Tankless water heaters should not be sold in cold climates

Discussion in 'Tankless Water Heater Forum' started by Katharina, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. Katharina

    Katharina New Member

    Feb 25, 2011
    Saskatoon SK
    After spending all of that money to have a tankless water heater installed to have it
    Freeze and break.
  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Jan 5, 2008
    Test, Don't Guess!
    Land of Cheese
    Your statement is a symptom of a customer who does not comprehend how things work.

    Any part of house's entire plumbing system could freeze and break if left exposed to freezing temperatures. A tankless is no different. If you let it freeze, it will break.
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  4. mcconnellplumbing

    mcconnellplumbing Scotsman

    Dec 31, 2010
    plumbing contractor, 25 years, high end residentia
    Wellston, OK
    Some tankless water heaters have an internal freeze protection to prevent the unit from freezing as long as the gas and electricity is available. Navien and Rinnai do. Pipes to and from unit are up to the customer/plumber
  5. Dana

    Dana In the trades

    Jan 14, 2009
    The freeze protection schemes for many tankless units aren't up to the extremes of Saskatchewan weather, and none work when there's a power outage (which of course NEVER happens during extreme cold high wind weather! :) )

    Most units either have backdraft prevention dampers or have that option as a retrofit, but on units that aren't sealed combustion that alone may not be adequate, particularly on shorter vent runs. Heat exchangers work in both directions- if you have even a trickle of -40 air backdrafting in through the heat exchanger in a high wind, there can be heat exchanger freeze up damage. That cold air trickle is orders of magnitude lower on sealed-conbustion direct-vent units than those that use room air for combustion. Installing it in fully conditioned space helps, and going longer than minimum length on the vent runs both mitigate that risk.

    You have to be a bit more careful in product selection and how they're installed to avoid freeze damage in very cold climates, but it's doable.
  6. ak_2011

    ak_2011 New Member

    Mar 18, 2011
    I live in Alaska with temps regularly below 0, my water supply is via well and is 40 degrees at best when it hits the heater. Since I installed my Palomo tankless heater in a conditioned (heated) location it's never froze and has always supplied plenty of hot water.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2011
  7. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Dec 28, 2009
    "retired" and still building and troubleshooting
    northfork, california
    Unless its weekend house, everyone I know with one has had endless issues and failures.

    Give me a 200$ tank any day.
  8. vinman

    vinman New Member

    Aug 17, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    And I suppose the millions of people that live in northern europe where tankless water heaters are the only water heaters that exist , are dealing with endless issues .....
    I guess in europe they have many more brands and models to choose from , and since they've been using them since the 60's they have all the issues figured out.
    The heading on this post should read " Tankless water heaters should not be sold in cold climates to people who don't comprehend how to use them ."
    Yes I'm a newbie , and this is my 2nd post , but as i wrote in my first post 2 years ago , I use a miniscule tankless (220 volt) that is supposed to be used for one sink only and I've been heating the water for 2 baths and 1 kitchen (from my well) for 3 years without any issues.
    I'm in canada , it's frigging cold and we still have 2 feet of snow outside.
    When it breaks I'll go to the Depot and buy a $200 tank like all my neighbours have.

    Funny thing is that no-one follwed up my very first post in 2009 when I spoke of this puny water heater.
    I would not want to be the last reply in this thread either , anyone curious or doubtfull ?
    I'm willing to share what I've learned .......................tanx Vin.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
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