How to Protect an Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

How to Protect an Outdoor Tankless Water Heater? 10 Easy Steps

Outdoor tankless water heaters are susceptible to damage from different elements, including moisture, rain, snow, and temperature. This article explores how to protect an outdoor tankless water heater, so read to the end to learn how to best protect your precious investment.

Embracing the warmth of a morning shower or the convenience of a hot tap is a luxury modern life bestows upon us, courtesy of outdoor tankless water heaters. Embracing the efficiency of an outdoor tankless water heater comes with its perks: uninterrupted hot water and energy savings. But as winter’s chill creeps in, concerns about freezing and functionality arise, leading to several tankless water heater problems.

According to Forbes, the vulnerability of these heaters to freezing primarily depends on their location and model. An exterior water heater is particularly susceptible to temperature drops, potentially leading to frozen components and reduced performance. From thwarting freezes to tackling tankless water heater problems, we unravel simple yet crucial measures to protect your investment.

To help prevent tankless water heater from freezing, this comprehensive guide will empower you with knowledge on how to protect an outdoor tankless water heater.

10 Steps to Protect an Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

1. Understand freeze risks

The convenience of an outdoor tankless water heater is unmatched: instant hot water when you need it. However, when winter descends, and temperatures plummet, there’s a real risk of freezing. This can result in a frustrating scenario where you experience no hot water during freeze. Unlike traditional tank-based water heaters that store hot water, tankless models work on demand. While this design saves energy, it makes them more vulnerable to cold weather. Without proper precautions, your water heater might suffer from common tankless water heater problems, leaving you in the cold.

2. Employ insulation tactics

Picture your tankless water heater as a friend needing a warm coat to brave the winter chill. As you wrap yourself in layers, you should insulate your pipes and the unit to prevent a frozen hot water heater. This is akin to providing a cozy water heater blanket for your appliance. Insulation retains heat, ensuring the water within your heater remains above freezing temperatures. This practice is the cornerstone of adequate outdoor tankless water heater freeze protection. Creating a barrier against the cold safeguards your heater’s functionality and maintains a steady hot water supply.

3. Find a favorable spot

Choosing the right spot for your outdoor tankless water heater is more than just aesthetics. It significantly impacts its performance, especially regarding tankless water heater freeze protection. Look for a location shielded from harsh weather conditions and direct winds. Placing your heater in a sheltered area reduces its exposure to extreme cold. Additionally, proper ventilation is crucial to prevent condensation buildup. Accumulated moisture can lead to freezing, compromising your unit’s efficiency. A well-chosen spot contributes to the longevity of your water heater and ensures it continues to deliver warm water, even on the coldest days.

4. Check for freeze protection features

When shopping for a new tankless water heater, watch for models with integrated freeze proof tankless water heater features. These advanced units are equipped with innovative mechanisms designed to prevent freezing. Temperature sensors and intelligent heating elements kick into action when the temperature drops, ensuring that your heater remains operational. These features are your defense against sudden cold snaps, reassuring you that your water heater can weather the winter.

5. Shield with a cover

Think of a tankless water heater cover as your heater’s winter coat. This tailored layer of protection shields your unit from the elements, ensuring its reliability even in the harshest conditions. Like dressing warmly in winter, covering your outdoor tankless water heater prevents exposure to rain, snow, and biting winds. By shielding against moisture and frigid air, the cover contributes to consistent performance, extending the life of your water heater and offering you reliable warmth throughout the year.

6. Perform routine maintenance

Just like any appliance, routine maintenance is vital to preventing tankless water heater problems that can be exacerbated during freezing weather. Regular checkups are your proactive defense against unexpected malfunctions. Perform periodic inspections, clean or replace filters, and ensure all connections are secure. Don’t also forget to flush your tankless water heater every once in a while. Keeping your water heater well-maintained minimizes the risk of freezing-related issues and guarantees a smooth, warm water flow when needed.

7. Invest in freeze protection accessories

Enhance your tankless water heater freeze protection strategy by investing in specialized accessories. These components, such as heating elements and temperature sensors, provide an additional layer of security against freezing. Temperature sensors monitor drops in temperature and activate heating mechanisms as needed, while dedicated heating elements keep critical components warm. These accessories are fail-safe, ensuring your water heater remains functional even in extreme cold.

8. Keep an eye on the power supply

The power supply becomes crucial during freezing weather, as unexpected outages can compromise the tankless water heater freeze protection. Ensure that your heater is consistently connected to a reliable power source. A stable power supply guarantees that your heater’s freeze protection features remain operational, preventing sudden shutdowns that could lead to freezing.

9. Drain for extended inactivity

When the weather turns colder, and you anticipate extended periods of inactivity, consider draining your tankless water heater. This precautionary step prevents stagnant water from freezing within the system during idle periods. Draining your heater ensures no residual water is left to freeze, safeguarding against potential damage and ensuring a smooth restart when you’re ready to use it again.

10. Seek professional help

When uncertainty lingers, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from professionals. Enlisting the expertise of a qualified technician ensures the proper installation, maintenance, and implementation of advanced measures for freeze protection. Professionals can evaluate your specific setup, recommend tailored solutions, and provide guidance on optimizing your tankless water heater’s performance in cold conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why tankless water heater goes cold after a few minutes?

A tankless water heater going cold after a few minutes can be due to several reasons. One common factor is the heater’s flow capacity. If the water demand exceeds the unit’s flow rate, it may struggle to maintain a consistent temperature, leading to cold water.

How to insulate an outdoor tankless water heater?

Insulating an outdoor tankless water heater is vital for outdoor tankless water heater freeze protection and energy efficiency. Begin by wrapping the pipes and the unit itself with insulation material, much like you’d use a water heater blanket. This helps retain heat and prevents cold air from affecting the heater’s performance. Ensure that the insulation is secured tightly without obstructing vents or controls. Insulating the water pipes that lead to and from the heater is equally important to minimize heat loss during transit.

Are hot water heater blankets worth it?

Hot water heater blankets are worth considering, especially for traditional tank-based water heaters. These blankets are designed to provide additional insulation, reduce heat loss, and improve energy efficiency. They work by keeping the stored water in the tank warmer for longer. However, outdoor tankless water heaters focus on insulating pipes and the unit itself rather than using traditional blankets.

Can an electric tankless water heater be installed outside?

Electric tankless water heaters can be installed outside, provided they are designed for outdoor use. Not all models are suitable for outdoor installation due to exposure to the elements and potential freezing risks.

How to keep an outdoor tankless water heater from freezing?

To prevent your outdoor tankless water heater from freezing, insulate the unit and pipes, choose a sheltered installation spot, and consider models with freeze protection features. Regular maintenance, draining the unit when inactive, using a tankless water heater cover, ensuring a consistent power supply, and seeking professional advice are all effective strategies.


Keeping your outdoor tankless water heater safe from freezing is about insulation, wise placement, and regular care. With these steps, you can enjoy a reliable hot water supply even when the cold weather interferes. So, stay warm and worry-free with your outdoor tankless water heater, ready to tackle any freeze that comes its way.