Turn off water heater on vacation?

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ThankYouJack
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Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by ThankYouJack » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:15 am

I'm going on a 12 day vacation. Is it worth turning off my water heater -- it's 10 years old and for a 2 1/2 bathroom place. Any idea how much electricity it will save and is the simplest way to turn off to just pull the fuse? I'm planning to shut off the water supply to my house too.

livesoft
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by livesoft » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:19 am

No, it isn't.
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FreddieG
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by FreddieG » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:21 am

I can't give you a number on whether you'll save. But consider what will happen if you shut off the water, your hwh leaks out all its water, and you then have heating elements not immersed in water. To me, that is a fire hazard.

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David Jay
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by David Jay » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:26 am

If you are shutting off the water then you really need to "turn off" the water heater also. Flipping the circuit breaker ("fuse") is as good as anything for an electric heater.

It will save a little money (pennies to a few bucks), but if the water supply is turned off then you could have issues if the water heater is left on.
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Kosmo
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Kosmo » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:39 am

Not worth it. You're only keeping the 40 or so gallons at 120 deg. The tank is insulated and you're not using water, so you just have to maintain the temp. Heating that water up from the supply temp upon your return probably costs just as much. And it will take far longer to get hot water than had you just left it on.

From a different stand point. ..is there a high risk of pipes freezing and/or leaking? Why shut off the water? I'd only recommend doing that if you planned to drain the whole system. And only in a cold climate. And only if you're going to be gone for an extended period (months, not days).

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MikeWillRetire
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by MikeWillRetire » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:54 am

I always turn off the main water supply during vacation, but I don't turn off the power to the water heater.

rs899
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by rs899 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:23 am

When I leave for any period, I shut of the water, flush the toilets, and flip all the breakers except the one to the fridge. As you wish.

fundseeker
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by fundseeker » Sun Dec 27, 2015 10:58 am

Our hot water heater has a "Vacation" setting on the knob, so I just use that. But I DEFINITELY turn off the water to the house (not at the main but inside the basement we have a spigot. I know someone who recently had their townhouse flooded because of a busted washing machine hose. What an expensive pain!!!

Joe_R95
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Joe_R95 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:03 am

+1 on turning the knob on it to vacation mode. Make SURE you shut your water off. I had a $37k insurance claim last year because the flex line to a toilet burst while I was on vacation.

Gary Guss
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Gary Guss » Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:27 am

If water heater loses water with the power on the elements will overheat and break. When we go for a weekend or something, I'll turn the water off at our basement main which is easy to get to. When we go to Florida for a month in winter, I'll turn off the water, drain the toilets and put RV antifreeze in all of the traps just in case of extended power loss or other problem, my home alarm system has a temp sensor so I know if it gets below 41 degrees. We have a gas water heater so I just shut it off, too lazy to drain it. So far so good..

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just frank
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by just frank » Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:28 am

If it is a modern tank HWH, it is well insulated and would save a minimal amount....maybe a buck or two in 12 days. The downside...it will take time to recover when you get back. Your choice.

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F150HD
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by F150HD » Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:30 am

ThankYouJack wrote:I'm going on a 12 day vacation. Is it worth turning off my water heater -- it's 10 years old and for a 2 1/2 bathroom place. Any idea how much electricity it will save and is the simplest way to turn off to just pull the fuse? I'm planning to shut off the water supply to my house too.


I have a gas heater, I put it on 'vacation' mode which keeps it at a minimal temp.

I also shut water off at the main, then open a faucet at the lowest point in the house and leave it open until I return in the event the main shut-off valve fails.

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tennisplyr
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by tennisplyr » Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:32 am

I shut the water main but leave heat @ 55 (have gas forced air.). I lower my water heat to "low" or "vacation" if you have that. I don't shut the gas to it.
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quantAndHold
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Dec 27, 2015 11:35 am

For a 12 day trip, I just plug in a timer for the lights, get a neighbor to collect the mail, lock the doors and leave. YMMV, I suppose.

