How To Thaw Tankless Water Heater

Cold Weather and Your Tankless Water Heater: How to Prevent Freezing

It is necessary to take action once you have determined which temperature is best for your home. Find out what temperature your water is running at right now. Using a kitchen thermometer to determine the temperature of the water from your faucet is as simple as turning on your hot water faucet and filling up a glass. If you decide that you need to modify the temperature, you may need to reference the owner’s handbook for your water heater to see where the temperature adjustment button is located.

If you have any difficulties changing your water heater’s settings, or if you detect a leak or any problem, a Ken’s expert will be happy to assist you.

Plumbing Hacks, Bathroom, and Water Heaters are some of the subjects covered.

Can a Tankless Water Heater Freeze?

Tankless water heaters require special attention throughout the winter months. Even water heaters that are located indoors may be susceptible to problems caused by the cold weather. The majority of manufacturer’s warranties do not cover damage resulting from freezing. A freeze protection feature is included into many units by manufacturers like as Rinnai and Rheem. This feature lets the unit to protect itself when temperatures dip below freezing. Rinnai tankless water heaters offer two layers of protection to keep them safe from the elements and prevent them from freezing in the winter.

Activated when the temperature goes into the low 30’s, these ceramic heaters help to keep the interior parts from freezing.

This technology makes use of a sensor located within the unit to identify whether or not the tankless is below freezing.

Both of these approaches will provide freeze protection for the Rinnai unit as long as the device has access to both electrical power and natural gas to operate.

How to Thaw a Frozen Tankless Water Heater

Frozen pipes and a frozen water heater are also possible consequences of cold weather. The unit should not be used if the exterior plumbing leading to the water heater has frozen, or if the water heater itself has frozen. Take the following steps:

  • TURN OFF THE ELECTRICAL POWER AND CLOSE THE GAS AND WATER OFFSHUTOFF VANES
  • Allow enough time for the tankless unit to defrost. To see if the unit has thawed, open the Water Supply Valve and check for leaks. In the event that water begins to flow, the tankless water heater has thawed. Ensure that all exterior pipes, internal components, and plumbing are thoroughly inspected for leaks. As long as everything appears to be in working order, you may open the gas and water valves and switch on the electrical power.

Protecting External Pipes from Freezing

Many homeowners overlook the need of protecting the exterior piping that leads to and from their tankless water heaters, but these pipes and valves are particularly vulnerable to freezing if they are left exposed to the elements. A pipe wrap insulation or a pipe heating cable can be used to insulate the exterior pipes from freezing, preventing a severe headache. Both approaches are straightforward, low-cost, and widely available options. Pipe heating wires are available that are approved for outdoor usage and will keep pipes from freezing at temperatures of up to -50°F (-40°C).

However, you should always read the manufacturer’s guidelines for the individual items before wrapping your pipes with heating cable and then adding pipe wrap insulation.

How to Prevent a Tankless Water Heater from Freezing

Even though your tankless water heater is equipped with built-in freeze prevention, there will be instances when you will need to drain it. You will be left helpless against the chilly conditions if you ever lose electricity, and your tankless would be at risk of freezing. For lengthy periods of time away from home, we strongly advise draining your tankless system, especially in cold areas. Despite the fact that tankless heaters may always be manually drained, installing a set of offereze protection solenoid valvesis a wonderful approach to provide you with peace of mind during the chilly winter weather.

Freeze protection solenoid valves are also known as drain down solenoid valves or “usually open” drain down solenoid valves, depending on how they are configured.

When there is a power outage, the valves on the tankless water heater automatically open and release the water stored within the tank.

Even if you decide not to install this additional layer of safety, it is recommended that you take the steps below to safeguard your tankless water heater in the case of a power loss during the winter:

  • Pump Drain Plug should be manually opened or removed. Remove the plug from the Condensate Trap Drain
  • Remove the plug from the Water Drain

Drain Down Solenoid Valves from Rinnai It is highly recommended that you install a freeze prevention solenoid valve kit on your outdoor unit in order to prevent the unit from being frozen.

How to Manually Drain Your Tankless Water Heater

If your tankless unit does not have the freeze prevention solenoid valve kit installed, you will have to manually drain the unit whether you are draining it because of cold weather conditions or for another reason. Manually draining the tankless heater is more difficult, but it is just as effective at removing the water from the tankless heater’s inside. The following steps will show you how to manually empty your tankless water heater:

  • Immediately shut off the cold water supply and switch off the gas supply. To turn off the temperature control, turn it off on the wall. The electrical power to the water heater should be turned off
  • We recommend that you turn on a hot water tap or faucet inside the residence first. This will assist in reducing the pressure within the heater
  • A bucket should be placed beneath the water heater to collect the water
  • Remove the Drain Caps from the Hot and Cold Isolation Valves and OPEN the valves to allow the water to flow through. Because the hot water is under pressure, it has the potential to “blast out” of the unit. Caution should be exercised since the water may be heated. REMOVE the Cold Water Inlet Filter from the system. Drain plugs should be removed from your tankless water heater if they are present. Each of these drain plugs is positioned on the bottom of the tankless unit: the water drain plug, the pump drain plug, the condensate trap drain plug, and the hot water drain plug.

