Everyone has suffered a power outage at the most inconvenient moments. They’re never handy and almost always cause more anxiety and uncertainty than we’d like.
If there is a power outage, a common question is whether hot water will still be available. It depends on the response to that.
There are numerous varieties of water heaters and supply options. Whichever one your home has will influence whether you can still enjoy a lengthy, wonderful shower in the dark or if you have to settle for drab, cold water until your electricity is restored.
This post will answer your question, “Does Hot Water Work When Power Is Out?” and provide expert recommendations.
Gas Vs. Electric: Does Hot Water Work When Power Is Out?
All electrically powered equipment will not function during a power outage. However, because the gas is not connected to your electrical system, gas-powered water heaters will continue to operate and heat your water. The various water heaters that use different fuel sources are broken down below.
1. Gas Conventional Tank Water Heaters
Typically, these heaters don’t require power for regular operation and only generate heat using a pilot light and gas ignition. Because of this, these heaters frequently function even when the power is gone.
Unfortunately, gas water heaters require electricity if your pilot light goes out because many gas water heaters do this to re-light the pilot.
2. Electric Conventional Tank Water Heaters
These electric-powered water heaters won’t function if there is a power outage. However, because it is drawn from the tank’s reserve, any previously heated and stored water will remain hot when released. This is a temporary fix; thus, it needs to be applied sparingly.
3. Tankless Water Heaters Powered by Gas
These heaters heat the water using gas, but the machinery needs electricity. The heater will not operate when there is a power outage. Sadly, there is no hot water supply to draw from because these heaters need a tank.
4. Tankless Electric Water Heaters
The outcome of these heaters is the same as that of gas-on-demand water heaters. For now, you won’t have hot water because there won’t be any electricity to run the heater or heating components, and there won’t be a tank to draw from for reserve.
While gas and electric water heaters are the most common, other, more specialized models are available; however, if they also rely on power to function, you’ll be in the same position.
When the Power Goes Off, Do Tankless Water Heaters Still Function?
The quick answer is: No. When there is a power outage in your house, your tankless water heater won’t function properly. This is one drawback of having a tankless system, but it doesn’t imply you have no other options.
If there is a disruption in your power supply, this article will provide you with numerous alternative methods for providing hot water.
The capacity to store hot water is one of the traditional tank-style water heater’s key advantages. A sizable insulated tank with hot water on hand would still be available in the event of a power loss. However, tankless systems are entirely different.
Sadly, electric tankless water heater types use and consume much energy when operating. When upgrading to a tankless system, some households even need to improve their home’s electrical infrastructure.
Four 7,000-watt heating components that may use 28,000 watts when in use are frequently included in whole-house tankless units. The control panel, fans, flow sensors, thermostat, and pilot light must be powered by electricity, even in tankless water heaters that run on gas.
Without electricity, the water heater cannot control the temperature, manage how much water enters and leaves, or even ignite the burners.
Tankless Water Heater Solutions During Power Outages
The biggest drawback of a tankless water heater is that it requires electricity. Fortunately, there are a few ways. If you frequently have power outages and worry that switching to a tankless water heating system would be problematic, look at the following possibilities:
1. Water Heater Backup Battery
Companies like HUGO offer battery backup packs for a tankless water heater during a power outage. These gadgets supply a water heater with continuous power and are small and simple to install. They also keep plugged in.
During power outages, the HUGO backup battery can provide up to 7 days’ worth of regular use or up to 14 hours of nonstop hot water.
It is crucial to verify with the manufacturer of your water heater and the technician who services your tankless water heater to see which backup batteries made by a third party are compatible with your specific model of the tankless water heater.
Only gas-powered equipment should have a backup battery because it uses the smallest amount of electricity. The two major electricity consumers are the control panel and the pilot light.
However, heating the components requires a sizable amount of electricity for tankless electrical devices. Instead of considering battery packs for electrical units, it could be preferable to consider generators.