A couple of years ago, we were considering getting a solar hot water heater. We went to a workshop about it. They helped us calculate how much our hot water usage was costing us. We (2 people) were spending $9/month on hot water. I assume with 0 showers per day, 12 days of leaving the hot water on would cost a dollar or two.

roflwaffle
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by roflwaffle » Sun Dec 27, 2015 12:29 pm

I shut off the gas and water. The gas isn't much, maybe $10/month, but it only takes 15 minutes to light it.

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jeff1949
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by jeff1949 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 1:04 pm

MikeWillRetire wrote:I always turn off the main water supply during vacation, but I don't turn off the power to the water heater.


A really bad idea Mike. Good way to burn up the elements on an electric water heater. Any kind of leak including evaporative leak (steam) and the elements get exposed.......fried elements. You have probably just been lucky so far.

btenny
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by btenny » Sun Dec 27, 2015 1:16 pm

If you shut off the house water you have to shut off the water heater. You have to totally shut it off not just put it on vacation mode. When the water is turned off if you leave the heater turned on you risk the water heater over heating and blowing the valve or burning out a element.

I turn off my electric water heater and I turn off the water to the house when we leave for 2-3 months each summer. I turn off the heater completely by flipping the circuit breaker. I guestimate we save about $40 per month on our electric bill with the heater turned off.

In my summer mountain home when we leave for part of the winter we turn down the gas water heater to vacation mode. We leave the pilot burner running. We also leave the water turned on. We have someone to check on the house regularly for issues. The water heater and the house heater together keep the garage warm and the house pipes warm so no freezing occurs. I am not sure what we save in this case.

Good Luck.

neilpilot
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by neilpilot » Sun Dec 27, 2015 2:33 pm

A few observations.....

For a short period (OP says 12 days), if you turn off the water or electricity, and it's an older heater, it will go through more than normal stress when reactivated and the tank is much more likely to then fail.

Several mentioned that you should never turn off the water and leave the electricity activated, since if there's a leak the elements will overheat. But all water heaters I've seen deliver water out the top, so if there's a leak downstream the heater tank will depressurize but not go dry. Of course, if the tank itself leaks then the element may be damaged, but who cares since the tank has failed.

A few posters refer to their "hot water heater", or "HWH". Most residential water heaters heat cold water; they are not hot water heaters, just water heaters.

livesoft
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by livesoft » Sun Dec 27, 2015 2:40 pm

btenny wrote:I guestimate we save about $40 per month on our electric bill with the heater turned off.

That's simply amazing as our last electric bill for a 4 br 3.5ba 3000+ sq ft house was less than $40.
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Toons
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Toons » Sun Dec 27, 2015 3:04 pm

12 Days.
I wouldn't bother.
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jlawrence01
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by jlawrence01 » Sun Dec 27, 2015 3:27 pm

We turn off the water heater and turn off all water to the house at the street when we go on long trips of 2-8 weeks. I had $6k in damages last year due to the failure of a plumbing fixture in a vanity.

Just remember to turn on the water heater when you return or the next day will be unpleasant.

Leeraar
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Leeraar » Sun Dec 27, 2015 4:26 pm

Set the water heater temperature dial to "Vacation".

If you turn off the water be sure to run a hot and a cold faucet to depressurize the system.

L.
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unclescrooge
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by unclescrooge » Sun Dec 27, 2015 4:58 pm

livesoft wrote:That's simply amazing as our last electric bill for a 4 br 3.5ba 3000+ sq ft house was less than $40.


Wow, my last bill for a 2,800 sqft house for two months was $261.

What's your secret?

livesoft
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by livesoft » Sun Dec 27, 2015 5:02 pm

unclescrooge wrote:What's your secret?

Sunlight and having the energy-efficient house located in temperate climate for November. We have no solar panels (in case you are wondering).

