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I need a handyman today.
January 18, 2009 9:52 AM   Subscribe

Help needed quickly!! My tankless water heater is leaking after freezing weather. For 2 days there was no hot water. Nothing coming out of the tap. Last night the water was flowing and it was hot.

This morning water is flowing but it will not get hot so I stepped outside to see what might be wrong.

The bottom of the box is dripping water from 4 or 5 different places as far as I can gather. It is Sunday and my husband is out of town. I can deal with no hot water but I am afraid of what this very heavy dripping means and what it is doing to my water bill.

Anyone who knows what I need to do, please give me some answers!!

Appreciate any help.
posted by shaarog to Grab Bag (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I am not familiar with tankless water heaters but surely there is a cut-off valve on the unit where the water line enters the heater. Turn it off for now then call the heater people tomorrow.
posted by JayRwv at 10:04 AM on January 18, 2009


First thing to do is look and see if the tank has its own shutoff valve. If so, it should be on the intake (cold water) side of the unit. As long as you can get along without hot water, you can shut it off and call a plumber on Monday (when it will be cheaper than weekend/emergency rates). Otherwise, you may have to turn off the main valve, which will turn off all your water. That valve should be near where the water pipe enters your house.

Whether or not it's repairable will depend on what was damaged when the water inside froze. The plumber should be able to tell you once they examine it.
posted by tommasz at 10:04 AM on January 18, 2009


I am afraid of what this very heavy dripping means and what it is doing to my water bill.

Nothing good, but there's nothing you can do about how much you've already wasted- it's money spent. Focus on stopping the bleeding. Call a plumber.
posted by mkultra at 10:04 AM on January 18, 2009


The water froze and damaged the pipe(s). There should be a water shut off valve going in to the heater, turn the water off. If there's no shut off, turn off the main water valve, should be near the meter and or located where your water enters the house.
posted by lee at 10:04 AM on January 18, 2009


Yes, find the shutoff valve and use it. That said, "...I stepped outside to see what might be wrong." doesn't sound right. I would expect the heater to be located indoors.
posted by jon1270 at 10:26 AM on January 18, 2009


That said, "...I stepped outside to see what might be wrong." doesn't sound right. I would expect the heater to be located indoors.

Many tankless hot water heaters are designed to be installed outdoors (here is one example).

As said above, there should be a shutoff valve for the water heater. If you can't find it, you'll need to call in a plumber now, rather than waiting a few days.
posted by Forktine at 10:37 AM on January 18, 2009


Forktine, from the page you linked to: "Outdoor models should not be installed in climates where freezing is possible."

The average overnight low in Atlanta during January is just barely above freezing.
posted by jon1270 at 10:42 AM on January 18, 2009


...I am afraid of what this very heavy dripping means and what it is doing to my water bill.

Well, if it looks like several bathtubs-full of water have dripped out already, you've probably squandered a buck or two...

Water dripping for a day or two is relatively inexpensive. It's water dripping 24/7/365 that can become expensive. Rest easy on this issue.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:15 PM on January 18, 2009


This model is for outdoor use only. From the manual: "The heater is equipped with freeze prevention equipment that will operate and prevent freezing of the water in the heater to 5°F with no wind chill. Electrical power must be maintained to the heater to allow this to
function. WARNING: Proper insulation of the water lines below the heater is required if below freezing temperatures, below 32°F, are ever anticipated." We have insulated the pipes.

The temp was never lower than 20 degrees. I did find an error code on a panel and the code supposedly means No rotational speed sensor signal from FAN.

I have turned off the water at the street and will wait for my husband to return tomorrow night. It is under warrenty and he installed it so we should be able to get a part from the manufacturer and he can fix it.

So I smell l like a goat and am melting ice from the refrig for drinking water. Thanks for the answers and esp. IAmBrooms financial implications advice.
posted by shaarog at 7:01 PM on January 18, 2009


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