Boiler on pellets with their own hands

An effective heating system is crucial for maintaining a warm and comfortable home. Although there are other options, a pellet-burning boiler is becoming a more and more popular option. These tiny, compressed wood or biomass pellets provide a more affordable and environmentally responsible option for heating than conventional fuels like gas or oil. We’ll go over the specifics of creating your own pellet boiler in this post, giving you the ability to manage the heating requirements of your house.

To begin with, what are pellets exactly, and why are they becoming more and more popular as a heating option? Usually, sawdust that has been compacted, wood chips, leftover agricultural material, or even specific kinds of grass are used to make pellets. Pellets are regarded as a sustainable fuel option because they are made from renewable resources. In addition, compared to fossil fuels, they are more environmentally friendly because they burn with fewer emissions.

You may be asking yourself why building your own pellet boiler is a better option than buying one from a manufacturer. Indeed, there are a number of benefits to DIY pellet boilers. They may be less expensive up front since you won’t have to pay for the labor and markup that come with pre-built units, to start. Additionally, you can modify your own boiler to fit your unique requirements and space constraints by building it yourself. In addition, there’s the satisfaction that comes from building a working heating system by hand.

Although creating a pellet boiler from scratch may seem difficult, even for individuals with little DIY experience, it is a doable project. Anyone can take on this task with the correct assistance and materials. We’ll go over the detailed steps involved in building a pellet boiler in the upcoming sections, from acquiring supplies to putting the parts together. We’ll demystify the do-it-yourself approach and provide you the confidence to start this fulfilling project by breaking down each step into manageable tasks.

Materials needed Steps to build
Pellet boiler kit 1. Assemble boiler according to instructions.
2. Install combustion chamber.
3. Connect plumbing and electrical components.
4. Ensure proper ventilation.
5. Test boiler for functionality.

Features of the equipment

Devices that use pellets have benefits and drawbacks, just like any other heating apparatus.


The following characteristics of pellet heaters contributed to their rise in popularity:

  • fire safety;
  • automatic mode of operation, allowing the fuel supply and ignition of the burner without the involvement of people;
  • low operating costs;
  • high efficiency;
  • long period of operation;
  • Possibility of autonomous heating of the house.


Negative aspects are connected to these characteristics:

  • large dimensions of the equipment may create certain difficulties when choosing a place for their installation;
  • possible difficulties with the purchase of fuel;
  • high cost.


The burner, hopper, and screw mechanism that feeds the fuel make up the pellet boiler.

Its constructional design can vary, which impacts its technical attributes and mode of operation.

The volumetric one is mounted straight into the apparatus’s furnace. able to be cast iron or steel. Both automatic and manual ignition (with matches) are permitted. An additional electric fan is supplied in the latter scenario.

Low power is a characteristic of flare. has small measurements.

Screw mechanism

The electric motor powers the mechanism. possesses a two-meter-long auger. Sawdust frequently accumulates in the area where pellet feeding is supposed to occur; geometric parameters within the given bounds prevent this from happening.

It has the option of having a unique sensor installed, which regulates how hot the auger cover gets. The activation of the automatism stops the fuel supply in the event of overheating.

The length of time the hopper operates in stand-alone mode is directly impacted by its design features. Usually, an additional auger is installed for extended operation. Occasionally, the hopper consists of a pellet package that is fixed with unique racks.

A system like this makes it possible to solve the issue of fuel storage in addition to guaranteeing a timely supply of fuel.

Principle of operation

A conveying screw feeds the fuel into the combustion chamber from a dedicated pellet-storage container. Since the unit lacks a direct source to produce a natural draught, a burner is included. As soon as the unit is turned on, a unique fan causes it to release air, which ignites the fuel.

The heat exchanger facilitates the transfer of heat energy to the heat carrier. The chimney is used to release the flue gases. A tiny amount of ash forms in pellets as a result of the small amount of mineral elements present.

The ash is taken out and placed in a dedicated ash pan chamber via the grate of the grate. The temperature decreases as soon as the pellets in the combustion chamber burn completely. It is corrected by a unique sensor. Subsequently, the pellets are automatically fed into the combustion chamber from the loading tank via a screw.