Natural gas water heaters help, too, but gas bill averages about $21 a month for the two water heaters and clothes dryer.
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Katietsu
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Katietsu » Sun Dec 27, 2015 5:05 pm

Nothing new but I want to reiterate that if you turn the water off, you need to shut off the hot water to avoid the risk of fire. I just flip the circuit breaker for my hot water heater.

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Artsdoctor
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Artsdoctor » Sun Dec 27, 2015 5:27 pm

Interesting variety of opinions. It sounds as if there are strong feelings all the way around.

Perhaps the reason why no one really has the one and only "right" answer, is because there isn't any:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 00512.html

I couldn't find any source that was overly concerned about the water heater water evaporating.

Presumably, the MAIN reason people turn off the water to the inside of the house is to thwart a catastrophe. Cost savings and ruining a water heater would seem to be a very small reason.

HogsAndApples
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by HogsAndApples » Sun Dec 27, 2015 6:41 pm

Have you called the manufacturer of your water heater?

So here is basically what I do and some thoughts. I'm not a plumber, nor do I have any experience in this area, just a homeowner who took down a few notes and caution - reader beware in case my note taking was not on target.

(In addition to the following we also turn off the toilets and the water to the washing machine)

We recently had a new water heater for our particular model and situation - I was advised that:

If we are gone NO MORE than ONE WEEK turn off the water main BUT don’t turn off water main unless you do the following:
- On water heater – turn to PILOT position. This leaves the pilot on which is good, but the water heater won’t fill.
- Open faucets to relieve pressure just in case pipes freeze
When we come back:
- turn water heater dial from PILOT position to ON
- run hot water from faucet to alleviate any hydrogen gas or air buildup. (This is also required for our washing machine once the water is turned off at the main.)

If I leave for MORE THAN one week -- do the following as it will alleviate any issue of bacteria growth: (as well as issues with a water leak, etc.)
- we were told to drain the tank, there was a whole list of instructions to do that little task. It does not take a long time for the water to fill the tank though and to heat up.
- I was also told NOT to do this with my old water heater which was 17 or 18 years old (I think both the manufacturer and the plumber agreed with this, but don't quote me) as I could have issues since it had never done it before and it was old.

I was told the “vacation setting” on the new water heater keeps the water from freezing, expanding and then cracking the unit. This could happen if we lost heat in the house in the winter.
-----------------------
On my old unit I never did a thing. This new unit - a basic gas water heater also needs to have the anode tube checked in six months and apparently that requires a service visit. Assuming the anode rod is fine - maintenance is once a year.

The thing is my water heater, I was told, isn't really much different than the old one I had, but it sounds like there is more maintenance and work with it. I never did anything to the old water heater, though I did shut off the main as well as turn the water heater to pilot when we left (toilets and washing machine water turned off too) - just in case of a leak.

livesoft
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by livesoft » Sun Dec 27, 2015 6:45 pm

HogsAndApples wrote:This new unit - a basic gas water heater also needs to have the anode tube checked in six months and apparently that requires a service visit. Assuming the anode rod is fine - maintenance is once a year.

I think you were given a BS story to create more business for the plumber. Even if they do the check "for free", I would worry about them making up a another story to extract money from one's wallet.
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Mudpuppy
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Mudpuppy » Sun Dec 27, 2015 6:50 pm

livesoft wrote:
HogsAndApples wrote:This new unit - a basic gas water heater also needs to have the anode tube checked in six months and apparently that requires a service visit. Assuming the anode rod is fine - maintenance is once a year.

I think you were given a BS story to create more business for the plumber. Even if they do the check "for free", I would worry about them making up a another story to extract money from one's wallet.

