Want To Know How To Prevent Your Tankless Water Heater From Freezing?
Old man winter does not look kindly upon plumbing systems, especially in northern climates where temperatures often dip below freezing. Water heaters can fall prey to his icy wrath too if proper precautions are not taken.
Freeze damage to tankless water heaters usually takes the form of standing water inside the unit turning into ice, expanding and damaging the internal components. Built-in electric heaters protect Noritz tankless units from freezing, but there are two caveats:
- To activate, the electric freeze prevention heaters must be plugged in. Without a power source, they won’t work.
- Even with the built-in electric heaters, excessively cold climates may require additional steps to prevent freezing. The freeze prevention system protects only the heater’s most critical components.
Try the following freeze prevention tips to ensure your water heaters last through the winter:
Install Your Water Heater in a Warm Place
Although not always possible, installing a water heater in a heated space will naturally help prevent freezing during the winter months. Use vent terminations that incorporate wind-resistant features and locate them away from prevailing winds (to cut down on that wind chill).
Drain Your Water Heater
As mentioned, standing water, no matter how small, can collect inside the unit and freeze. When this happens, the ice can damage internal plastic components. Prevent this by draining the unit, especially when going away for an extended period. Furthermore, be sure to isolate the water to the heater, using the valves located on the hot- and cold-water lines.
Maintain a Power Source
Stay connected to electricity to ensure the freeze protection system will operate. Note that this doesn’t mean the water heater needs to be on — just plugged in. For areas that frequently have power outages, either a battery backup system or drain-down solenoids should be used.
Consider a Recirculation System
Recirculation systems are typically installed to have hot water nearby and ready for on-demand use at a fixture. An added benefit during the winter is it allows the heater to continuously warm your pipes and prevent your plumbing lines and equipment from freezing over.
Insulate, Insulate, Insulate
Not just your water heater, but also your pipes are at risk from frigid temperatures, and they are NOT protected by the freeze prevention system in your heater. Be sure to insulate pipes with fiberglass or polyethylene insulation or heat tape.
Run a Trickle of Water
One trick for preventing pipes from freezing is to run at least a trickle of water, measuring 0.1 to 0.2 gallons per minute overnight through the hot side on the furthest fixture with the gas off to the heater. This will keep water running through the system and minimize the chance of freezing.
If you have additional freeze prevention questions, please contact the Noritz technical department at 1-866-766-7489.