How to get free hot water for life using Jean Pain Method?

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Hot water is a basic amenity that every person needs in day to day life. We wish the time should just stop when we are bathing in hot water. We just don’t want to come out but, we eventually come out thinking about the price we would incur to heat the water. Whether it is electricity bill or gas bill, the cost is high to get hot water.

Just imagine how wonderful it would be to have a free hot water supply. Well, there’s no need to worry, I have just the answer for you.

Some time ago, I wanted to have an endless supply of hot water in my shower. So, I started to look for ways to get an answer to this question. After some research, I came to know about the Jean Pain method.

This method not only solved the problem of hot water but it answered a lot of questions for me as it has various other benefits other than just getting hot water. Let’s go and dive right into this.

What is the Jean Pain method?

Jean Pain was a French gardener and was highly focused on innovations. In the 1970s, he discovered a method of getting hot water from a compost pit.

He dug a pit and filled it with wood chippings. Then, he placed a polyethylene pipe coiled together in the compost to carry the cold water in and take the hot water out.

Wood Chips


He watered the pit regularly to keep the process of decomposing going on at the same rate. The heat generated from the decomposition of the wood chips got transferred in the pipe and the water in the pipe got heated.

We can make some changes in this technique. Like, we can use cow dung or anything that can make good compost instead of wood chips as cow dung is readily available than wood chips. We can also decide the dimensions of the pit according to our needs.

Requirements and Costing:

  1. The main requirement to build this project is the polyethylene pipe. We need about 120m-130m of polyethylene pipe depending on the size of the project. It will cost you around 9-10 Rupees per foot and this is the only major cost that you will incur.
  2. A tap to control the flow of water.
  3. Some tools to dig.

How to set up the project to get free hot water?

1. First of all dig a pit of around 3 square feet and the depth should be around 1 foot.

2. Arrange the pipe in a spiral configuration. Make it around 1 metre high and the diameter of the coil should be 80 centimetres because if you increase the height, you will probably need a water pump.

3. Now put the cow dung inside and outside the spiral coil. The cow dung layer should be at least a foot thick outside the coil.

Jean Pain setup for hot water

4. Let the cold water enter from the bottom opening of the pipe and attach a tap at the top opening of the pipe. As the water will heat, it will gradually move upwards because hot water is less dense than cold water. This phenomenon is called Thermo-siphon. This will not work if the height of the setup is very high. So, you will need a water pump for that.

5. That is it. You are all done. Now, you have to just wait and let the cow dung decompose slowly. Just remember to water it daily.

Other benefits:

Cooking Food:

You can also extract methane from the setup simply by putting a metallic dome over it like a biogas plant. This dome will collect the methane which you can later use as a substitute for LPG to cook food.

Fuel for Vehicles:

In some cases, people have compressed methane and used it instead of petrol to power their cars. How happy these people must be, not worrying about the petrol costs!

Generate Electricity:

Jean pain, the inventor of this technique used methane to power a generator and his electricity needs were fulfilled. He was 100% dependent on this setup.


Once the cow dung or whichever organic material you use, decomposes, it acts as an excellent fertilizer for farming purposes. Thus, the total cost that you will incur is literally, zero. In fact, you will save a lot of money.


This is a simple yet very effective technique if done right. As I have told you earlier, I was looking for a technique to get hot water but instead, my other needs were also catered.


Don’t water the setup with too much water as the material will become very watery and won’t generate heat as effectively as it can.

Build proper barricades around the setup, if you are using cow dung because if too much cow dung is accumulated in the setup, it will act as a bog.


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3 thoughts on “How to get free hot water for life using Jean Pain Method?”

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