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Can a water heater freeze?

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  • Can a water heater freeze?

    Can a tank type water heater that's properly functioning (fuel supplied and properly cycling) freeze?

    J.C.

  • #2
    Re: Can a water heater freeze?

    I think it's possible, in a lab, under controlled circumstances. But not in any real world condition.

    Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
    Can a tank type water heater that's properly functioning (fuel supplied and properly cycling) freeze?

    J.C.
    No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Can a water heater freeze?

      No, not if the controls are working properly. Although......I wonder if it was in a super cold climate, say Northern Canada with a very low temperature say
      -30F and a wind of say 40 mph, and a window was open in abasement with no heat on. I wonder if the wind chill factor would overwwhelm the BTU input of the burner. I do not believe so, but......

      I have seen 30 and 40 gallon ice cubes in basements that had not been winterized, but that takes a long time. I have seen frozen houses where the water service was not frozen but all of the other piping was. Enough heat is obtained from the piping installed below the frost line to keep some of the water piping out in the basement from freezing.

      Freeze damage is picky some things freeze while other things in the same building do not. But it is summertime and freeze talk is best done in the winter.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Can a water heater freeze?

        You must have worked for a crazy person that asked you this question or you really bored and want to see what we say.
        My answer is know, I don't thinks so.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Can a water heater freeze?

          Originally posted by plumbertim1975 View Post
          You must have worked for a crazy person that asked you this question or you really bored and want to see what we say.
          My answer is know, I don't thinks so.
          Maybe I'm the crazy person!

          No, I was just riding in the truck and thinking again.

          I had a job once where the water heater needed replacement.

          There was not 1 water heater that I could install that had the proper clearance for code. At the time you needed 1" of clearance no matter what. Would not go anywhere in the house according to the tape measure. I checked them all. Tall, short, whatever. No tankless really anywhere at the time either.

          I could get a tall one in the original location with about 1/4"-1/2" of clearance. Inspector says no. His boss says no. The state agrees.

          So I ask can I put it in a hut outside and get the electrician to pull wire to it. No. There is no hut that has been approved for electric water heaters at the time. Didn't make common sense to me. I figured the water heater can't freeze and the radiant heat with proper insulation will keep the pipes fine.

          Anyway, the local inspector wanted me to pull a water heater permit, a mechanical permit, run gas & water piping, test it, get it inspected, and have the meter released by the gas company.

          Then get a water heater inspection.

          Around a 3 day minimum wait for about 1/2".

          J.C.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Can a water heater freeze?

            Around a 3 day minimum wait for about 1/2".
            Seems to me it would have been within his power to grant an exemption, especially if you could have installed something non-combustable on the walls in place of the rock.

            How did the original WH ever pass or did it pre-date code?
            ---------------
            Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
            ---------------
            “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
            ---------
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            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Can a water heater freeze?

              Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
              Seems to me it would have been within his power to grant an exemption, especially if you could have installed something non-combustable on the walls in place of the rock.

              How did the original WH ever pass or did it pre-date code?
              It predated code. I'll have to find it as I can't quote it but if I recall it had to be 1" irregardless of combustibility. A mistake in code in my opinion.

              J.C.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Can a water heater freeze?

                Well er, ah don't you connect cold water to a hw tank? Don't the hot pipes sit and cool down when no water is running?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Can a water heater freeze?

                  how about attic? breid

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Can a water heater freeze?

                    also. why do you need to run a gas line to an electric water heater? also why can't you turn the offending wall into a plumbing wall? in other words just chop it down to 1 1/2 plumbing studs. if all else fails tell them to hire a handy man or somebody at the big box store. i don't know where nunya is but it ain't here. lots a luck. breid

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Can a water heater freeze?

                      Is this a philosopy question? Do water heaters really exist?


                      It is possible if the pilot goes out for some reason or the power goes out for days. Then a water heater located in a shed in a cold place (not here) could freeze. Seems like it would require the people not to be paying any attention. (vacation etc)

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