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Rick
Rick, Construction Supervisor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 13988
Experience:  Licensed Master plumber with 40+ yrs. experience.
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I have a Rinnai Tankless Water Heater. It froze here last

Resolved Question:

I have a Rinnai Tankless Water Heater. It froze here last night and I had no hot water this morning. I ran a diagnostic on the Rinnai remote inside my house to reveal that the water temp in my exterior unit was 60 degrees. So I examined the ingoing and outgoing pipes connected to the unit - there is some missing insulation on these pipes leading me to believe that one or both is frozen. Am I on the right track? If so, what will I need to do unfreeze these pipes? Can I do it myself? Thanks for any input you might have. Matt
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Plumbing
Expert:  Rick replied 3 years ago.

Rick the plumber :

Welcome to Just Answer, I will do my best to help you solve your problem

Rick the plumber :

Is there no water coming out of the hot water faucet or is there water but it's just not hot?

Customer :

Water runs out of all taps in the house at cold temps, but when you attempt to adjust toward warm or hot temps, water stops.

Rick the plumber :

You only have single handle faucets?

Rick the plumber :

In the sinks as well as the shower

Customer :

Dual in the bathroom sinks. Single on kitchen sink. Single in both showers.

Rick the plumber :

So when you turn on just the hot side in the sinks nothing comes out?

Customer :

Correct.

Rick the plumber :

Sounds like frozen pipes

Rick the plumber :

You could try thawing the pipes with a hair dryer on high

Rick the plumber :

as long as the area where the pipes were exposed to freezing temps is now above freezing

Customer :

Called Rinnai Tankless customer service and they think it is the exterior pipes that lead to and from the rinnai unit.

Rick the plumber :

Sounds probable to me

Customer :

I'm in Charleston, SC. I think we are creeping toward 32 but not there until the afternoon.

Customer :

Should I be worried about cracked pipes.

Rick the plumber :

Hard to say, if you plan on leaving the house turn the water off at the main shut off

Rick the plumber :

In the mean time leave a hot water faucet open

Rick the plumber :

one that will be noticed if the water starts to flow on its own

Rick the plumber :

You could try the hair dryer but if air temps are below freezing where the pipes are thawing will be difficult

Customer :

I'm not leaving. If I go the hairdryer route, I should leave the water on, correct?? Also, is the main shut off down at the street?

Rick the plumber :

The main shut off inside the house, yes leave the water on while you are there

Customer :

Okay. Will insulating those pipes prevent this in the future? Can I do that myself or is it advisable to get a professional to examine the situation? Of course, I'd prefer the to do it myself, but I def want to resolve the issue. I checked the neighbors house, and we are only missing about a foot of insulation. Is that enough to cause this?

Rick the plumber :

Yes any missing insulation could cause this if the weather conditions are right. You might want to call in a pro since they will be able to resolve this quickly. There is some risk of damaging your Rinnai if the temp readings are inaccurate

Customer :

Do you mean the hairdryer route could damage the Rinnai? I didn't think you meant that, but want to be sure.

Rick the plumber :

No I meant if the Rinnai drops below freezing it could be damaged

Customer :

Okay I see. Well thanks for the advice. Hitting accept now.

Customer :

Is that all that needs to be done?

Rick the plumber :

That's the standard procedure. You leave a faucet open to take the pressure off the line and it will also let you know when the pipe thaws.

Customer :

Okay. Great and thanks for your help.

Rick the plumber :

Thanks for using Just Answer

Rick, Construction Supervisor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 13988
Experience: Licensed Master plumber with 40+ yrs. experience.
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