Anode rods are important to water heater longevity, but I would agree that checking it every 6 months is a bit excessive. You can also inspect the anode rod yourself and save yourself a service trip. You can even change it yourself. It's not too hard. Here's the page and video from ThisOldHouse:

Page: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/ ... 31,00.html
Video: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/video/0 ... 47,00.html (Edit: Youtube link to ThisOldHouse segment on water heaters https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IUNIUZz4Os)

Yooper
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Yooper » Sun Dec 27, 2015 8:23 pm

HogsAndApples wrote:
If I leave for MORE THAN one week -- do the following as it will alleviate any issue of bacteria growth: (as well as issues with a water leak, etc.)
- we were told to drain the tank, there was a whole list of instructions to do that little task. It does not take a long time for the water to fill the tank though and to heat up.
- I was also told NOT to do this with my old water heater which was 17 or 18 years old (I think both the manufacturer and the plumber agreed with this, but don't quote me) as I could have issues since it had never done it before and it was old.

I was told the “vacation setting” on the new water heater keeps the water from freezing, expanding and then cracking the unit. This could happen if we lost heat in the house in the winter.
-----------------------
On my old unit I never did a thing. This new unit - a basic gas water heater also needs to have the anode tube checked in six months and apparently that requires a service visit. Assuming the anode rod is fine - maintenance is once a year.

The thing is my water heater, I was told, isn't really much different than the old one I had, but it sounds like there is more maintenance and work with it. I never did anything to the old water heater, though I did shut off the main as well as turn the water heater to pilot when we left (toilets and washing machine water turned off too) - just in case of a leak.


Sounds like a money making opportunity for the plumber.

No idea of your specifics, but here's my scenario for a number of years:
1. Electric water heater.
2. Completely unused 3 consecutive months a year.
3. Always left on when not in use (and water not turned off).
4. Very hard water.
5. Anode rod checked and replaced on year 4 - only because I'd already bought one and wanted to establish a "base line". Compared to the replacement rod, the old one had barely any damage and could have stayed in for another 4 years.

Just a data point.

Leeraar
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Leeraar » Sun Dec 27, 2015 9:31 pm

My best practices:

Buy a water heater with the longest possible warranty. My last one was 12 years. It failed after 10, and Home Depot gave me a new one with another 12-year warranty. (!)

Above the heater (about 2 feet), coming down, install ball valves on both the hot and cold pipes, and union couplings below them. That way you can have the water on (for flushing toilets) even if the tank fails. Also. plumbing in a new heater becomes a much simpler job.

Get a plastic tub in which the heater sits, $20 at HD. You attach a hose to a convenient drain in case the heater fails and starts to leak.

Use a magic marker to write the installation date, place of purchase, and warranty expiration date on the unit. Put the manual and original sales slip in a plastic bag and tape it to the tank.

L.
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Frugal Al
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Frugal Al » Tue Dec 29, 2015 9:29 am

Leeraar wrote:My best practices:

Buy a water heater with the longest possible warranty. My last one was 12 years. It failed after 10, and Home Depot gave me a new one with another 12-year warranty. (!)

Although your water heater "best practices" has some good points, your reliance upon long warranties may, or may not, be misplaced. Most longer water heater warranties are mainly the result of a larger anode rod, or even a second anode rod. There's nothing wrong with paying for the convenience of ignoring the anode rod(s), but what if the tank had failed at just over 12 years. I suggest adding to the best practices that the anode rod should be checked every few years, and replaced as needed. If done regularly it takes all of 10 minutes to accomplish, if that--especially with your ball valves (I installed them, too). And annually do a quick flush of any sediment.

Also, most manufacturers have enough fudge built into their warranties that I'm wondering if you might have legitimately had a bad tank, or perhaps your water is over-softened, or overly hard. Of course if Home Depot will just continue supplying free tanks every 10 years (including install??), ignore all the above. :D

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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by john94549 » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:00 am

We live in Northern California, and it rarely gets below freezing. That said, it can (and has the last week). An acquaintance of my wife came back from vacation to find a burst interior pipe. Tens of thousands of gallons of (hot) water flooding her house, and $80,000 of damage. Turning off the main water supply to the house when planning to be gone for an extended period is a good idea. Another good idea is to set the heat to 50 degrees and open all cabinet doors to cabinets having pipes or drains (this hint from a realtor). Even if you turn off the water, interior pipes can have water "trapped" in low spots, and can freeze (again, according to said realtor).