Pellet boiler installations need to adhere to specific installation site requirements.

Selecting a place

Due to its large size, it is best to install the unit in a different room. The ideal temperature for a room is at least +10 °C.

It is not desirable to install outside the building. To minimize heat loss, the pipes should be buried below the freezing level if the equipment is housed outside or in a garage.

Preparing the floor and walls

The area where the equipment will be installed must have its floor leveled. The device’s weight as well as the weight of the pellet hopper must be supported by the platform. It is advisable to fasten non-flammable plates to the walls and flooring. Pellets must unavoidably be placed close to the device.

Ventilation and chimney

Install a non-combustible chimney and ventilation system. Usually, the latter is guided towards the roof, standing at least 0.5 meters above its surface. It needs to be insulated and shielded from precipitation.

The diameter of the aperture meant for the equipment’s exhaust gas discharge should be less than the cross-section of the chimney pipes.

Maintaining the chimney is essential, and cleaning it requires a special opening that closes tightly.

Installing the equipment

After setting up the location, we install the actual device. The burner, hopper, auger, and automatic control panel should be installed and connected. Ball valves allow us to connect communications to the equipment.

This will make system maintenance easier. Installing filters is a desirable idea. Once every component is connected, test the heating system.

In our guide to heating and insulating your house, we dive into the practicalities of keeping your home cozy and energy-efficient. One particularly effective method we explore is building your own pellet boiler. Pellet boilers are eco-friendly and cost-efficient alternatives to traditional heating systems. By harnessing the power of compressed wood or biomass pellets, these boilers provide consistent warmth while reducing your carbon footprint. In our article, we break down the process of constructing a pellet boiler step-by-step, offering insights, tips, and safety precautions to ensure a successful DIY project. From selecting the right materials to assembling the components, we empower homeowners to take control of their heating needs while promoting sustainability. Whether you"re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a first-time tinkerer, our guide equips you with the knowledge and confidence to create a reliable and environmentally-friendly heating solution for your home.

We make it ourselves

Once you’ve made the decision to handle everything yourself, it makes sense to start by creating a project. The drawings must be used as a guide for making all the necessary tool and material purchases.

What will be required?

It is preferable to buy the most complex components already put together. As a result, a factory-assembled pellet burner is always better than one that is made by hand. In the event that their independent manufacture is not planned, the same holds true for the sensors, programmers, fan, electric auger motor, grate, and two oven doors. Additionally necessary:

  • steel sheet with thickness of 3mm and 6mm;
  • steel square and round pipes (wall thickness 4 mm);
  • asbestos sheet and in the form of sealing cord;
  • fireclay brick for the combustion chamber;
  • round bar (20 mm)
  • electrodes.

The following tools must be ready for the task: a drill, bolgarka, welding machine, and ruler.

Pellet feeding unit

Pellet hopper cooked. Attaching the auger shaft to it. The final one might take the shape of a pipe. Install the fuel feeder at the auger shaft’s inlet and connect it to the electric motor if one is offered.

Heat exchanger

Round pipes are used as connecting pipes, and square-sectioned pipes are used as front pipes. The frontal ones have round holes drilled in them for the heat carrier’s supply and discharge.

When the pipes are being welded together, their spatial arrangement is carefully manipulated. Once the welding is finished, fill the heat exchanger with water to test the seams’ tightness.

Manufacturing of the body and assembly

Sheet steel that is 6 mm thick is welded into the body. Provide two doors, one at the front and one at the back of the chamber, for additional equipment maintenance. Place bricks made of fireclay inside the room.

As you insert the heat exchanger into the housing, leave a tiny space between the inner and outer surfaces of the first. Place the fan in the housing’s upper section.

How to make a pellet boiler

Of all the hot water heating systems that burn various types of solid fuel, the pellet boiler is rightly considered the most perfect. And no wonder, because the efficiency of burning pellets is very high, and the degree of automation of the unit allows you not to interfere in its work for weeks, only if the volume of the loading hopper was enough. But all these advantages turn out and the other side – a decent cost of equipment, which includes not only the heater itself, but also a fuel hopper with a screw conveyor. However, there is an opportunity to become a happy owner of such a high-tech unit, paying for it twice cheaper. To do this, you will have to make a pellet boiler with your own hands, this topic we will deal with in this material.