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When you’re ready to begin utilizing your tankless water heater, you’ll need to switch it back on so that it can resume regular functioning. This is a relatively simple method that is essentially the inverse of the draining procedure described above. Here’s what to do:

  • Check to make sure that all of the drain plugs have been removed from the unit, that all of the hot water taps/faucets have been turned off, and that the gas supply has been turned off. Replace the drain plugs for the water, the pump drain plug, and the condensate trap drain plug. Replace the Check Valve Drain Plug with a new one. Replace the cold water inlet filter and re-open the cold water supply valve to allow the water to flow. This will allow the tankless unit to fill with water
  • However, it is not required. DON’T forget to turn on the hot water tap or faucet inside the house. You can close the tap/faucet if water is flowing from the tap/faucet, which indicates that the tankless water heater is functioning properly
  • Otherwise, you can leave the tap/faucet open. In order to use the tankless heater, turn on the electrical supply. Check to make sure that the Temperature Controller is turned off. Activate the natural gas supply
  • The Temperature Controller should be turned on.

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Please double check to ensure that all of the drain plugs have been removed from the unit, that all of the hot water taps/faucets have been turned off, and that the gas supply has been turned off. Replace the drain plugs for the water, the pump drain plug, and the condensate trap drain plug as necessary. Replace the Drain Plug on the Check Valve. Open up the cold water supply by replacing the cold water inlet filter and turning on the cold water supply. As a result, the tankless water heater will be able to refill.

It is safe to CLOSE the tap/faucet if water is flowing freely from the tap/faucet, which indicates that the tankless water heater is functioning properly.

Check to make sure that the Temperature Controller is turned off twice more.

  • Double-check that all of the drain plugs have been removed from the unit, that the hot water taps/faucets in the house have been turned off, and that the gas supply has been turned off. Replace the drain plugs for the water, the pump drain plug, and the condensate trap drain plug
  • Replace the Drain Plug on the Check Valve
  • Replace the cold water inlet filter and re-open the cold water supply valve to allow for more flow. This will allow the tankless unit to fill with water
  • However, it is not necessary. TURN ON a hot water faucet or tap inside the house. If water flows from the tap/faucet, this indicates that the tankless water heater is functioning properly, and you can CLOSE the tap/faucet. The tankless heater’s electrical power must be turned on first. Check to ensure that the Temperature Controller is turned off. Turn on the natural gas supply. Selecting and turning on the Temperature Controller

How to Winterize a Tankless Water Heater

Consider winterizing your tankless water heater if you have a vacation home or intend to be away during the winter months. This is a preventative measure to keep the unit from freezing. Cold weather conditions may develop fast, and preparing for them in advance can spare you from a significant amount of stress. Please keep in mind that these instructions are intended to serve as a guide only, and that your specific tankless water heater may have different requirements than those outlined here.

In addition, we urge that you hire a licensed expert to complete the task for you.

If you take good notes, you’ll be able to recall everything afterwards.

  • The Provision of Water

ElectricalSupply-Turn OFF the power supply to the tankless system by either disconnecting or flicking the circuit breaker off. This will protect the tankless water heater should there by any power spikes or outages. Venting System-If it can be safely accessed, install a cap on the end of the vent, both the intake and exhaust. Debris, leaves, and even tiny animals like squirrels will be prevented from being stuck within the vent and producing air flow troubles when it’s time to use your tankless water heater once more.

How to Prevent A Frozen Tankless Water Heater

Remove the power supply to your tankless water heating system by unplugging it or flipping the circuit breaker to “off” position. In the event of a power surge or loss, this will safeguard the tankless water heater from being damaged. Ventilation System- If it is possible to reach the end of the vent safely, cover both the intake and exhaust vents with a cover. This will prevent trash, leaves, and even small animals such as squirrels from being caught within the vent and causing air flow difficulties when it comes time to use your tankless water heater again in the future.

Protecting Your Tankless from Cold Weather

Electrical Supply- Disconnect the power supply to the tankless system by unplugging it or flipping the circuit breaker to the off position. When a power spike or loss occurs, this will prevent the tankless water heater from malfunctioning. Cover the end of the vent system, both the intake and the exhaust, if it is possible to do so without risk of injury. This will prevent garbage, leaves, and even small animals such as squirrels from being caught within the vent and causing air flow troubles when it comes time to use your tankless water heater again.

How to Protect Your Tankless from Freezing

A easy and affordable solution to safeguard the exterior piping and valves of your tankless water heater is to first insulate the external pipes with a pipe heating cable, followed by the addition of pipe insulation. There are a range of different products available to meet your needs. A built-in thermostat is even included in some models, which is designed to heat the pipes when temperatures fall close to freezing.

Pipe heating cables are a cheap and simple method to give additional freeze protection to your pipes in the event of a major problem.Pipe Heating CableA pipe heating cable is an inexpensive and simple way to provide additional freeze protection to your pipes.

