Ask Any Hour - Tankless Water Heaters and Power Outages


Dear Any Hour,

We’re considering replacing our standard water heater with a tankless one. However, I’m worried that we won’t have hot water if the power goes out. Is that a real concern?

- Jared A.

Ask Any Hour - tankless water heater and power outage

Most standard water heaters hold between 40-50 gallons of hot water. This means that even if the power shuts off, there should still be enough hot water to serve your household needs for a few hours. (A gas hot water heater will supply indefinitely--electric will only last a few hours.) A tankless water heater on the other hand (as its name suggests) is tankless and therefore doesn’t have hot water in reserve. So, you’re right to worry about having hot water, should your home’s power be interrupted. Especially if you live in an area where your power shuts off with any regularity.

However, the solution to this problem is pretty simple and inexpensive. Should the power go out, a battery backup will keep your tankless water heater running for about 16 hours, depending on usage. This battery backup is only $50-60, is easy to install, and can be found anywhere battery backups are sold. It’s just a matter of plugging it in to the tankless water heater.

If you’d like to learn more about tankless water heaters, here is an episode of the podcast we created with a Noritz tankless water heater rep and a couple of our technicians from the Any Hour plumbing department. There’s tons of great info here and it can help answer any questions you might have regarding the installation of a tankless water heater, pros and cons of ownership, and more.

 red arrow Click to watch Podcast 018: Tankless Water Heaters

In the end, the benefits of owning a tankless water heater are pretty significant. Because they have much lower risk for catastrophic failure, last two to three times longer, and are 24-34% more energy-efficient ⃰ , tankless water heaters are a great investment. If the only drawback is the possibility of a power outage, a battery backup is an easy solution that will keep your tankless water heater running for the hours necessary to get you through an outage.

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Jan 25th 2021

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