Is Your Water Heater Ready for the Cold?
Although Georgia does not have the coldest weather around, we have seen temperatures dip pretty low the past couple of winters. Many of us have learned that we need to take necessary steps to make sure our home’s pipes don’t freeze, but have you thought about your water heater? If you have a tankless water heater, you especially need to think about protecting it from the harsh winter temperatures.
Tankless water heaters are more energy efficient, so they have gotten more and more popular. Many of these have built-in protection against short-term cold temperatures, but are not sufficient for long-term cold. If you know there will be a streak of cold days and nights, you’ll want to take precautions necessary to keep your water heater from freezing. Hubb Plumbing wanted to provide you with some tips to do just that.
- Protect the outside plumbing
The most important step you can take to protect your tankless water heater is to make sure that the plumbing that leads up to it are well insulated, especially outdoor pipes. If you have a freezing problem, this is where it will happen. Although many systems have a built-in freeze protection, it does not protect the pipes around it. You can add insulation to your pipes with heat tape, pipe covers or electric heaters.
- Keep water flowing
If you have had no time to prepare, or just want to be on the safe side, leave your water trickling when the temperatures really dip down. Just a small trickle of water going through pipes will keep the pressure down so your pipes don’t freeze.
- Keep the power on
Tankless water heaters need power so you should never unplug the unit in the winter. If the system doesn’t have power, the prevention heaters inside will not work. You might think that it would help conserve energy to unplug it, but don’t do it!
- Keep it in a warm area
Often, in the South especially, tankless heaters are placed outside. You might want to consider having yours moved to where it will be warmer, like in the basement or garage.
If you have a tank water heater, freezing is not so much of a concern. If you want to try to conserve energy, though, consider replacing the older insulation or putting more insulation on. This could reduce heat losses by 25-25% and reduce your heating costs by up to 9%.
Hubb Plumbing is here for you if you have any questions or concerns about your water heater. Maybe it’s time for a new one. Call us about our $50 off any water heater installation special!