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The ability to enable your tankless water heater to just pump a small volume of water through the device is useful in some situations. This method can be useful in situations where there is a power outage and the temperature is above the unit’s ability to freeze protect itself, such as when on vacation. However, we do not recommend using it in situations where it will be used for extended periods of time, such as during a vacation.

  • Turn off the electricity if necessary. DON’T forget to turn off the gas supply valve. OPEN a hot water faucet anywhere in your home. Install a faucet that will flow at a rate of 1/10th of a gallon per minute (or the breadth of the water stream should be.2 inches).
See also:  How To Turn Off Water From Water Heater

Built-in Freeze Protection

Higher-end brands and models are frequently equipped with some form of built-in freeze prevention within their appliances. Rinnai is a fantastic example of this, since they have built in two lines of protection into their forces to protect them from attack.

  • On the heat exchanger, water pipes, and other internal sections of Rinnai units, ceramic heaters are used to heat the water. As soon as the temperature drops into the low 30’s, these heaters will begin to operate
  • If the temperature lowers too quickly, or if the ceramic heaters fail to ignite for any reason, Rinnai has a backup mechanism in place to keep you warm. An internal sensor in the tankless will activate if the internal temperature of the tankless falls below freezing temperature. Afterwards, it will automatically turn the device on for a few of seconds. When the water within the unit reaches around 58 degrees, the system will cycle on and off until there is no longer a concern of freezing
  • However, this may take many hours.

With power and natural gas readily accessible, the Rinnai tankless system is well protected against the threat of freezing temperatures. If there is no access to power or natural gas, manual freeze prevention should be employed.

How to Winterize Your Tankless

Winterizing your tankless water heater is an excellent preventative measure, especially if you will be away from home during the winter. Weather may change quickly, and sudden ice, snow, and freezing storms can be particularly concerning if you are not in a position to take the necessary preparations at the time. Always refer to your water heater’s owner’s handbook for exact instructions on how to use your unit. These instructions are intended to serve as a general guideline only. It’s possible that your unit has different needs.

Gas Supply

  • The cold water supply to the tankless water heater should be turned off. The unit should be drained by opening the drain down (freeze protection) solenoid valve located on the cold and hot water pipes. OPEN several hot water taps within the house
  • REMOVE the inlet filter on the cold water line
  • REMOVE the plug or inline filter on the hot water side to leave room for expansion if there’s any water left in the lines that freeze. (Not all systems are equipped with these fittings on the hot water line)

Electric Supply

  • Turn the unit’s power off by pressing the power button. The unit can either be unplugged or the circuit breaker can be turned off, depending on how your system is configured. Your tankless water heater will be protected if there are any power surges or outages.

Vent System

  • If you are able to reach the intake and exhaust vents safely, cover the ends of the vents with a cover. Leaves and debris (sometimes even squirrels) enter the vent and become trapped. Air flow issues can be a problem when its time to restart your tankless

You may want to consider hiring a plumber to winterize your tankless unit for you. Be cautious to check that he’ll guarantee his job and reimburse any expenditures if things aren’t correctly accomplished. As an extra benefit, you’ll be able to take thorough notes and complete the task yourself the following year with confidence! Consult with a Local PlumberGet FREE Quotes Today

How to Drain a Tankless Water Heater

Even when a tankless water heater is equipped with built-in freeze protection, it is sometimes necessary to drain the unit. In the event that you lose power or plan to be away for an extended period of time, it is a good idea to drain your unit, particularly if you live in a cold weather climate.These systems can be drained manually, as we will discuss further below, but it is significantly simpler to do so with the use of freeze protection solenoid valves, which are also known as drain down solenoid valves.Freeze protection solenoid valves are also known as drain down solenoid valves.

They are always in the “open” position and require an electrical current to keep the valve from opening and closing.

If your unit does not already have these valves, we strongly recommend that you install them.

How to Manually Drain a Tankless Water Heater

The manual draining of your tankless system will be required if your tankless system does not have freeze prevention solenoids installed. Manual draining is more difficult, but it is just as effective as automatic draining. Here’s what you should do:

  • Shut off the natural gas and the cold water supplies. The temperature control should be turned OFF. CONNECT the electrical power to the breaker box. Place an empty bucket under the water heater
  • REMOVE the drain caps from the hot and cold isolation valves, respectively. OPEN the hot and cold isolation valves, if applicable. Use caution, the hot water emitted will be under pressure. Opening a hot water tap before opening the valves will assist in reducing water pressure. The cold water inlet filter and any drain plugs on the bottom of the unit should both be removed.

