Have you recently replaced your water heater with a new outdoor tankless water heater, or do you have a newly constructed home with a tankless water heater installed on the exterior of your home?  These outdoor water heaters free up space inside your home, but require power at all times to operate their freeze prevention system which could cause problems during winter storms like we experienced in January which caused power outages.

A real estate agent friend of mine told me about outdoor tankless water heaters that burst during the storm in a neighborhood of newly constructed homes.  With the power outage, the freeze prevention system was not operational which led to them bursting, so I did a little research to find out how it can be prevented in future storms.  First, you will need to drain the unit.  Then, leave a faucet dripping until the power comes back on.  Also, the freeze prevention system works only on the water heater itself.  If you have pipes that are unprotected or not insulated, you still run the risk of your pipes freezing in colder temperatures that do not cause power outages.

These systems are still relatively new.  I read reviews and considered installing one at my home a few years ago after my hot water tank burst, but didn’t think about what could happen to it in the winter months.  So, if you have a tankless water heater or are considering buying one, remember to protect them just as you would your pipes during the freezing weather and winter storm related power outages.

Basic Tankless 101:  A tutorial for the homeowner and the professional by M. Scott Gregg