opposed to a 1kw bar fire

    you have just as much heat but it is distributed in a much more effective way – the convector heater has a metal chimney to make the air move faster – it is designed to heat more air but at a lower temperature – it stirs the air more effectively than a bar heater

    on a boat – the average temperature is the same but your ankles are warmer

    try it


    PS – how heck have you wound up at a four year old web-page

  19. 28 October, 2016 at 11:19 pmShelagh says:

    I saved your flower pot heater idea to Pintrest a couple of years ago, I must buy a large pot to go over my little one and try it.
    I guess the Fire Brigade have to put their tuppence worth in, as a Midwife I had to let women know they could quickly become pregnant gain, before discharging them after their recent delivery . . . . some things just have to be done.
    I had an aunt who showed me how to make candles with cotton wool and dripping, which apparently was the norm in post war power cuts. WE did it for the 3 day week in the ’70s!
    Anyhoo, the pyromaniac in me is raring ro go.
    I have really enjoyed reading all the comments and your responses Dylan.
    Hope your ankles are toasty ?

  20. 29 October, 2016 at 7:04 amdylan winter says:

    it has been a very entertaining experience watching that idea waft around the web – some people are bonkers expecting to heat a whole house in canada in the winter – it takes the edge off my study at home and also keeps the inside of the boat (about the size of a downstairs loo) warm enough for a cool winter night.


    PS – the halo is a bit of a nuisance at night – it ruins my night vision when sailing and keeps jill awake when we are in bed

  21. 20 November, 2016 at 11:57 pmAndy says:

    For what it is worth and no doubt I did something wrong but I was on my boat last two nights and took a clay pot stand and two clay pots of different sizes, the biggest 17cm. Also IKEA tealights and clay pot feet to stand the pots clear of said tealights.

    All was well first evening, tealights burnt out and kept the chill off also kept my tea warm. I did find I could not cover hole in bottom pot without tealights going out so left it open but maybe my pots were not big enough. Well second night same thing, tealights lit, all going well. Cup of hot chocolate and storm Angus raging outside. Nodded off then next thing awoke to carbon monoxide alarm and flaring pot heater and horrid smoke…. Suffice to say whatever I did wrong I made the device dangerous, regardless of me dropping off, fortunately not for ever, thanks to my alarm, any warnings should be heeded and not taken lightly. A lot no doubt depends on size of pot or number of candles etc. I did not intend to nod off but even if I had not the same would have happened albeit I would have spotted the problem earlier and not had a burnt saloon table and stench in the cabin. I don’t regard myself as an idiot but no doubt some oh so clever person will give me that label but it nearly cost me my boat and more importantly my life. I await the onslaught of abuse…

  22. 21 November, 2016 at 5:39 amdylan winter says:

    . Yours is the first case I have encountered of a CO alarm going off. I have heard of co2 alarms going off if people do not have the hatch open enough. It sounds like a lucky escape. Was the boat rocking around much? Sounds like a horrible experience. I am assuming you had the hatch cracked back. The version of the heater I have been using has the candles in a bread tin – that seems to allow a pretty good flow of air to the candles – they are two inches below the base of the flower pot. But the bread tin is not a terribly stable platform on which to balance two biggish flower pots

  23. 21 November, 2016 at 5:56 pmAndy says:

    Thanks Dylan, The boat was rocking slightly but the whole things was very stable, I was in a marina for once. I may have had too small a pot or the pot too low down to the candles. Strange it worked fine the night before, who knows but it scared the sh1t out of me. I should never have lit it knowing I was so tired. Deck hatch above was cracked open and companionway too so good flow of air, perhaps a gust of wind upset the wax in the candles.

  24. 21 November, 2016 at 6:50 pmdylan winter says:

    if the candles are too close without an adequate air flow I think you can get the wax to start burning without the wicks

    in mine, using the bread tin, the candles are about an inch apart from each other.

    But when push comes to shove it is an open flame in a small space

    So that always needs managing be it a paraffin lamp, a meths stove or gas grill


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