How to Run Your Water Heater without Electricity


Running Your Furnace or Water Heater without Electricity

power failure protection for your tanklessToronto and the Greater Toronto area were hit hard with an ice storm late in 2013.  The weight of all the ice snapped branches and brought down trees which in turn took down the hydro to hundreds of thousands of homes.  Some home owners were without hydro for several days and experienced plummeting temperatures.

Without electricity your furnace, water heater, and air conditioner won’t run.  But we have some easy tips to help you get your systems back up and running through these situations. 

Run Your Water Heater With No Electricity

This completely depends on your homes water heater and each type has a unique situation.

Electric water heater – sorry, you are euchred, it just won’t run until the hydro comes back on.  Even a home generator likely won’t produce enough power to run your electric water heater; they just consume too much electricity.

Power vented water heater – These systems need electricity to run the fan that pushes exhaust gases out of your home but the system uses natural gas or propane for the primary fuel.

Tankless water heater – Very much like a power vented system a tankless needs electricity to run the fan that moves the exhaust gases produced during the combustion of propane or natural gas.

Atmospheric Vented water heater – The venting is very restrictive but homeowners that employ one of these tanks will continue to produce hot water as long as propane or natural gas are provided, no electricity needed.


How to get your Water Heater Running During a Power Outage


This is easy; visit Costco, Future Shop, Best Buy, or any home electronics store and purchase a battery backup sold for computer systems.  At our house we purchased the larger system offered at Costco for $139.  It simply plugs into the wall and charges itself with its built in smart meter and automatically kick on as soon as the power drops. 

Depending on the size of the battery backup you purchase your water heater could run for several days during a power failure. Of course this depends on you either having municipal water or some type of backup power for your pump if you are on a well. 

 When using a tankless it really should be standard practice to have your system hooked up to a battery backup, not only is it a great surge protector protecting your investment but also a sure fire way to eliminate any unexpected shutdowns during electrical storms, wind storms, ice storms, and all the other threats to our electrical grid.


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3 Comments

  1. Pulling plastic-sheathed cable through holes in the framing is a lot easier if you straighten the cable out first. If you simply pull the cable from the center of the coil, it’ll kink as you pull it through the studs. The trick is to lift a handful of coils (four loops will reach about 12 ft.) from the center of the roll (left) and toss them across the floor as if you’re throwing a coiled rope.

  2. makes more sense than a 60gl tank

  3. Nice work Eric, you wont regret it. Like I’ve said the best thing about gas water hentaig as opposed to a hot water tank is that you heat the water to the temp you want to use it at. For example with a water tank you heat it to say 131 F but then if you have a shower you mix cold water into it. That’s so stupid. You heat water and pay for that hentaig only to cool it down to use it, but with gas you only heat it to the temp you want to use it at, so shower at say 109 F means you only pay to heat the water to 109 and not 131 F.Happy endless hot water showers too!

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