Can I Turn Off Water and Leave Water Heater On: How to Starve Your Water Heater Correctly

Can I Turn Off Water and Leave Water Heater On? Well, this is a question that we see frequently. One popular technique is to turn off your water at the main valve and leave your water heater on.

With this method, the only time that the electric or gas-powered elements in a hot water tank come into play. It is when somebody turns on a faucet or showerhead. In this blog post, we will explore why it can make sense for some people to use this technique.

Can I Turn Off Water and Leave Water Heater On?

Yes, you can, and it can make sense to leave the water heater on if you are not using your home for an extended period. The most obvious example is when somebody goes on vacation or during a business trip.

This method can work because water heaters only use electricity or gas when heating the water when nobody is using hot water. There would be no energy consumption, and this method can save you money compared to turning off the entire unit, including the gas or electric elements.

The Duration

If you are planning on being gone for more than one or two months. Then it can make sense for some people to turn off the water and leave the hot water tank on. Otherwise, turning off your water at the main valve will probably be a cheaper long-term option unless you heat your water with electricity.

How to Turn Off Water and Leave Water Heater On

The best way is to turn off the water and leave the water heater on. And by turning the main valve that supplies your home with water. This should be located in a shed, garage. Or basement near where you receive your utilities from the outside, such as natural gas line.

Once you find this pipe, shut it down until you return from being away. Or are you ready to have someone inspect your home?

Why Turn Off Water and Leave Water Heater On

There are many reasons you want to turn off your water and leave the water heater on. This includes if you take an extended vacation, go out of town for business or other purposes. Or just need a break from daily chores like laundry and dishes.

The Benefits

Leaving your home’s main valve shut down while away will ensure that you do not experience any water leaks. And can save your water heater. If you turn off the main valve, then it will shut down both the gas. Or electric elements in a tankless unit to reduce energy consumption when nobody’s home.

The Drawbacks

Turning off your water heater and leaving it on has no major drawbacks. However, you should know that if you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home or garage. Then this can trigger false alarms because there is no ventilation while away from home.

The Risks

Turning off the mainline while away from home does come with some risks. One risk is the potential of somebody trying to flush a toilet or run water while you are gone. Then having problems with your plumbing because there was no water running through it.

This will only be an issue if somebody has access to your home’s main valve without any supervision from another individual who can shut this down if necessary.

The costs

The costs of water leakages or plumbing problems can be substantial and should not be ignored. Many insurance plans for homes will cover the costs of a complete renovation due to a major plumbing issue. But you may need to pay a higher premium if your home is considered high-risk.

The savings

Leaving your water heater on while away can save you money. The most obvious savings is the reduction of energy costs. Those associated with heating water for showers or dishes when nobody’s home.

Another less-known cost-saving method is reducing the risk of clogged sinks, toilets. And drains due to usage by an individual who did not know that the water was shut off.

The Cleanup

What happens if somebody uses the toilet, runs a faucet or dishwasher, and then turns on your main valve? There may be some cleanup to do to restore your plumbing system into good working condition. Before turning it back on after an extended vacation.

This is one good reason to leave a note on your home’s main valve before taking off.

So, If you would like to know about how we can help turn off the water and leave the hot water heater on, contact with us.

FAQs: Can I Turn Off Water and Leave Water Heater on

When we decided to write this blog post, we received a lot of questions about the process and if it was safe. Here are some FAQs that we have received about this process.

Can I leave my water heater on when nobody is using hot water?

Yes, you can turn off the water and leave the water heater on as long as you are not going to be away for an extended period.

Is it safe to leave my water heater on when it is not being used?

Our reply to this question is always the same. If you have a gas-powered water heater. Then we suggest that you should consult with your local fire department or inspector before continuing forward.

How long can I leave my home’s main shut down valve while away?

This will depend on your specific circumstance. But if you are only going to be away for a month or two at the longest, then this should not pose any problems.


While this technique can be a viable option for some people. There are other ways to keep your water running without wasting energy.

If you want assistance with deciding which solution is right for you, contact us at any time. We have the understanding and experience necessary to help customers find the best way of conserving their resources. While still enjoying hot water that flows from every faucet in their home or business.

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