Valuethinker
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:13 am

unclescrooge wrote:
livesoft wrote:That's simply amazing as our last electric bill for a 4 br 3.5ba 3000+ sq ft house was less than $40.


Wow, my last bill for a 2,800 sqft house for two months was $261.

What's your secret?


At 10 cents/ kwhr (just under US average) he's burning 400 kwhr pa or 4800 kwhr pa. Whilst that is less than half the US household average, if you don't need air conditioning much, and you heat by gas or other non electric means, it's perfectly possible.

With low energy lights (LEDs) now, plus a little discipline on shutting things off (newer electronic devices in any case have maximum wattages when on standby) even a big house shouldn't burn that much juice (more people in the house more hours will burn more juice).

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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:16 am

Kosmo wrote:Not worth it. You're only keeping the 40 or so gallons at 120 deg. The tank is insulated and you're not using water, so you just have to maintain the temp. Heating that water up from the supply temp upon your return probably costs just as much. And it will take far longer to get hot water than had you just left it on.


With an electric water heater (as opposed to gas or a heat pump) it will *always* use less energy to turn it off and then reheat at the end of the vacation period? Simply because of physics-- even a well insulated tank loses *some* energy over time? As to cost, it depends on whether your electricity is time of day?

(with a HP or gas there is an issue about the actual efficiency of the heating device, but again a good long run to reheat is probably the most efficient way of running).

From a different stand point. ..is there a high risk of pipes freezing and/or leaking? Why shut off the water? I'd only recommend doing that if you planned to drain the whole system. And only in a cold climate. And only if you're going to be gone for an extended period (months, not days).


Agreed to all of the above.

Valuethinker
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:20 am

ThankYouJack wrote:I'm going on a 12 day vacation. Is it worth turning off my water heater -- it's 10 years old and for a 2 1/2 bathroom place. Any idea how much electricity it will save and is the simplest way to turn off to just pull the fuse? I'm planning to shut off the water supply to my house too.


Almost certainly not.

In kwhr terms, a good bet with our home in the UK is that we use about 60 kwhr per week for hot water for 2 people. And that's a bigger house than yours (with a superinsulated HW tank but in a house with no significant insulation (victorian solid brick walls)).

So in 2 weeks you'd save 120 kwhr, say-- but in fact a lot less because there will be no draw on the HW system whilst you are away other than keeping it to temperature. At average US electricity rates that's around $13.50. Even if you are paying New England/ NY or California rates it would only be twice that in a *worst* case. It's going to save you less than $20, for sure, and maybe less than $10.

However as per others, if you are turning off the water supply (and draining the system?) you have to have turned off your water heater or things could get really messy.

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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Dec 29, 2015 10:25 am

unclescrooge wrote:
livesoft wrote:That's simply amazing as our last electric bill for a 4 br 3.5ba 3000+ sq ft house was less than $40.


Wow, my last bill for a 2,800 sqft house for two months was $261.

What's your secret?


At say 12,000 kwhr pa you are pretty close to the US household average.

New England you see distortions upwards because of a cold climate and the more limited availability of gas heating.

The South because of the scale of the air conditioning load (7+ months a year? and in places like Arizona and Nevada where you have the desert heat) and also because you get swings into cold and many houses use Heat Pumps for heat (or electric bar, which is more inefficient).

Hawaii is on a different plane (c. 28 c/ kwhr?) because the main fuel supply for Hawaii's electricity is fuel oil.

johnubc
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by johnubc » Tue Dec 29, 2015 11:21 am

Turn off your water supply. Leave the water heater turned on if for two weeks.