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How to Return a Tankless to Normal Operation

Once the threat of cold weather has passed, its time to get your tankless water heater back into service by following these steps:

  • Examine to make sure that all hot water faucets are CLOSED and that the gas supply is turned OFF. REMOVE AND REPLACE ALL DRAINS PLUGS drain plugs (for water, pump and condensate trap) are included in the package. REPLACE the check valve drain plug
  • REPLACE the cold water intake filter
  • REPLACE the check valve drain plug. A hot water tap should be opened to ensure that water is flowing through the unit. OPEN THE COLD WATER SUPPLY VALE AND ALLOW THE UNIT TO FILL WITH WATER
  • OPEN THE COLD WATER SUPPLY VALE AND ALLOW THE UNIT TO FILL WITH WATER Then turn OFF the water supply. Activate the electrical power supply
  • Examine whether or not the temperature controller is set to the “OFF” position. In order to use the gas supply, you must first turn on the thermostat.

How to Thaw a Frozen Tankless Water Heater

Cold weather will not only cause the plumbing leading to and from your tankless unit to freeze, but it will also cause havoc because the internal parts of the unit may also become frozen as a result of the cold weather. Here’s what you should do:

  • NOTICE: DO NOT TURN ON THE WATER HEATER. Remove electrical power from the system, and then CLOSE the gas and water cutoff valves. Wait for the tankless unit to come to room temperature. DISCONNECT the water supply valve. It indicates that the unit has thawed when water begins to flow through the valve. Check for leaks in the external plumbing as well as the internal parts and pipes. If you notice a leak, you should contact a licensed plumber immediately. Assuming everything appears to be in working order, OPEN the gas and water valves and TURN ON the electrical power.

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How to Fix a Frozen Tankless Water Heater

It’s difficult to imagine, but even when installed inside your home, a tankless water heater can become icicle-like in temperature. Here’s what you can do to get the situation back on track. You’ll need to address this situation as soon as possible because freezing can cause damage and interfere with your running water and drainage systems. Don’t even think about trying to operate the unit! The following are some suggestions for defrosting a tankless water heater if you discover it has become frozen:

  1. Close the gas and water shutoff valves that are connected to the water heater. Turn off the circuit breaker that supplies power to the heater. Allow the system to defrost before opening the water supply valve and checking to see whether water is flowing
  2. And Check the unit, its internal parts, your plumbing, and external pipes for signs of leaks
  3. Assuming that the water is flowing regularly, re-open the valves and re-connect the power.

Any time you notice that any part of the water heater, or the pipes that supply it, is leaking, you should immediately contact a professional. It is not recommended that you attempt to repair the unit yourself.

Preventing a Tankless Water Heater from Freezing

There are two methods for preventing water from freezing: emptying the water heater or turning the water flow down to a low setting.

1. Draining a Tankless Water Heater

For those who are anticipating a cold snap and/or are planning a vacation and their tankless water heater has frozen and does not have built-in freeze prevention, they can empty the tankless water heater. Shut down the cold water and natural gas supplies, the temperature control system, and the electrical power. To alleviate pressure, turn on the hot water faucet. It is now safe to remove the drain covers from both the hot and cold isolation valves. Place a bucket underneath the unit to capture any excess water.

Remove the cold-water intake filter, followed by the drain plugs located on the bottom of the heater, and finally the heater itself.

2. Running a Low Water Flow

Occasionally, during the winter, the temperature will drop to a point where your tankless water heater will not be able to protect itself from freezing. When there is a power outage, it is also beneficial to reduce water flow. However, by shutting off the power, closing the gas supply valve, and opening a hot water faucet, you may keep the unit and exterior pipes from being iced up. As a result, you should only be seeing about 1/10th of a gallon per minute of water flow now (the water stream will not be more than.20 inches wide).

Winterizing a Tankless Water Heater

If you want to be away from home for the whole winter, you may winterize your water heater by shutting off the gas, water, and electricity to it. After turning off the cold-water supply, drain the unit by opening the solenoid valves (on both the cold and hot water lines) and turning on some hot water faucets, turn off the cold-water supply and drain the unit. After that, remove the input filter from the cold-water line to allow for expansion in the event that freezing occurs. Using a cover on the intake and exhaust vents, you can prevent debris or animals from going inside and interfering with airflow if you have access to the venting system.

Another key form of prevention is to insulate your pipes. In some cases, pipe heating cables and thermostats are included with the insulator to provide heating when it is most needed.

Built-In Freeze Protection

Some types haveceramic heatersto guard against freezing; these can trigger automatically when the temperature dips to a specific level. Sensors may detect when the unit is below freezing if the primary heaters fail, turning the unit on and off to avoid freezing. Freeze protection solenoid valves (aka drain down solenoid valves) open automatically to drain the heater when power is lost. They’re more common on higher-end models, but you can include them on lower-end models as well.

Contact Black Hills Home Services

If your tankless water heater has frozen or is otherwise not functioning properly, we can repair it using the most up-to-date tools and techniques available. Our technicians are capable of handling any job, no matter how large or small. They’re licensed and bonded, and they’ve received extensive training to ensure that they can successfully resolve any issue. To schedule service, call 888-979-7946 right away.

Defrosting a Water Heater

The thawing of a frozen water heater should be done gradually and with caution. The freezing of pipes is not unheard of during the winter months when the temperatures are below freezing. Despite the fact that water heaters are less likely to freeze because they typically have hot water flowing through them, you could find yourself with a frozen water heater if you left the heater turned off for an extended period of time while the outside temperature was below freezing. Be patient when thawing out your water heater; it’s going to take some time.

