When You Should Turn off Your Water Heater

For the most part, a water heater is a pretty easy-going appliance. You can depend on a tank water heater to give you 10-15 years of dependable hot water – and all it asks is for some periodic maintenance in return. 

However, there are times when taking care of the unit comes into consideration. Often, our customers will ask, “Do I need to turn off my water heater if….” Here are answers to three common scenarios.

Electric Heater Options for the Home

When the main water supply is shut off

There are many circumstances in which the main water supply is turned off. When this happens, many homeowners wonder if it’s safe to keep the water heater on of it should be shut down too. 

In most cases, it may not be necessary to turn off the water heater, but it also won’t hurt, either. However, there are two reasons when you should turn off the unit to prevent too much pressure or heat from building up inside the tank:

  • The tank is empty (or close to it) and won’t be refilled for a long period of time
  • The main water supply loses pressure

When you go on vacation

When you go on vacation or plan on being away from an extended period of time, there are the usual routines for prepping your home. You may adjust your heating or cooling system, set automatic lights, and put a hold on your mail. But what about your water heater?

While it may seem logical to shut off the water heater when not in use to save energy, it may not be as beneficial as you think. First, it can be disruptive and hard on the unit to be turned on and off. When you get home, you’ll be without hot water and might run into issues with turning the unit back on. Instead, set your water heater for “VAC” mode (a common feature on newer water heater models) or turn down the water temperature to 50 degrees. This will help you save energy without risking other issues.

When there’s a leak

If your water heater springs a leak due for a variety of reasons, including age or a valve malfunction, you should always turn off the unit and shut off the water supply until the issue is resolved. 

Plumbers in Murrieta and Winchester, CA

If you have any other questions about your water heater, or think it’s time for maintenance or a repair, contact the local plumbing pros at Liberty Plumbing. To schedule an appointment, call us at (951) 760-4215.