Turn the water heater setting to vacation or low if longer - it is not about the energy savings - it is about the damage prevention. You will not be able to take a shower once you get home - no big deal. Pipes break, fittings leak, washer hoses burst and water leak destroys your home.

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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Leeraar » Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:33 pm

Frugal Al wrote:
Leeraar wrote:My best practices:

Buy a water heater with the longest possible warranty. My last one was 12 years. It failed after 10, and Home Depot gave me a new one with another 12-year warranty. (!)

Although your water heater "best practices" has some good points, your reliance upon long warranties may, or may not, be misplaced. Most longer water heater warranties are mainly the result of a larger anode rod, or even a second anode rod. There's nothing wrong with paying for the convenience of ignoring the anode rod(s), but what if the tank had failed at just over 12 years. I suggest adding to the best practices that the anode rod should be checked every few years, and replaced as needed. If done regularly it takes all of 10 minutes to accomplish, if that--especially with your ball valves (I installed them, too). And annually do a quick flush of any sediment.

Also, most manufacturers have enough fudge built into their warranties that I'm wondering if you might have legitimately had a bad tank, or perhaps your water is over-softened, or overly hard. Of course if Home Depot will just continue supplying free tanks every 10 years (including install??), ignore all the above. :D

My 12-year heater costs over $600 at Home Depot. Installation would cost an additional $600, not covered by warranty. (I do it myself.)

If you factor in installation costs, buying a heater with a shorter warranty (expected life) is a false economy, IMO.

L.
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Frugal Al
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Frugal Al » Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:36 am

Leeraar wrote:If you factor in installation costs, buying a heater with a shorter warranty (expected life) is a false economy, IMO.

Since when does warranty equal expected life? Most products last past their warranty--even hot water tanks. Once again, all the longer warranty really gets you with a hot water tank is more sacrificial anode rod material--which is easily and inexpensively replaceable in most tanks. Paying $150 to $200 more for a longer warranty tank when anode material can be purchased for $30 is the false economy.

Obviously your situation worked out for you because you incurred no installation expense on the warranty replacement. Let's hope the tank continues to fail on schedule.

tibbitts
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by tibbitts » Wed Dec 30, 2015 7:54 am

Frugal Al wrote:
Leeraar wrote:If you factor in installation costs, buying a heater with a shorter warranty (expected life) is a false economy, IMO.

Since when does warranty equal expected life? Most products last past their warranty--even hot water tanks. Once again, all the longer warranty really gets you with a hot water tank is more sacrificial anode rod material--which is easily and inexpensively replaceable in most tanks. Paying $150 to $200 more for a longer warranty tank when anode material can be purchased for $30 is the false economy.

Obviously your situation worked out for you because you incurred no installation expense on the warranty replacement. Let's hope the tank continues to fail on schedule.

When I last shopped for a water heater, the more expensive tanks had both longer warranties and more built-in insulation - enough insulation that the better heaters (in all the brands I looked at) were fatter and wouldn't fit in my (inside) closet. I wrapped a blanket around a cheaper heater, but that wasn't as elegant a solution. I don't know about the anodes compared so I can't comment on that.

I think water heater warranties conform more closely to effective life than, say, a typical computer warranty.

Leeraar
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Leeraar » Wed Dec 30, 2015 9:37 am

In my experience with at least half a dozen heaters (all gas) the fail a year or two after the warranty period. The is the first one I've ever had that failed during warranty.

L.
You can get what you want, or you can just get old. (Billy Joel, "Vienna")

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Epsilon Delta
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:29 am

Leeraar wrote:In my experience with at least half a dozen heaters (all gas) the fail a year or two after the warranty period. The is the first one I've ever had that failed during warranty.

L.


This very much depends on your water supply. Some soft water is quite corrosive and the tank needs to be replace when it leaks. Some hard water deposits lime and the tank needs to be replaced when it's full of rocks. Some water is just right and you see fifty or more year old tanks.

