Would it be permissible to add pellets to the hopper of a pellet stove on Shabbat?

A pellet stove has a large pellet hopper that holds approximately 40 pounds of wood pellets. The pellet auger turns and carries a small number of pellets at a time up and drops them down into the burner, where a fire is kept burning constantly. Generally, 40 lbs of pellets will last 24 hours, but on particularly cold shabbosim, it may only last 18 or 20 hours. Is there any way that additional pellets could be added?

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  • 1
    This sounds like adding to an eggshell full of oil dripping into a burning lamp in order to keep the light on.
    – Double AA
    Nov 23, 2015 at 5:37

2 Answers 2


The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch in 90:18 - סימן צ - דין עשית חפציו בלא מלאכה ומלאכה על ידי גוי - says that a non-Jew may add fuel to one's heating system on Shabbat, if it's very cold.

However, if it's not crucial, one should not do so. (In other words, if there's no chance of anybody getting sick, then one shouldn't do so.)

Similarly, after midday, one may not let the non-Jew add fuel to the heating system. (On the assumption - I assume - that if the fire lasted till noon, nobody will get sick by nightfall, and adding fuel is therefore preparing for after Shabbat.)

סעיף יח': בְּעֵת הַקֹּר, מֻתָּר לוֹמַר לַגּוֹי לְהַסִּיק אֶת הַתַּנּוּר, מִשּׁוּם דְּהַכֹּל חוֹלִים אֵצֶל הַצִּנָּה. אֲבָל אִם אֵינוֹ מֻכְרָח כָּל כָּךְ, אֵין לַעֲשׂוֹת זֹאת. וְגַם אָסוּר לְהַנִּיחַ לְאֵינוֹ יְהוּדִי שֶׁיַסִּיק אֶת הַתַּנּוּר בַּשַׁבָּת אַחַר חֲצוֹת הַיּוֹם כְּדֵי שֶׁיְהֵא חַם בַּלָּיְלָה (רע"ו). ‏


No, as the prohibition of not lighting a fire also extends to adding fuel to a fire, transferring it, or increasing in any manner.

"Called Mavier in Hebrew
a) Igniting, fueling or intensifying fire
The Melacha of mavier may be defined as any manner of kindling fire. This includes igniting a fire or fueling and spreading an existing fire.
1) igniting a fire: lighting a match, igniting a cigarette lighter, sparking a gas burner.
2) fueling fire: Adding wood to the fire in a fire place, adding oil to a cup in a lighted menorah, raising the gas on a cooking range."
(The 39 melochos by Rabbi Dovid Ribiat volume iv page 1197)

  • 2
    How do you know this? We don't know you that we should trust you, and none of your last 23 answers have been upvoted, further weakening your reliability. If no one here trusts you at your word, what value is there in your asserting things? Please edit in sources for your claims to make this post useful to anyone.
    – Double AA
    Nov 23, 2015 at 6:13

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