Should You Turn Off the Water Heater When on Vacation? – Check out Why You Shouldn’t

Who doesn’t love vacations? I’d yearn a good and a memorable one after all my hard works from my job. A trip out of town would be excellent. Moreover, a vacation out of the country would be better, especially if I’m with my special one.

As I plan for a memorable get-away with my family or friends, the preparation doesn’t stop on what stuff to bring. Since I’m staying in my house alone, I should also prepare for what I’m about to leave for three days or more.

If I’ll be away for a day or two, unplugging all electrical devices is one of my priorities. It’s my way to assure that I’d still have a place to stay in when I get back from my trip. Aside from plugged devices, I also need to answer the sound question,  “Should you turn off the water heater when on vacation?”

Why Turning Off a Water Heater is Not a Good Option

Girl about water heaterJust like other vacationers, I’d undoubtedly want to enjoy my trip without worrying anything, especially my home. Unplugged appliances are one of the things that can ease my worries, and if I’m sure that there are no plugged devices inside my house, there will not be any problem at all.

On the other hand, water heater worries me sometimes. But then, I don’t have to worry anymore because leaving a plugged water heater will not compromise anything, especially the safety of my house. Here are some reasons why it’s fine to leave a water heater as is during a vacation:

  • Turned-off water heaters during idle times will only save me cents a day. If I’m trying to save significant energy from a week away, turning your heater off will not let me spare some bucks. Moreover, it’ll only add more hassle as I turn it on again once I get back. “Should you turn off the water heater when on vacation?” – a “no” for me.
  • Turning your water heater off will only cause problems. Saving energy will be the last option when it comes to radiators, especially for older models. Rebooting the system of my heater is not be as easy and as fast as turning it off. It makes me struggle in getting hot water right away after getting back. Also, the worst part is that rebooting can lead to undesirable repairs or a replacement.

Best Alternative Ways to Consider Instead of Shutting a Water Heater Off

It will be easier to leave the water heater as is, even if I’m about to go away for a week or more. However, I would still worry a little since I’m about to leave the house with plugged equipment. When I was unease in leaving my water heater without turning it off, here were the alternate ways I considered:

  • Older water heater units may still function adequately despite the lack of competitive features that newer units have. I’d keep my old models to save money. When I was using the older model, all I need to do is to adjust the temperature from 50 degrees to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Furthermore, this works for the electric-type of heaters.
  • For a newer model of a water heater, it should have a vacation mode as one of the features. This advantage will make things easier for me to leave my heater without shutting it off because it will not have a hard time adjusting the temperature. Also, this works for natural gas-type of heaters.

Both alternative ways function adequately. These options will make me save energy and some pennies as well. Moreover, it can assure that it works properly.

Why a Water Heater Should Go on Vacation Mode too

Since I’m going on a vacation, my water heater should go as well. When I was eyeing to buy a newer model of a heater for better performance, I have check if it features a vacation mode. Here are some excellent benefits of why this feature is advantageous:

  • Putting your water heater on vacation mode reduces my utility bills. I’d want to minimize as many expenses as I can. Since heaters consume a large amount of energy due to temperature reading, this mode can lessen energy consumption. The good thing nowadays is that some technicians can install this setting to some heater models.
  • A vacation mode on the water heater can contribute to the welfare of the environment. When it comes to saving our surroundings, this feature is exceptional. This mode will not only reduce expenses, but it can also reduce the depletion of the fuel, which is necessary for powering a heater. It also lessens energy pollutants, making it a more significant help.
  • Setting a water heater on vacation mode will retain your heater in good condition. Saving money will also mean that I’ll have to maintain the shape of my radiator. This mode will lessen the risk of the components of my heater from wearing out as it reduces the energy it consumes. Moreover, since this setting will not entirely shut the heater off, it will retain a room temperature for the water in the pipes.

Simple Steps on How to Turn a Water Heater Back On

independent heating in a modern house

I was on a business trip when I turned my water heater off. I didn’t expect to have a hard time turning it on again when I got home. On the brighter side, turning it on was hassle-free with these easy steps.

  • Gas Hot Water Heater
    1. Open all valves or faucets for air to flow inside the tank. Before I start working on my water tank, I opened the spigots to let the air get inside the container. It’s crucial to allow the air to go inside because it can avert airlock creation. I’ll close all faucets once I’m set to turn the water on again.
    2. Turn on the water supply and the gas. After closing the faucets, I’ll turn the cold water supply on to refill the tank. Once the container has a little amount of water, it’s fine to turn the heating elements back on. It’s essential to fill the tank first, before lighting the pilot and turning the gas on again.
    3. Light the pilot light. After filling the tank, it’s safe to light the pilot light. Procedures may vary depending on the type of water heater. For further instructions on how to burn it, the photo below will give clear procedures on how I lit the pilot light of my water heater.
    1. Turn the gas valve after turning the gas valve to pilot. Turning the gas valve on is an alternative way aside from lighting the pilot. I tried turning my heater’s gas valve to pilot, and I didn’t have to light the pilot light anymore. I prefer this procedure is more straightforward.
  • Electric Hot Water Heater
    1. Open the faucet for air to get in the tank. This first procedure is similar to my previous gas water heater. Opening the valve will let the airflow inside the tank, which prevents airlock creation as well. Once it’s all set, it’s safe to close the faucets again.
    2. Turn on the water supply. Before turning the power back again, I make sure that cold water will fill the tank partially. It’s essential to fill the tank first before turning the heating elements back on so it will not damage the container. Moreover, filling the tank will replace the lost water while setting it up.
    3. Remove the lock-out safety tag. This piece of tape is crucial as it serves as the breaker’s warning. This tag sends a message to everyone to leave it untouched. It’ll keep the switch off until it’s safe to turn it on. Furthermore, this safety procedure will prevent undesirable happenings.
    1. Turn on the water heater breaker.  One tricky thing about turning the switch on is that there’s no indicator light at all. I can tell when the breaker is turned on through the sound of the heating elements engaging. Moreover, I can also know that it’s switched on when the water starts to heat in 30 minutes to 60 minutes.

Water heaters are necessary inside my house since I’m not a fan of cold temperatures. I couldn’t bear taking a bath by using cold water, even if it’s not winter. It’s one of the reasons why I make sure that my heater is always in good condition.

Sometimes I get conscious of possible expenses if I’ll leave my water heater during vacations. It’s a good thing that there’s a vacation mode feature because it’s the most recommended way to save money. It doesn’t only save a few pennies, but it also makes sure that it provides an excellent effect on the environment. Moreover, this setting is beneficial more because it doesn’t compromise the quality of my heater.

I opt for a sound “no” in response to “Should you turn off the water heater when on vacation?”.

Related Topic: Should You Drain a Water Heater When Not in Use? – Here are Some Reasons Why

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