Step 1

Check to see if the water heater itself is frozen, or if it is only the pipes leading into and out of the unit that are causing the problem. This is likely to be the case on a regular basis. You can check by simply touching the water heater to find the spot where it’s ice cold. Make use of a space heater or other heating element to impart indirect heat to the frozen region until it begins to thaw out completely.

Step 2

Check for burst water pipes. Because water expands when it freezes, if there isn’t enough room within the heater to handle this expansion, it’s possible that the pipes have burst. As a result, once the pipes thaw, you’ll be dealing with a puddle of water on your hands. In order to defrost the pipes of your heater, it’s a good idea to discover where the water shut-off valve is located.

See also:  How Much Does A 50 Gallon Water Heater Weigh

Step 3

You should immediately turn off any water or gas supplies to the water heater if you suspect that the entire unit has frozen over (and if defrosting frozen pipes does not restore functionality to the unit). Remove the unit from the wall and store it in a garage or other out-of-the-way location. If it explodes during the thawing process, you won’t have a messe in the midst of your house to clean up.

Step 4

Prepare the area by heating it to allow the frozen water to thaw. Turning on a space heater should take care of the problem quickly.

Step 5

Drain the water heater as soon as the ice begins to melt. To do this, simply turn off the water supply to the heater and then open the small drain valve located near the bottom of the tank, as shown in the photo.

Step 6

Allowing air to enter the tank can be accomplished by opening a hot faucet or an air release valve located on the unit.

The water will be able to flow out when it transforms back into a liquid once more.

Step 7

Air should be allowed to enter the tank by opening a hot faucet or an air release valve located on the unit. As the water transforms back into liquid, it will be able to drain away.

Tip

Install pipe insulation or wrap your pipes with electric heat tape to avoid a repetition of this scenario. In addition, avoid attempting to thaw your water heater by simply turning it on to its highest heat setting; homes have been known to catch fire when the heating elements in water heaters become overheated as a result of ice accumulating in the heaters.

Tankless Water Heater – no hot water

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Tankless Water Heater – no hot water
Author:woohokie1 (VA)This morning I woke up and went to run the hot water for a shower and nothing came out.I tried both downstairs faucets, and when I turn the hot water on I get a very very low flow of cold water.We had snow last night and the temp has been below freezing for the last two days.Could a pipe have frozen?I have a Rinnai tankless heater that runs on natural gas.Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Re: Tankless Water Heater – no hot water
Author:packy (MA)sure could be frozen.
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Re: Tankless Water Heater – no hot water
Author:hj (AZ)It is frozen, and the little bit of cold water is coming from one of the faucets which is bypassing the cold water into the hot pipe.
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Re: Tankless Water Heater – no hot water
Author:woohokie1 (VA)So should I just wait it out?I called a friend of mine who is a plumber but admits to not having much knowledge on tankless heaters and he said it may need to be flushed.I get normal water flow from my cold water pipes. Just FYI
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Re: Tankless Water Heater – no hot water
Author:hj (AZ)quote; I get normal water flow from my cold water pipesIt has NOTHING to do with the tankless heater, and frozen hot water pipes, which are the normal ones to freeze first, do not stop the cold water from flowing.
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Re: Tankless Water Heater – no hot water
Author:woohokie1 (VA)So I should just wait it out?It’s supposed to start warming up tomorrow.Thanks so much to everyone for the quick advice!
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Re: Tankless Water Heater – no hot water
Author:hj (AZ)It would be better to try to thaw it out as soon as possible. The longer it stays frozen, the more likelihood that something will break.
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Re: Tankless Water Heater – no hot water
Author:woohokie1 (VA)How do I do that?
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Re: Tankless Water Heater – no hot water
Author:hj (AZ)Open cabinet doors to try to get some warmth into the walls. Other than that we would have to be there to determine WHERE the freezing occurred.
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Re: Tankless Water Heater – no hot water
Author:Wheelchair (IL)Remember that a frozen pipe (supply) will begin to expand as it is freezing. Warm the pipe where they are cold. Refer to your owner’s manual.Flushing a Tankless, should be done by professionals, to remove any floating barnacles (limescale) before returning it to service.Also, remember if it happens once, it could happen again.Look for ways to prevent this from happening again.Best Wishes
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Re: Tankless Water Heater – no hot water
Author:hj (AZ)quote;Also, remember if it happens once, it could happen again.Which is exactly why lightning can strike twice in the same place.
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Re: Tankless Water Heater – no hot water
Author:Scott D. Plumber (VA)Sorry for the delay.just saw the post.Got several of these calls with the cold weather. If you are on Propane, chances are your regulator is frozen.In which case you are getting an error code 12.Cll your gas company and have them add methanol to the tank.If you have no water at all, yep, Frozen pipe.Get a heater under the house to thaw things out adn make sure your brick vents are closed.-Give your kids a great start on the future!Encourage them learn a trade.Even if they go on to do other things, it’s always nice to know that they have something to fall back on.Call your local technical training center or trade school to learn more.
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Maintaining Tankless Water Heaters in Freezing Temperatures

