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Old 2009-12-10, 12:02 AM
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Praline Praline is offline
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Default tankless water heater cutting out

Well its the first major snow storm of the season and our first winter in our Tamarac home. So to our surprise tonight - no hot water. The error code suggested a vent issue. Sure enough the vent had iced up. It was not covered with snow it was just iced up.

Has anyone else had this problem and if so is it recurring? I really don't want to be outside at 6 am every day chopping ice of the vent so the family can have their showers.
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Old 2009-12-10, 07:41 AM
Trepex Trepex is offline
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Originally Posted by Praline View Post
Well its the first major snow storm of the season and our first winter in our Tamarac home. So to our surprise tonight - no hot water. The error code suggested a vent issue. Sure enough the vent had iced up. It was not covered with snow it was just iced up.

Has anyone else had this problem and if so is it recurring? I really don't want to be outside at 6 am every day chopping ice of the vent so the family can have their showers.
Weird, I'll have to watch for that. On which side are your vents? All on the left, facing the front?
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Old 2009-12-10, 12:23 PM
TKG26 TKG26 is offline
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many times its not the snow level but the blowing snow. i see many vents that look fine until u walk up to them and look inside, the air intakes will frost up inside forming a snow or ice donut.. also you can get recirculation issues when the xhaust bounces off the neihgbors house and gets sucked back into the intake... rare but with homes getting closer and closer to each other its more likely..

best thing to do is keep the snow level cleared and dont store things around the vents..
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Old 2009-12-10, 02:32 PM
foxborough foxborough is offline
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We had a similar problem with our furnace during our first winter. I was painting and installing crown molding and without thinking just hit the switch on the thermostat to "Off." (I wanted the house cooler while I worked). Hence, the furnace wasn't running at all. When I was finished working, I threw the thermostat switch back to "Heat" and noticed that the furnace would cut in but would cut out again immediately. As the house was still under warranty the builder sent in a repairman.

As it turned out, whoever installed the furnace had installed a screen on the outside vent to prevent animals from crawling in. It was the wrong type of screen and with the furnace off, condensation from the vent froze and the vent froze over. As the furnace could not exhaust properly, it would not stay running - this is a safety feature.

You may wish to check your venting for your hot water and see if you have the same problem. This may very well be a continuing problem for you though as in principle, tankless heaters are suppose to remain dominate for quite some time and you could very well be facing condensation issues throughout the entire winter.
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Old 2009-12-10, 04:30 PM
TKG26 TKG26 is offline
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to add to that, dont install your own screens. We bill at 100$/hr warranty or not to remove un approved screens....

last winter i was at a house with DIY screens on the furnace and water heater.... no heat and no hot water.............. 2minutes later and a 100$ and i had both running.... read the manual or leave it alone is best.
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Old 2009-12-12, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trepex View Post
Weird, I'll have to watch for that. On which side are your vents? All on the left, facing the front?
Thank you for the comments everyone!
Trep, the vent is on the street side as our house is on a corner lot. After hubby warmed up the vent with a blow dryer, we have had hot water - but definitely a number of things to keep watch on!! and this is such a strange issue to be writing about- access to hot water- when thinking of the price we paid for this house!!!
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Last edited by Praline; 2009-12-12 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 2009-12-12, 07:43 AM
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I believe you need a backdraft flapper.
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Old 2009-12-12, 02:21 PM
TKG26 TKG26 is offline
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I believe you need a backdraft flapper.
If this is in regards to the tank venting .... nothing is to be added unless specifically advised by the manufactures instructions or service bulletins.
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Old 2009-12-12, 04:30 PM
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If this is in regards to the tank venting .... nothing is to be added unless specifically advised by the manufactures instructions or service bulletins.
Of course. Some manufacturers recommend a backdraft flap to solve this problem.

Keeping snow away isn't really a good long term permanent solution.
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Old 2009-12-12, 10:02 PM
TKG26 TKG26 is offline
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i have not seen a flap used on a water heater for at least the last 15years... and even then we where instructed to remove those flaps after most of them started to freeze shut..

I would be very surprised to see a flap in use today... but if you have seen it please let me know who is using them...

Keeping snow away is a permanent solution, of course venting the appliance 12" above expected snow levels is the ultimate solution.
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