In February of 2021, there were thousands of outdoor hot water heaters lost. It was thought by most that it was because in Texas, tankless hot water heaters aren't supposed to be installed on the outside. But unbeknownst to most Texans, there is a way to winterize tankless hot water heaters.
If your outdoor tankless water heater starting to get a hard freeze again, it’s really imperative to open a cold and a hot faucet. Don’t let it drop for it’ll freeze. You need to have a pretty heavy dribble though not a full stream and do it on the cold side.
The trick for the hot side is that these are built for flow rate which means that the motion of water flowing through it gets it to turn on. You need to have somebody on a hot faucet while you stand out here and have returned that hot faucet until the unit comes on. You then slowly back it off until it shuts off and leave it right there at that point so in that way, you're not wasting gas and electricity, but you have enough water flowing through it that it won't freeze.
In the event that you lose power, don't touch or do anything, leave everything open on the inside and leave this as be. This is if you lose water for frozen pipe in your yard or if the city shuts it down.
The only extra step you're going to do is you're going to come out here to go lift a level that's called the TMP. That will drain all the water inside of the heater, therefore when it freezes and expands, there's nothing to break inside of here. Never shut your meter off outside and never shut anything off inside.
Water expands significantly when it freezes. If you go shut your meter off or any valves now you've blocked out water having places to go and that's when you start getting busted pipes plus the heat exchangers.
To make it short, open a hot and cold on a pretty heavy dribble. If you lose power. Do not do anything. If you lose water, drain your water heater by opening up the TMP valve.
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Maintaining Your Tankless Hot Water Heater in Texas
In order to maintain your tankless hot water in Texas, you want to get an electrician out here or you can essentially leave it if you wanted to, this is how it operates. The trick is to these things is that these need to be flushed yearly.
That's extremely imperative on the lifespan. Again, you'll shut the cold water valve going into the unit off and the hot water feeding the house off. This will turn your units isolated. Next is to take off both of the caps, open the valves up, and get a five-gallon bucket with a submersible pump that a hose from the pump to this cold side and another hose from the hot back into the bucket. Fill it up with vinegar and circulate it for about 90 minutes.
Remember to change the vinegar out every 15 because it loses its acidity after seven minutes. Do that once a year. If you don’t do it, you'll void your warranty and all other parts. Everything in your tankless water heater is interchangeable if something breaks. What your handyman can do is that they'll do it overnight the part, swap it out, ship the old one back and test it right away.
They can tell if it's been maintained properly. If it hasn't, you’ll have to say goodbye to your warranties. It’s important to stay on top of it. For the first year, they can come out and flush it for you as well as making sure all those nuts and bolts are tight and are running similar to when you buy a new car. You take it to the dealership for that first maintenance. It's really simple. homeowners can do it. There's nothing wrong with it. It's just important to stay on top of it every year.
Posted by Ryan Rodenbeck on