Tankless water heaters are often positioned on the exterior of the home, against the wall. Tankless water heaters might be particularly sensitive to damage in cold weather as a result of this. While tankless water heaters do not have the capacity to store large amounts of water like tank water heaters, they are still susceptible to freezing in cold weather conditions. The freezing temperatures that can occur in a tankless water heater during cold weather may cause you to be concerned. The majority of tankless water heaters are equipped with electric freeze prevention, which shields critical internal components from freezing temperatures ranging from -5 to -22 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Do you require the services of a Licensed Plumber?
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  • As a result, additional protection will be required in order to avoid freezing in extremely cold temperatures.
  • Continue reading if you want to learn how to maintain your tankless water heater safe in cold weather and what to do if your hot water stops working in the middle of winter.

How a Tankless Water Heater can Freeze

Water in tankless water heaters that are located outside is susceptible to freezing when standing water within the heater is exposed to wintry weather and the freezing temperatures that come along with it. The majority of indoor and outdoor tankless water heaters have built-in freeze protection against freezing temperatures that kicks in when temperatures drop into the low 30s Fahrenheit and range from -5 to -22 degrees Fahrenheit over a short period of time. As previously stated, most tankless water heaters have built-in freeze protection against freezing temperatures.

If your tankless water heater is beeping, it is possible that there is a problem with the internal components as a result of the freezing temperatures.

Because water expands when it freezes, a tankless water heater that is exposed to freezing weather will not only stop working, but the expanding water may also cause damage to the interior components, resulting in you having to pay for a costly repair or replacement.

6 Tips to Keep Your Tankless Water Heater from Freezing

When it comes to dealing with a frozen water heater, prevention is always the best strategy to employ. Because most tankless water heaters have built-in freeze prevention, this is not a concern. When these protection measures fail or malfunction, you are at danger of suffering from freezing damage.

Install your water heater in a warm area

While it may not always be practical, placing your water heater in a warm location is the most effective approach to prevent it from freezing. Even though it is preferable to stay indoors and away from the harsh winter weather, an outdoor heater may be properly positioned to help alleviate the affects of the cold. Here are a few suggestions about where to locate outdoor water heaters:

  • While it is not always practicable, placing your water heater in a warm location is the most effective approach to prevent it from freezing. Even if it is preferable to stay indoors and away from the harsh winter elements, an outdoor heater may be properly positioned to help reduce the affects of the cold weather. For outdoor water heater placement, consider the following suggestions: a.

Run a small stream of water through the tankless water heater

Water will normally only freeze if it is left standing for an extended period of time. If you run a small, constant stream of water through your tankless water heater, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of your tankless water heater freezing. It doesn’t have to be much – 0.1 to 0.2 gallons per minute should be plenty to keep the water from freezing in the pipes. By turning on a tap that is slightly out of the way, you can achieve this goal. While this may result in a slight increase in your water bill, the savings from avoiding a costly water heater repair bill will more than offset the additional expense.

Use of the built-in electric heaters

Several tankless water heaters are equipped with built-in electric freeze prevention heaters, which prevent standing water from freezing and turning into ice. In order for these heaters to be effective when they are in perfect working order, you must first ensure that they are connected to an electrical outlet with a dependable power supply. They will not function if they are not connected to an external source of electricity. Electricity outages are widespread during periods of high low temperatures or after winter storms.

The installation of a backup battery power source for your tankless water heater is yet another option to consider.

Furthermore, freeze prevention heaters are only effective down to temperatures as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit, at the most.

Winterize the tankless water heater

Whether you’re dealing with a water heater at a vacation home that goes out in the middle of winter or a power outage in cold weather, if you’re going to be away for a lengthy amount of time, you should drain the water from the heater. It will completely avoid the possibility of standing water freezing and causing damage to the internal components. You’ll also save money that would have been spent on preventative measures if you had done nothing. Some tankless water heaters are equipped with solenoid valves that provide freeze prevention.

Ice protection solenoid valves are always “open,” and electricity is required for them to close in order for the valve to close. During a power outage, the valve automatically opens and empties the tankless water heater, saving energy.

How to manually drain your tankless water heater

If your tankless water heater does not have a freeze prevention solenoid valve kit installed, you will have to manually empty the system in order to prevent it from freezing. To manually empty your tankless water heater, follow these steps.

  1. Turn off the gas and cold water supplies
  2. Turn off the electricity. The temperature control panel should be turned off. The electrical power to the water heater should be turned off
  3. To alleviate pressure in the pipes, turn on the hot water faucet at a sink within the home before turning on the valves. A bucket should be placed beneath the water heater to collect the water
  4. The drain caps on the hot and cold isolation valves should be removed. Open the hot and cold isolation valves, if necessary. Remove the cold water intake filter as well as any drain caps located at the bottom of the water heater and set them aside.

Tankless water heater maintenance may be done at the same time as winterizing.