Device and principle of operation of pellet boilers

It will take a lot of work and knowledge to install a solid fuel installation on your own, so start by learning how it functions. The burner device, which is connected to the boiler controller and executes commands from it, is the brains behind the pellet unit. It handles nearly all of the primary tasks. There are two types of burners made specifically for burning pellets:

What separates them is as follows. A retort pellet burner consists of a bowl (retort) that has holes on the sides for a fan to supply air to the combustion zone. The bowl is filled with fuel from the bottom using a screw. The flame column is directed upward during operation, which should take the boiler’s design into consideration. The flare burner is a pipe, also known as a combustion chamber, from which a strong flame torch is directed horizontally at one end and pellets are screw-fed into it from the other. Air is injected into the chamber from the same side as the fuel to accomplish this.

Note: Because retort type burners have issues feeding low-quality pellets, flare type burners are utilized more frequently than these. It’s also better to use a flare burner when assembling a boiler plant by hand; we’ll explain why below.

We will give the unit’s operation with a flare burner more thought in the future because this design is more appropriate for our needs. Thus, the boiler houses the combustion chamber, which takes the shape of a tube, while the burner’s exterior is made up of a housing that has an air injection fan and a feed screw. A glow element, a photosensor, and a control board are also included in the design for the purposes of electric ignition and flame maintenance. A fuel supply pipe is located in the upper portion of the casing.

The procedure is as follows: the auger feeds a small amount of pellets into the chamber and stops when instructed to do so by the controller. The fuel ignites when the fan and incandescent element are turned on at the same time. A photosensor detects the emergence of a stable flame and alerts the control unit, which switches off the incandescent element. After that, the fan blows the necessary amount of air, the screw conveyor starts feeding again, and the operation returns to normal. Pellets are transported from the feed hopper to the burner via an external screw conveyor and poured in via a spigot at the controller’s command.

Note: A lot of manufacturers use a fuel hopper that is fixed right above the burner spigot so that pellets can fall into it on their own without the need for a separate conveyor belt.

It is now worthwhile to take a comprehensive look at the pellet boiler device. The inner steel or cast iron chamber of the unit casing, which is surrounded by a water-filled outer casing known as a "water jacket," is typical of all solid fuel installations. The design allows for two different kinds of heat exchangers to absorb heat from the flue gases:

In a water-tube heat exchanger, the heat transfer medium flows through tubes that are washed by the combustion products and transfer their heat to it. But such a device is not often found in solid fuel boilers, usually in them everything is the other way around: flue gases pass through the pipes, giving combustion energy to the water jacket, it is a heat exchanger. To make the boiler work efficiently, the heat exchanger is made two – or three-way. This means that the flue gases, passing through the flame pipes, change their direction twice or thrice to the opposite direction, making 2 or 3 strokes. This allows them to give them maximum heat to the water jacket, and at the exit to the chimney to get a temperature of no more than 150 ºC.

The burner heats the fuel and the chamber walls, which in turn heats the coolant. This is how the system operates. The byproducts of combustion are then expelled into the chimney through the flame tubes, where they also heat the water jacket, as a result of the fan’s effort and the natural draught. Based on the signal from the temperature sensor submerged in the coolant at the unit outlet, the controller regulates the intensity of the combustion. This is the basic idea behind how pellet boilers work: they automatically control the combustion process and adjust the burner’s fuel and air supply as needed.

Recommendations for the manufacture of the boiler

Selecting the unit’s design should be done first. Here, the advice is to pick up the boiler device while keeping perspective and avoid making the task more difficult than it needs to be. Put another way, it’s important to distinguish between elements that can be made on your own and those that need to be purchased. The latter has a burner apparatus with some automatic features.

Some artisans offer to build a burner by hand, but this process can be labor-intensive and time-consuming due to the complexity of the node. Consequently, the pellet boiler’s performance and consumption will be unpredictable. It is probably simpler to purchase a prefabricated item and incorporate it into a homemade unit, but that is a personal choice.

