With professional sizing and installation, tankless water heaters are ideal heating solutions for many household hot water needs. Like storage water heaters, measures must be implemented to protect tankless water heaters from pipe damage caused by freezing temperatures. Here’s what needs to be done:
Protecting Tankless Water Heaters
Tankless water heaters are available as electric-powered models or natural-gas-powered models. As long as the heater (heating element or combustion component) is on, it’s not at risk of freezing when outside temperatures dip below 32 degrees. If there’s a disruption to power, however, your heater might be damaged by the freezing water inside the system.
An experienced HVAC professional can implement preventive measures during installation to protect your tankless water heater. This is accomplished by installing an emergency drain pipe, which prevents water inside your heater from freezing. The primary concern regarding freezing water and components is to protect the copper pipes that convey cold intake water for heating.
“Heat tracing” a tankless water heater to protect pipes requires installing a combination of heat source and insulation. Here’s how this is done:
- Measure the length of the exposed pipe feeding your tankless water heater. Piping running along the inside of unconditioned walls, such as garage walls, outdoor pipes and any piping located in an unconditioned space, are vulnerable to freezing.
- Plug in the heater wire nearest the pipe by the heater. Wrap the heater wire around the pipe with a spiral twist about every 12 inches. Then, use electrical tape to secure the heater wire every three to four inches, so that it stays in place. If you’re near the end of the pipe and have excess wire, tighten the spirals without overlapping. It’s okay if the wire is a few inches short.
- Wrap the insulated tape in a tight spiral pattern around the pipe. Then, overlap the tape by one-quarter inch to ensure the entire pipe is insulated from beginning to end.
By protecting your tankless water heater, you’re ensuring your Peachtree City home has plenty of hot water no matter the weather. For more tips, please contact Powers Heating & Air today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Mile Atanasov/Shutterstock”