Install a hot water recirculation system

For those who live in a very chilly region, it can be worthwhile to consider installing an air circulation system. The majority of the time, these systems are designed to give an instant source of hot water at a specific spot. However, they also continually engage both your water heater and your pipes. However, while this will protect your heater and pipes from freezing, the added expenditure is likely not worth it for most people. Other advantages of a recirculation system include minimizing the amount of time it takes hot water to reach the fixtures that are the furthest away from the tankless water heater.

Insulate your water supply pipes

Water does not only pass through your water heater; it also passes through other things. Your pipes are also at risk of freezing, and they do not have the freeze prevention devices that are included in the majority of tankless water heaters. When it comes to pipe insulation, there are a few materials you can use to protect your pipes from freeze damage that are not as expensive as other options.

  • Insulation made of heat tape, polyethylene insulation, and fiberglass insulation

What to do if Your Tankless Water Heater Freezes?

Insulation tape, polyethylene insulation, and fiberglass insulation are all examples of insulation types.

Check the water supply pipes

When you have no hot water, the first thing to look for is a leak in the pipes. Your water heater’s pipes flowing into or out of it are considerably more prone to freeze than the heater itself. The most likely location to discover a frozen pipe is the area where they enter and exit your home. It is important to examine this piece of piping for frozen standing water before proceeding with any other work since it is the most exposed to the environment and cold wind gusts that can cause water to freeze.

When frozen water expands, it has the potential to cause significant damage to most traditional plumbing materials.

All of the above methods, including using a hairdryer, space heater, or heat gun, will swiftly defrost the water.

Increase the temperature on your thermostat and open up any sections that contain pipes to allow the heat to reach them.

Closets, cupboards, and storage rooms are examples of popular places where pipes can be found. Using a combination of local heat (a stream of air directed at the frozen piece) and global heat (your home’s heating system) should be sufficient to defrost practically any frozen pipes you come across.

Check the condition of your tankless water heater

If the pipes appear to be thawed and functioning as intended, you should inspect the water heater for problems. A frozen heater is only likely to occur if you have experienced a prolonged power outage or if you have left the heater turned off for an extended length of time. As a result, it is unlikely that a frozen heater would result in a rapid loss of water pressure. Having said that, it is still feasible, and it is something you should investigate more. The quickest and most straightforward approach to determine whether or not your heater is frozen is to open the drain valve.

If the tank is turned on and appears to be working, but no water is draining from the drain valve, there is a good likelihood that the heater has been filled with frozen water.

When water freezes, it can do serious damage to the internal components of your heater, making it more cost effective to simply replace the damaged components rather than hire a professional to fix them.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on HomeInspectionInsider.com is not intended to be professional guidance.

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Frozen Tankless Water Heater Losses

  • The use of aerial work platforms, crane rigging, failure analysis, fires and explosions, heavy machinery, HVAC systems, and machinery damage assessment are all topics covered.

Over the last few months, we’ve witnessed an increase in the amount of water damage claims related to gas-fired and electric tankless water heaters that were exposed to freezing temperatures. Tankless hot water heaters are becoming increasingly popular and widely used as a result of the energy savings they provide over standard water heaters. When put on the exterior of a home or company in a region where persistent freezing or extremely low temperatures are not prevalent, these units can save money on energy costs.

  1. The pipes running throughout the house, as well as the pipes leading to the water heater output, were not adequately insulated.
  2. Water that had frozen in the pipe had extended downstream, rupturing the pipe at its most vulnerable location.
  3. Internal pipes were not protected by the external insulation.
  4. Tankless water heaters do not require the use of a pilot light or the use of a tank that must be heated continually in order to provide hot water.
  5. According to the manufacturer, certain tankless water heaters are fitted with a freeze protection electric heater and insulation, which keeps the device from freezing inside even at temperatures as low as -30°F, depending on the wind and other environmental factors.
  6. Drain down systems offer an additional layer of protection.
  7. How does it fare, though, when there is a power failure in conjunction with extremely low temperatures?

To lessen the likelihood of freezing, other protective strategies might include turning on a faucet and allowing a tiny stream of hot water to run constantly to reduce the chance of freezing.

The installation of this system will allow all water contained within the unit to drain out if the power is interrupted or if a component of the product malfunctions.

If you have a situation regarding a frozen tankless water heater, please contact us by phone or email at Warren.

He is a senior consulting engineer at Warren.

As a project engineer for nuclear weapon lifting and handling systems, John has built crane systems, supervised installation, tested and certified lifting equipment, and even served as a nuclear weapon lifting and handling systems maintenance and certification engineer.

Among his professional affiliations are memberships in the American Society of Materials and the American Society of Testing and Materials.

He also serves as a voting member of the American Society of Testing and Materials’ ASTM ShipsMarine Forensic Sciences Committee, the Forensic Engineering Committee, and the Building Performance Committee.

Why Is My Tankless Water Heater Not Hot?

