Can Electric Water Heaters be Installed Outside? 

install electric water heater outdoors

Indeed, everyone looks forward to having the best experience when in the shower. But did you know that the place you install your electric water heater will always matter? Most often, you will need to choose between indoor and outdoor electric water heaters, which could be a daunting process. And can electric water heater be installed outside?

The biggest concern has always been what to do when you install the water heater outdoors. Is it even right? Yes, you will be free to install your tankless water heater outside. However, it will be vital to keep a few things in mind. They include the following.

Best Electric Tankless Water Heater For Outdoor Installation

  • 𝟭.𝟱𝟴𝗚𝗣𝗠/𝟲𝗟 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗮𝗻𝗲 𝗪𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿 𝗛𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿 - Maximum power output 41,000BTU/Hr.The temperature raise is 109.4℉ (43℃) at its highest point and 55.4℉ (13℃) is at its lowest point of 1.58 GPM. Also, 1.58 gallons of hot water can be produced per minute at the flow rate of 1.58 GPM. Low water pressure start up, just need 3.6 PSI of water pressure to start.
  • 𝗚𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗢𝗳𝗳-𝘁𝗵𝗲-𝗚𝗿𝗶𝗱 - Runs on a standard 20 lb. liquid propane tank and is equipped with an electronic ignition powered by two D-cell batteries. Can be used in a variety of scenarios: while you're camping, RVing, hunting, hanging poolside, washing your pets or horses, cleaning your vehicle, or even in your tiny home, greenhouse, or cabin house.
  • 𝗔𝗱𝘃𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲𝗱 𝗦𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗳𝘆 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝘁𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗦𝘆𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗺 - With CSA certification, safe as per Canadian and US Standard. Features over-heating protection, low water flow protection, dry combustion protection, anti-freezing protection, high water pressure protection and flame failure device.
  • 𝗟𝗘𝗗 𝗗𝗶𝗴𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗗𝗶𝘀𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘆 - Bright power, the temperature readout as to not get the water to hot or cold.
  • 𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁'𝘀 𝗜𝗻𝗰𝗹𝘂𝗱𝗲𝗱 - GASLAND BE158 Tankless Water Heater, CSA certified gas regulator and hose,5 feet On/Off Switch Shower Head, mounting hardware, garden hose adapter, Manual.
  • 𝗦𝗮𝗳𝗲𝘁𝘆 𝗜𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗹𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗧𝗶𝗽𝘀 - To avoid gas leakage caused by improper sealing of the water heater, DO NOT TWINE TEFLON TAPE between gas regulator and gas inlet pipe. Always check gas leakage before operation.
  • 𝗠𝗮𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗻𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗧𝗶𝗽𝘀 - Designed for portable outdoor use. It is splash-proof and can manage a little drizzle, however, prolonged exposure to rain/water will damage the internal components. We recommend using and storing your water heater in a dry place. For the winter, please drain out the wate by disconnecting the drain plug and store it in the warm and dry area.

How Do I Protect My Electric Tankless Water Heater?

Your safety will always be dependent on the measures you take when installing your electric tankless water heater outdoors. Unless you get everything right, you will end up vulnerable. Here are a few things you will need to observe as you look forward to protecting your tankless water heater.

install electric water heater outdoors

• Consider a reliable insulation

Frigid temperatures will compromise not only your safety but also the longevity of your water heater. It will always be vital to consider insulating your pipes, preferably with fiberglass or polyethylene. You might also want to use heat tape. This insulation will ensure that the integrity of your pipes does not end up exposed.

• Running trickles of water

Did you know that running a trickle of water overnight will always help in protecting your tankless water heater? With this little water running, you will have no reason to worry about the system freezing at some point. Usually, 0.1 gallons per minute overnight will be enough.

• Embrace dual vent systems

A dual-venting system will come in handy in cushioning your water heater against freezing. As long as you start by installing your pipes in cool yet dry places, you will be good to go. For instance, it would help if you shunned from installing them inside the surface of your wall. While at it, you could rely on a back-draft reducer to seal the back-draft flap.

• Winterize the water heater

This method aims at protecting your water heater from freezing during winter. This process involves draining the water and reducing the water pressure going through the heater. Ensure that you seal the vent termination so that there is no debris coming out.

• Change the recirculation system

This recirculation system will always ensure that you have hot water nearby and ready for on-demand usage. This system will also come in handy in making sure that your water heater remains warm at all times.

small electric tankless water heaters

Do Outdoor Electric Tankless Water Heaters Freeze?

Undoubtedly, electric tankless water heaters out there will freeze from time to time. However, that is not to say that it should be your biggest worry. Remember, with the advanced technology at our disposal, these electric tankless water heaters come with built-in freeze protection systems. Usually, this system comes in handy in protecting the water heaters when the temperatures are between -5 and -22 degrees F.

As mentioned, freezing should not be your biggest concern right now. That is because you can avoid it if you apply the right measures. Some of the steps to follow in this pursuit will always include the following:

• Install the system in heated places

Did you know that installing your system in heated places will cushion it against freezing? For instance, a sheltered spot will come in handy for you. It will always be vital to point your vents against the wind at this point.

• Always plug in your power source

Take the time to ensure that you have uninterrupted power to your water heater. It will make sure that the protection system receives enough electricity, even during outages. A battery-backup will always be one of the best solutions to consider.

• Insulation is king

If your system is in a low-protection are, then insulation will be the most reliable solution. It will make sure that there is no loss of energy at any time. The best materials to use in this insulation will include fiberglass, heat tape, or even polyethylene.

• Keep the plumbing system active

Most experts will recommend that you keep trickles of water flowing through your system at all times. A rate of 0.1 gallons per minute will be enough to give you the ultimate results. With this flow, there is no way freezing will occur.

• Drain any stagnant water

Did you know that an electric tankless water heater could also develop stagnant water in them? Once the temperature outside drops, this stagnant water freezes your system, which could also end up damaging it.

Do Electric Tankless Water Heaters Work in the Cold?

Indeed, the reliability of electric tankless water heaters goes beyond being in hot climates. These water heaters will function, and optimally so, even in freezing regions. However, there are things you will need to take care of if you need the best results. Two things could affect the functioning of your heater when in cold climates. They include the fuel type and the size of your choice.

Usually, electric water heaters will struggle to heat water quickly. Unless they have been in constant use, you will need to wait. Things will only get worse when it is cold. For this reason, you will need to aim at an option that heats water much faster. Otherwise, you could opt for gas water heaters as they do so more quickly.

Usually, the water usage in your family will play a significant role in determining the size of your electric water heater. Further, it will determine the temperature rise that the given tank features. Take the time to pick a size that suits your whole family, and comfortably so. You will also need to ensure that the pipes feeding these tanks get the necessary insulation. With this, your water heater gets more reliable.

There is no harm in installing your electric tankless water heater outside. What matters the most is how you maintain it. From proper insulation to improved recirculation systems, you will be sure of getting the best from your electric water heater. Do not shy from getting a little help from experts too.


David: Penn State-educated Mechanical Engineer and Business-savvy Fluid Dynamics Specialist. Balances family plumbing business support with a thriving engineering career at a top, undisclosed company. (they want it that way) I help Will with plumbing and HVAC needs on his Real Estate.

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