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Frugal Al
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Frugal Al » Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:18 pm

tibbitts wrote:I think water heater warranties conform more closely to effective life than, say, a typical computer warranty.

Mostly because the of the larger sacrificial anode(s) that is included with the longer warranty. Other than that the construction and parts are basically the same, with relatively minor design issues among the few mainstream manufacturers in the U.S. That's not saying that some mfrrs don't add more insulation on some models to jack the price a bit more and to further differentiate a product that has become somewhat of a commodity.

Tibbitts, you might want to consider planning around the new regulations for your tank closet, and maintaining the tank you've got for maximum longevity. All newly manufactured tanks in the U.S. will be getting more insulation in the future. I suspect the new regs will cause a lot of headaches for some. http://www.rheem.com/products/water_hea ... ECA/#tab-3

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Frugal Al
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Frugal Al » Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:21 pm

duplicate

Leeraar
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Leeraar » Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:36 pm

I suspect the new regs will cause a lot of headaches for some.

The biggest issue for me has been the change in dimensions. They are not standard, so it seems every time I replace a unit there are needs to update copper plumbing and black pipe gas connections.

How come I have so much experience? We have a house that used to have two water heaters. There is a spa / hot tub that we never use, so I took one water heater out the second time it needed replacing.

L.
You can get what you want, or you can just get old. (Billy Joel, "Vienna")

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SeeMoe
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by SeeMoe » Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:38 pm

When away more that a day, I turn off the Water Main and the Water Heater . Lower heat too . :dollar
"By gnawing through a dike, even a Rat can destroy a nation ." {Edmund Burke}

TMCD75
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by TMCD75 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:01 pm

I'm leaving in two days and will be gone for 8 weeks. I've got a gas water heater and was planning on setting it to vacation mode. I am also going to turn the water off out in my yard at the main.

Is this a good bet? Should I turn the water heater off? I do worry because this tank is old.

Leeraar
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by Leeraar » Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:48 pm

TMCD75 wrote:I'm leaving in two days and will be gone for 8 weeks. I've got a gas water heater and was planning on setting it to vacation mode. I am also going to turn the water off out in my yard at the main.

Is this a good bet? Should I turn the water heater off? I do worry because this tank is old.

Mark your current setting on the water heater with a magic marker or such. Do not turn the heater "off", set it to "vacation". Do turn the water off. After the water is turned off, do not flush any toilets. Turn on a hot and a cold faucet for a few seconds to relieve the pressure in your water system.

When you get home, turn on the water. Turn the water heater to your normal setting. Run water from a few faucets to flush air from the system. Wait a few hours if you are expecting a hot bath or shower.

L.
You can get what you want, or you can just get old. (Billy Joel, "Vienna")

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unclescrooge
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Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

Post by unclescrooge » Thu Dec 31, 2015 2:15 am

Valuethinker wrote:
unclescrooge wrote:
livesoft wrote:That's simply amazing as our last electric bill for a 4 br 3.5ba 3000+ sq ft house was less than $40.


Wow, my last bill for a 2,800 sqft house for two months was $261.

What's your secret?


At 10 cents/ kwhr (just under US average) he's burning 400 kwhr pa or 4800 kwhr pa. Whilst that is less than half the US household average, if you don't need air conditioning much, and you heat by gas or other non electric means, it's perfectly possible.

With low energy lights (LEDs) now, plus a little discipline on shutting things off (newer electronic devices in any case have maximum wattages when on standby) even a big house shouldn't burn that much juice (more people in the house more hours will burn more juice).


Considering my average rate is 15 cents, I'm already at a big disadvantage. I've already replaced bulbs with LEDs, and use the NEST thermostat to conserve heating and cooling costs.

I guess my hvac must be the culprit. It's pretty old and we've had pretty severe summer followed by a severe winter (by SoCal standards).

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