You must make the design universal so that it can be picked up with the perspective in mind. In other words, a homemade pellet boiler that can burn coal and wood is intended to be built in the style of a typical solid fuel unit. The figure illustrates how the fuel and combustion method in each type of heater differ, but otherwise, the heat exchange processes are the same.

Therefore, we can safely accept the design of a conventional solid fuel boiler with the option to embed the burner device on the mounting plate in place of the stoking door. The following benefits will result from this:

  1. Since the production of pellets is not very widespread in our country and fuel may be interrupted, you can remove the pellet burner at any time and heat your home with firewood or coal.
  2. It will be possible to use natural gas or diesel, putting instead of pellet burner gas or diesel burner.

It is best to use 5 mm thick heat-resistant steel for the boiler furnace. The ideal option is steel alloyed with chromium and molybdenum (stainless steel), but it is quite expensive, and its welding requires special skills. For this reason, pellet boilers are made of ordinary carbon steel St20, and for the casing of the water jacket is suitable grade St3 with a thickness of 3 mm. From the same metal as the combustion chamber, it is preferable to take blanks for the door and flame tubes for the heat exchanger. The grate is cut from 10 mm thick steel or just buy a ready-made grate. Well, for the chimney and coolant spigots will need pipe sections of appropriate diameters.

Using the pellet boiler’s drawings as a guide, welding is used to complete assembly. Special consideration should be given to the loading door’s detachable design and the stiffening of the water jacket’s walls with steel strip or angle sections. The welds need to be checked for permeability after completion, and any flaws need to be fixed.

Strapping of pellet boiler

The installation of a pellet boiler is essentially similar to that of its "brethren" that use solid fuels. The primary responsibility in this situation is to arrange all of the equipment and fuel supply devices correctly. Keep in mind that there must be a gap of two meters in front of the unit’s front panel and that aisles between units must be at least 700 mm wide.

When a solid fuel boiler ignites, ash and soot mixed with toxic condensate form on the furnace’s inner walls after the heating system’s coolant is turned off. Pellet boilers are strapped with a mixing unit during installation to stop this process from gradually destroying the metal.

The main role here is played by the three-way valve, whose task is to prevent the coolant from the system from entering the jacket of the unit until it has warmed up. At this time, the water, stimulated by the pump, circulates in a small circle from the supply pipe directly into the return pipe through a three-way valve. As soon as it reaches the set temperature, the valve will start to mix water from the system into the return flow, eventually blocking the flow through the small circle. In this case, the piping of the boiler, working on pellets, should provide for the installation of a pump on the return, not the supply pipeline. Do not forget about the safety group with a safety valve and pressure gauge, which should be placed on the outlet pipe of the heater.


Experience has shown that while factory-made units are more reliable and cost-effective, homemade pellet boilers perform less efficiently overall. The latter is made possible by the metal structural elements’ thickness.

Pellet boiler with their own hands: tips on the selection of materials for the boiler, assembly and operation

The pellet boiler’s basic operating principle (click to enlarge)

Gas is the most cost-effective energy carrier when it comes to centrally supplied energy to consumers.

It does, however, face stiff competition from other heat sources, the most profitable of which is the pellet boiler for residential heating. At first look, there don’t seem to be any significant differences. The house is heated by the water in the heat exchanger, which is integrated into the combustion chamber.

Why do the most efficient gas boilers, created with cutting-edge technologies, fall short financially against their homemade counterparts that use pellets? The simple answer is that burning gas will result in a higher energy cost per kilowatt-hour than using an alternative fuel.

The production of fuel pellets is one method of getting rid of unwanted products from the main activity, and the raw materials for pellets are woodworking waste, which has a low cost due to the acute utilization issue. They can make pellets with their own hands, but specific tools are needed for this.


Pellet boiler device with the most crucial components and assemblies labeled (click to enlarge)

You should evaluate your strengths before you begin work. In comparison to a gas or electric boiler, the production of the boiler is considerably more difficult and demands careful planning, knowledge, and expertise. The high cost of the final products in this class is not an accident.

