When the water to your home is switched off, you should also switch off the water heater. You are in the correct location. In the following paragraphs, I will explain the basics regarding the water heater in your home. 

This post will answer the question, “should you turn off water heater when water is off” and provide expert recommendations.

If the water supply to the home is going to be cut off for a lengthy period, it is best to power down the heating system

Your water heater tank likely already has some water and may continue to be heated even if it is not used at the proportion of water stored drops for whatever reason. It is in your best interest to ensure the water heater is not on. 

As with the vast majority of issues, the question of the moment you ought to switch off the water heating system features various points of view. We analyze multiple case studies and discuss potential responses in the following parts.

Quite a wide variety of piping and heating systems for water are available today. In search of expert guidance? Get in touch with the company that made your water heater.

Let us investigate this topic in a more in-depth manner.

Should You Turn off Water Heater When Water Is Off?

As you probably already know from your own experience, a filled water container made of plastic is unlikely to melt when exposed to hot flames. 

This will likely come as a surprise, and many will be left wondering, “What gives?” The plastic does not melt because the water in the bottle acts as insulation and dissipates the heat generated. 

Plastic water bottles would melt if exposed to fire, so you shouldn’t do this at home. This might result in the production of unwanted secondary products

If there is no water in the tank, the inner part of the water heater has the potential to catch fire, which will result in expensive damage. Experts frequently point to the loss of water in a water tank as one of the primary causes of explosions.

You are starting to see what we mean. We shall discuss the inner workings of the water heater in greater depth.

The Functionality of Water Heaters 

There is a great deal of diversity in the forms that water heaters can take. We will cover the typical design that is utilized by ordinary water heaters. 

At the very least, for the moment, we will concentrate on the tank, the connection to the water inlet, and the water outlet, followed by the water heater. The water heater is powered using electricity or gas itself. The tank serves as the confinement for the water. 

Should You Turn off Water Heater When Water Is Off

Together with the heater, the tank is responsible for storing water for use at a later time. Whenever the heated water tap is switched on, the tank is refilled with ice-cold water, and the heating cycle begins again. When the wild water tap is turned off, the process repeats. 

Water is heated in the heater and stored in the tank for subsequent use. Each time the hot water faucet is activated, it is replenished with cold water, and the warming process begins afresh. 

Tankless/ Instant Water Heaters 

After heating the heater, the water is put into the tank for later use. When the hot water faucet is turned on, the storage tank is refilled with cold water, and heating the water starts from the beginning each time. 

Whatever you and the manufacturer decide to do will determine the outcome. It is possible that turning off a tankless water heater will benefit specific models, but this action is optional in the great majority of houses. 

It is recommended that you turn off all of the appliances in your home if you stay out for an extended period since this is the safest course of action.

Is It Necessary to Shut off Your Water Heater for Repairs?

There are two critical considerations that you need to give attention to when you are making repairs.

If you are making repairs that will bring you into direct contact with the water heater, it is highly recommended that you turn off the water heater simultaneously.

If, on the other hand, the repairs you need to make to the plumbing are pretty simple and have nothing to do with the heating system, don’t interfere with the rest of the system. There is a noteworthy departure from this general norm. 

Do not empty the water tank if there is no nearby clean water supply because this could potentially cause damage to the whole unit.

Is it a Good Idea to Turn Off Your Water Heater While You’re Away on Holiday?

If you are away from your home for an extended period, ensure you cut the water supply to the tank. Preventing costly water damage to your property is worth turning off the main water supply. Imagine a minor leak and the water on the house; the entire place would be flooded. 

People frequently question whether or not turning off the water heater is an essential step in ensuring the safety of their property while they are away for a lengthy period. 

Let’s get one thing out of the way: cutting off the water heater is less crucial than cutting off the water supply to the house. 

Switching it off is generally a good idea if you will be absent for a long time. 


Because even if the expense is relatively low, you are still losing money by keeping the water heating when no one will be using it, even though the payment may be relatively down.

The water heater, however, should be switched off if you plan on being gone for an extended period. Why? Because keeping the water heater on while not in use is a loss of money, even if the expense is extremely little.

Some People Still Don’t Switch off Their Water Heaters, Even After Shutting off the Main Water Supply to Their Homes

Several people may feel uneasy about never having access to hot water. 

Again Why bother? 

Tank-style heating systems, commonly found in homes, require a couple of good nudges to get back into action. 

The illumination of a heating element is typically one of the requirements. The appliance can heat up, and it shouldn’t be too difficult of a task. 

On other occasions, lighting this element is a complicated and time-consuming process. If the heating unit is placed in a humid and gloomy foundation, it might be hard to start it up.

Second, it takes some time for the hot water to reach the desired temperature. Considering the water heater’s effectiveness is essential because people prefer to shower in cold water.

In the following section, we will go over the actions that need to be taken for you to switch down the water heating system.

Procedure for Shutting Down Your Water Heater

The instructions provided by the manufacturer must be adhered to at all times. This is because every water heater has a slightly different configuration. 

To turn off a water heater, follow these instructions:

  • Turn off the power or gas 
  • Shut off the water supply. 
  • Let the water drain. 

Be careful to test your water heater before you need it. If you do so, you will ensure that you are prepared.

1. Please Turn off the Gas or Electricity Supply to the Hot Water Heater

First, turn off the water heater’s gas or power supply. 

Should You Turn off Water Heater When Water Is Off

Most water heaters have a gas shutoff valve or switch nearby. Typically, all that is required is a switch’s flip or a valve’s closing. Nevertheless, based on the circumstances, you should turn off your home’s gas supply to eliminate carbon monoxide gas. 

Label the toggle switch at the primary breakers to ensure you know where to flip it to turn off the power. 

2. Turn off the Main Valve

The water heater is constantly replenished with cold water from the water supply. The water supply should be shut off when a leaking water heater is discovered. To turn off the inlet of the water, you may typically find a shutoff valve close by.

3. The Right Way to Empty Your Water Heater

If replacing a broken water heater, switch off the water supply and empty the reservoir before beginning the replacement process. On the underside of your water heating element, you should find a drain outlet that you can use. 

The Crucial Points to Consider

If you suspect that the heating system in your home has begun leaking or is likely to experience some other kind of failure, you ought to flip it off as soon as possible. 

A water heater that is failing will either make noises that are not typical or produce hot water that behaves abnormally. 

Whenever the structure’s main water supply is turned off, it is only sometimes necessary to also power down the heating system in the building simultaneously. 

They ought to switch off the heating system if you will not be available for a significant amount of time or if you need to repair it while it is operating. Both of these scenarios warrant turning the water heater off.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Shut Off My Electric Water Heater?

Turn off your water heater by locating the circuit breaker panel in your home. The circuit breaker box is typically mounted on an exterior wall. This is an ideal moment to empty your hot water tank. To let air into the tank, turn off the water supply, then the air valve.

How Do I Shut Off My Gas Water Heater?

You must turn off the dial on your gas water heater. Locate the supply pipe leading up to the water heater and turn the valve counterclockwise to close it.

After that, you should shut off the gas valve that supplies the heater. To make a lever perpendicular to the power line, you must spin it. 

You should turn any knob you come across counterclockwise until it becomes immovable. The last step is to release pressure by twisting the relief valve counterclockwise to allow air into the tank.

How Long Can a Water Heater Go Without Water?

WAPT discovered after consulting with four different plumbing companies that they all recommend turning off the water heater if it has been utilized for less than twenty-four hours. 

There was complete agreement among all of the experts. There are a few ways to turn off the water heater, including going to the breaker box in your home and moving the switch on the water heater to the “off” position.