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How to Turn Off Your Water Heater

How to Turn Off Your Water Heater

Knowing how to turn various important appliances in our homes on and off can be helpful for several reasons, and a great example here is your water heater. No matter which reason you may have for needing to turn your water heater off, knowing how to do this safely and effectively, and without risking the quality of the fixture itself, is very helpful.

At Neighborly Plumbing & Services, we're here to assist clients around Salt Lake City, Millcreek, Holladay, West Jordan and even Park City with all their water heater service needs, including tips in helpful areas like these - or even assistance turning your water heater on or off if needed. Generally speaking, turning off a water heater is something that can be done on your own, though our team is always here to assist if needed. Here are the basic steps to follow.

Common Reasons for Turning Off Water Heater

Before we dive into the steps of turning off a water heater, let's briefly go over some common reasons why you might need to do this in the first place. Some of the most typical include:

  • Repairs or maintenance: If your water heater is undergoing repairs or routine maintenance, it will need to be turned off before work can begin.
  • Draining: One of the more common reasons for turning off a water heater is to drain it properly. Tank-format water heaters will typically build up sediment over time, and draining is needed periodically to remove this sediment.
  • Emergencies: In certain emergency situations, such as a leak or other malfunction, turning off the water heater may be necessary to prevent further damage.
  • Energy conservation: If you'll be away from home for an extended period of time, it might make sense to turn off your water heater and save on energy costs while no one is using hot water.

No matter which of these reasons or others you may have for turning off your water heater, the steps tend to be pretty similar. We'll go over those in our next few sections.

Turning Off Power Supply

The first step here will depend on whether your water heater uses gas or electric power:

  • Gas heaters: For gas-powered models, look for the thermostat control knob on the unit. This should be located near the bottom of the heater's tank. Simply turn this knob to the "Off" position.
  • Electric heaters: If you have an electric model, head over to your home's breaker box and find your water heater's circuit breaker. Flip this switch to the "Off" position.

Turning the power off before performing any additional steps is crucial, and prevents accidents or injuries from occurring. In addition to the power supply, you'll also need to turn off the water supply before proceeding.

Shutting Off Water Supply

After turning off the power supply, locate your water heater's shut-off valve. This is typically located on top of the unit, near where the cold water enters. Turn this valve to the "Off" position.

If your valve does not have an "Off" or "On" label, as some older models do not, simply turn the handle clockwise until it stops. If it does not stop, it is likely already in the "Off" position.

Once the power and water supply have been turned off, you can safely proceed with any necessary repairs, maintenance or draining. If you're unsure of any steps or would like assistance from a professional, give us a call at Neighborly Plumbing & Services and we'll be happy to help.

Draining the Water Heater

To be clear, this step will only be utilized if draining is your purpose for turning off the water heater in the first place. If some other purpose is your reason for turning it off, you have already completed the full list of steps.

For those draining, however, the next step is connecting a garden hose to the drain valve on your water heater. Make sure the other end of the hose is placed in a safe location for drainage, such as outside or into a large bucket.

Once connected, open the drain valve and allow all the hot water in the tank to pour out through the hose. This may take several minutes depending on how much water is in the tank and how quickly it drains. After draining, you can remove the hose and turn the drain valve back to its closed position. Once this is done, you can then proceed with any necessary maintenance or repairs.

As we went over today, there are several reasons why you might need to turn off your water heater from time to time. Whether for repairs, maintenance, emergencies or energy conservation, following these simple steps will allow you to turn off your water heater safely and effectively.

And remember, if you ever need any assistance with this or any other plumbing needs, Neighborly Plumbing & Services is always here to help. We're just a phone call away, whether for this or any plumbing repair service provided by the very best plumbers in SLC, Millcreek, Park City, West Jordan, Holladay or anywhere else in Utah.

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