Other than the boiler’s pellet burner, which is nearly hard to make at home, every other component of the design will need to function on its own. Making the outcome up to par will require a lot of work.

It is quite feasible to assemble the heat exchanger and lay out the fireclay brick combustion chamber if you have prior experience with such work. You can also handle the burner installation, but the fuel supply system will require a lot of work. In every instance, this crucial component is exclusive. The burner needs to have a steady supply of fuel pellets (you can read more about boilers with automatic fuel supply here).

Because of the high density of pellets, many of them cannot burn at once.

Note: In pellet boilers, the supply of fuel and air is always required.

It is nearly impossible to guarantee the correct mode with manual control unless it is always close by. As a result, the gadget has expensive automated systems installed.

This contributes to the overall construction’s high cost. The task can be completed by one or more programmers without assistance from outside parties. Up to three days can be spent without any external heating in the house even with a small fuel-filled hopper. A larger pellet supply and a more substantial construction will allow you to extend the use period several times over.

Expert advice: precise calculation of the air supply is crucial. Pellets that are too low in air will smolder instead of burning, and they will release a lot of heat into the atmosphere.

The purchase of a motor for the screw mechanism and its automatic connection will result in additional costs. Prior to physically putting together a pellet boiler, you must sketch out the boiler’s design and determine its size based on the amount of space that will be needed for installation.

The burner is the primary component of the pellet boiler.

Although building a pellet boiler by hand is an expensive decision, the final product will cost even more. the burner, which is the device’s primary component and is purchased separately.

Much like with factory models, the body assembly and component fitting receive the most attention. Included in the assembly kit are:

  • Sheet steel 4-6 mm for manufacturing the boiler drum.
  • Material for the hopper. You can make it from sheet metal (thickness of 1-2 mm will be enough), multilayer plywood, wood.
  • screw. It is selected by dimensions or with available skills is made independently.
  • Chimney pipes. Metal or asbestos and mounting kit.
  • Control system. Provides automatic control over the operation of the boiler.
  • Motor for the operation of the auger mechanism.
  • Pipes for the heat exchanger. Products of square cross-section are recommended.
  • Pipes and fittings for connecting the heating system.
  • Fireclay brick, if the combustion chamber is made stationary.
  • grate. It will provide air access to the place of combustion.


DIY pellet boiler constructed from scratch

The primary barrier to installing pellet boilers is their cost. Compared to analogs that use different kinds of fuel, it is notably higher.

Building a pellet boiler by hand can result in significant cost savings. The homemade boiler will pay for itself roughly twice as quickly as an average factory model, which takes two to three years to pay for itself. The family budget is greatly aided by this.

A good design solution can be an additional benefit. The device’s form and arrangement can be best integrated into the home. It will be easier to use than the model that came from the factory.

The insulation and heating requirements of your house may be drastically improved by installing a pellet-burning boiler. Long-term energy costs can be decreased as well as your carbon footprint by utilizing the power of biomass fuel.

The adaptability of a pellet boiler is one of its main benefits. It can be easily incorporated into current heating systems to enable a smooth transition to a more economical and environmentally friendly heating option. Furthermore, pellets are widely accessible and frequently derived from renewable resources, which makes them a good choice for homeowners who care about the environment.

At first, building your own pellet boiler might seem overwhelming, but it is completely doable with the correct help and materials. To help you through the process, from choosing the right materials to assembling and installing the boiler, there are lots of do-it-yourself kits and online tutorials available.

Moreover, purchasing a pellet boiler is in line with the larger movement toward sustainability and renewable energy. Making the switch to pellet heating instead of fossil fuels is becoming more and more necessary as we work to lessen climate change and lessen our reliance on fossil fuels.

Finally, choosing a pellet boiler for your home’s insulation and heating needs can have a big impact on the environment and your wallet. You can lessen your reliance on conventional heating methods and create a more sustainable and energy-efficient living space with careful planning and implementation. Adopting this technology has real benefits for homeowners trying to reduce their energy costs and environmental effect in addition to making the future more environmentally friendly.

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Sergey Ivanov

I like to help people create comfort and comfort in their homes. I share my experience and knowledge in articles so that you can make the right choice of a heating and insulation system for your home.

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