2. Back-up Generator
There are several different types of backup generators. The most obvious option is a generator to supply your home’s energy. These machines are large and consume a lot of fuel, but they also produce a lot of power.
A whole-house backup generator can be an investment worth considering if you live in a rural area or a region that frequently experiences power outages, mainly if you reside in the northern hemisphere.
A whole-house generator may not be necessary if you need it for short periods, but a point-of-use generator can power just one device.
For instance, in a power outage, you may conserve fuel by using the generator when you need hot water and turning it off when you no longer need it. Connect this kind of generator to your washing machine or dishwasher if necessary.
Different generator types exist, including the WEN DF475T Dual Fuel. Verifying before purchasing is a good idea to ensure it will provide enough electricity to run your tankless water heater.
3. Transportable Tankless Propane Water Heaters
Another choice would be keeping a modest backup propane-powered tankless water heater from Camplux.
Many portable tankless types may operate without power and don’t require a central control panel to carry out simple water heating tasks.
Even though a portable propane tankless water heater is only meant for brief periods, it is a reliable way to provide hot water during a power outage.
If the Power Is Out, Can I Take a Shower?
Your home must have a conventional tank-style water heater for you to shower when the power is out. Additionally, it must have hot water on hand, which it should have but may not.
Finally, you must shower as soon as possible if you intend to do so. A tank water heater maintains a sizable supply of heated water, but the water will only stay hot for a short time—perhaps an hour or two—while the electricity keeps the element from working. So yes, you should be able to shower if you recently lost electricity and have a tankless water heater.
But you should consider a few things before stepping into a warm shower. Will there be a prolonged power outage? Since you would only have a limited amount of hot water if that were the case, consider your priorities before jumping in to relax and shower.
Why Running Water When the Power Is Out is Not Recommended?
Typically, the first things we consider when the power goes out are how we’ll see in the dark, keep our food cold, and possibly how long our phone will last without a charge. Water is typically only on a few people’s minds. Typically, electricity is not required for water to go through the pipes and reach your home’s faucets.
Here are a few reasons you could still decide against running your water during a power outage. Before the next time you experience a power outage, write down which of these circumstances apply to you.
You still need to consider this even if your household water runs securely. Does any wastewater in your house need to be entirely ejected from the building using a pump, such as a grinder pump or sewer ejector pump?
While most wastewater follows the path of least resistance—downhill—to the sewage line or septic tank, there may be a few instances when a pump is required. These pumps and the tanks or pits accompanying them are most frequently found in cellars and basements.
If your home is downhill from the community sewer main, you could also possess a pump lift station on the site. A similar pump pumps wastewater uphill if your home has a sand mound system. The pumps won’t work if they don’t have power.
When the holding capacity is reached, they either overflow or send sewage and water back up the pipes to your home, even though it may initially appear that everything is fine. You must be cautious about how much water you flush down the drain.
It is crucial to avoid using your water during a power outage if you use any disinfection system for your entire home plumbing, such as a UV light or chlorine doser. Your home’s plumbing system ought to have been cleaned and sanitized before those systems were installed to eliminate any bacteria that might have been present in your fixtures and pipes.
The disinfection system then cleans any fresh water that enters the house to prevent bacteria from getting into your drinking water. You send untreated water through your disinfection system and into your house plumbing if you run your water when the power is down.
If you run the water while the disinfection system is off, you should shock-disinfect your entire home’s plumbing system once more to ensure that bacteria are not lingering and growing in your pipes.
Water Treatment Systems
Most water treatment systems use electricity for all or some of their procedures. Before they stop dispensing filtered water, which is usually due to pumps failing, many will have a modest reserve of 2 to 3 gallons that you can use.
Operating your water might be acceptable if you’re not using a disinfectant system. However, you might receive a different quality of filtered water than you are accustomed to.
If you run the reserve completely dry, your treatment equipment’s performance might be impacted when the power is restored. Also, you will introduce air pockets in the line if you do this.