A number of water damage losses have occurred recently as a result of gas-fired and electric tankless water heaters being exposed to subzero temperatures. As a result of its energy savings over traditional water heaters, tankless hot water heaters have gained in popularity and usage. When put on the exterior of a home or business in a region where continuous freezing or extremely low temperatures are not usual, these devices are known as “freezing units.” Another situation occurred when an out-of-town homeowner arrived to find hot water pouring into their home from damaged pipes that were only 10 feet away from the external wall.

  1. The temperature had dropped into the teens the night before, and the water in the pipes near the tankless water heater froze as a result of the low temperatures.
  2. When the temperature began to rise again, the frozen pipe thawed and began to leak once more.
  3. Tankless water heaters, in contrast to traditional water heaters, only switch on when there is a need for hot water in the household.
  4. Consequently, if no one uses hot water for a lengthy period of time, such as when sleeping overnight, the device will not produce any heat.
  5. The electric heater, on the other hand, solely serves to safeguard the water heater’s internal components.
  6. Insulation and/or additional electric heaters must be used to protect piping and valves that are not directly connected to the heater but are still linked to it.
  7. When this occurs, it is obvious that the system will be rendered vulnerable.

The installation of an optional drain down system is recommended by certain manufacturers in colder locations.

Tankless hot water heaters exposed to cold conditions have experienced a variety of failure mechanisms, which we have observed in multiple instances.

In addition to more than 30 years of crane and heavy equipment experience, John Phillips has more than 17 years of experience in forensic engineering.

The NCEES has registered him as a model engineer as well as with the United States Council for International Engineering Practice, or USCIEP.

As a project engineer for nuclear weapon lifting and handling systems, John has built crane systems, supervised installation, tested and certified lifting equipment, and even served as a nuclear weapon lifting and handling systems maintenance and certification.

Among his professional affiliations are memberships in the American Society of Materials and the American Society of Testing and Materials.

He also serves as a voting member of the American Society of Testing and Materials’ ASTM ShipsMarine Forensic Sciences Committee, the Forensic Engineering Committee, and the Performance of Buildings Committee, among others.

Signs Your Heater Isn’t Working

There are a variety of indicators that your tankless water heater isn’t performing as it should, or that your pipes have frozen, including the following:

  • While you’re attempting to run hot water, you’re getting cold water
  • Strange sounds emanating from the pipes
  • There is no water coming from the pipes

Avoid forcing your tankless water heater to work if it isn’t heating the water properly. It is possible that your pipes may need to be thawed before you can properly utilize the system. We recommend that you see a plumber about thawing frozen pipes. If it is not a pipe issue, but rather a tankless water heater issue, contact your heating and conditioning or plumbing professionals to have someone come out and inspect the heater. Other than winter frost, there may be another factor contributing to the tankless heater’s failure to perform as it is supposed to.

Freezing Weather Leads to Frozen Water

The freezing temperatures that occur throughout the winter months might cause difficulties with the pipelines and water heaters. During the night, when homeowners turn down the heat and don’t run the water as frequently, this sort of weather can be very troublesome for them. Aside from power outages and lengthy vacations, tanks can also become frozen if the water is not circulated through the system properly. Winterizing your tankless water heater is particularly crucial for cabins and rental houses, among other places.

This causes your pipes and heater to freeze while the heat is turned off and the plumbing isn’t used on a consistent basis.

When the electricity goes off, the valves function by emptying the water from your tank.

  • Drain Your Tankless Heater: Before you begin winterizing your tankless heater, you should drain all remaining liquid from the unit before it has a chance to freeze. To do so, just switch off the water, gas, and temperature control valves on the meter. Remove the heater from your electrical system and place a bucket underneath it to capture any water that may have accumulated. Also, remove the drain cap. The water should start to flow into the bucket as soon as the valves are opened, the intake filter is removed, and the drain stopper is removed. Turning off the water heater for the season is simple: If you are not at home, there is no need to leave your heater turned on. Follow the methods outlined above, but do not allow the gas or water to run again. Instead, keep everything unattached so that the heater does not have to replenish and so does not freeze. Wait until you’re ready to use your heater again before putting it away. Re-activating your heater consists of the following steps: Replace the plugs in the water drain, pump drain, and condensate trap, as well as the valve drain plug and intake filter, once they have been removed. Open the cold and then hot water taps, and then switch on the electric power to the heater to get it started. Start the engine by pressing the gas pedal (make sure your temperature control is still off when you turn on gas). Once the gas is turned on, simply turn on the temperature control and you’re ready to go.

When temperatures dip to such low levels that tankless heaters are unable to operate, your pipes and plumbing may also freeze. For added protection, consider wrapping pipes with insulation or heating cable. Heating cable is a particularly cost-effective solution that provides protection down to minus 50 degrees Celsius. For assistance with protecting or wrapping external pipelines, we recommend that you call a plumber for assistance.

Call Us Today to Learn More

Tankless water installation services are provided by Rocksteady Plumbing, a major supplier in San Luis Obispo County and the neighboring communities. Interested in learning more about Rocksteady Plumbing and the water heater services we provide? To talk with a member of our team, please contact us now. Please contact us with any questions or comments you may have, whether you’re a new or returning client.

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