Can I Unplug My Water Heater: Save Big on Energy Bills!

Can you unplug your water heater? Yes, but there are some factors to consider.

Turning off the water heater can save energy and reduce your monthly bill. But, it may not be the best option for everyone. If you are going on vacation, it can be cost-effective.

To turn it off safely, locate the circuit breaker or switch that controls the power supply and flip it. For gas water heaters, shut off the gas line valve and turn it clockwise. Make sure there are no safety hazards when turning it off.

Remember – when unplugging your water heater, you won’t have hot water until it’s turned back on. Think about how this will affect your daily routines in winter months.

Regular maintenance is also important. Experts recommend draining and flushing the hot water tank once a year. If you’re not sure how to do this, consult a professional plumber.

Key Points

  • It is generally safe to unplug a water heater, but there are a few important factors to consider before doing so.
  • Unplugging a water heater can save energy and reduce electricity costs, especially if you will be away from home for an extended period of time.
  • Before unplugging the water heater, make sure to turn off the power supply and shut off the water supply to prevent any potential damage or accidents.
  • It is recommended to consult the manufacturer’s instructions or a professional plumber before unplugging the water heater to ensure proper procedure and avoid any potential issues.
  • If you decide to unplug your water heater, it is important to properly drain and flush it before turning it back on to prevent any buildup or damage.
  • Regular maintenance and inspection of the water heater is crucial to ensure its optimal performance and longevity.

Understanding the Importance of Water Heater Maintenance

Water heater maintenance is essential for proper functioning and long life. Regular care ensures your water heater runs efficiently, saving money on energy costs and decreasing the risk of costly repairs. Neglecting to maintain can lead to poor performance, higher energy use, and potential damage.

To maintain your water heater, there are a few things to do. First, check the temperature setting on your thermostat. Setting it too high can cause excessive energy use. Too low may not provide enough hot water. Finding the best temperature ensures both comfort and savings.

Second, drain your water heater often to remove sediment build-up. Sediment accumulates in the tank over time, resulting in reduced heating efficiency and damage to the heating elements. Draining the tank prolongs its life and ensures optimal performance.

Also, pay attention to any signs of trouble with your water heater. Leaks, strange noises, inadequate heat output, and changes in water pressure can signal a problem needing professional help.

Certain types of water heaters need different maintenance procedures. Tankless water heaters, for example, have an inlet filter that needs cleaning or replacing. Read the manufacturer’s guidelines or ask for professional advice to understand your type of water heater’s needs.

Knowing the importance of water heater maintenance prevents expensive repairs and maximizes energy efficiency. By adjusting temperature settings and draining the tank often, you ensure your water heater serves you for years.

According to experts, not maintaining your water heater can lead to decreased performance and higher energy bills in as little as six months.

Unplug your water heater now and then. Even appliances need a break!

Step-by-Step Guide on Unplugging Your Water Heater:

Unplugging your water heater may seem simple, but it’s important to do it right to avoid any accidents or damage. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it safely:

  1. Turn off the power:
    • Locate the circuit breaker for your water heater in the breaker box.
    • Flip the switch to the “off” position.
    • This will disconnect the power supply and stop electricity from flowing into the unit.
  2. Shut off incoming water:
    • Locate the main water valve for your house.
    • Turn the valve clockwise until it’s fully closed.
    • This will prevent any leakage while unplugging.
  3. Drain the tank:
    • Connect a hose to the drain valve.
    • Place the other end of the hose in a suitable area, like a floor drain or outside.
    • Open the drain valve by turning it counterclockwise and let all water drain out.
  4. Disconnect remaining connections:
    • If your water heater is connected to a gas line, turn off the gas supply.
    • If there are any other connections, like relief valves or pressure release valves, consult a professional plumber.
  5. Remove insulation and covers:
    • Depending on your type of water heater, there may be insulation blankets or covers that need to be removed.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to do this safely.
  6. Unplug and store:
    • Unplug any power cords from their sockets.
    • Carefully coil the cords and store them in a safe, dry place.

Always exercise caution when working with electrical appliances and plumbing systems. If you are unsure or encounter any difficulties, consult a professional plumber for expert guidance.

Unplugging your water heater can help you save on energy costs, especially when away for a long time or in warmer months when hot water isn’t needed as often. By following these steps, you can ensure your water heater is safely disconnected and ready for storage or maintenance.

But before you do, remember: freezing cold showers build character and a whole lot of regret!

Precautions and Considerations:

Beginning with a professional approach, it’s important to discuss precautions and considerations when unplugging a water heater. Safety is key to prevent any damage or issues.

Let’s dive into the details with a table:

Shut off power supplyFind the circuit breaker or switch that controls the power. Flip it off to ensure safety while doing maintenance or repairs.
Turn off gas (if applicable)Find the gas line valve connected to the unit. Shut it off to avoid any risk of gas leakage during operation or disconnection.
Drain water from tankBefore unplugging, drain out any hot water left in the tank. This will make it easier and prevent potential flooding.
Use insulationTo save energy and avoid heat loss during non-use, use an insulation blanket on your water heater.
Get help if uncertainIf unsure how to unplug your water heater, consult a professional plumber. They can guide you through the proper procedures for your system.

Also, keep in mind:

  • Turn down the thermostat setting on electric water heaters to avoid scalding temperatures.
  • Check for leaks around pipes or valves before and after unplugging.
  • Unplugging saves you money on electricity bills when hot water isn’t used a lot.

A tip: Experts at say regularly disconnecting an unused traditional electric water heater can result in big energy savings.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I unplug my water heater?

Yes, you can unplug your electric water heater by disconnecting it from the power source. However, before doing so, make sure to turn off the circuit breaker that supplies power to the water heater.

2. Can I turn off my water heater during winter?

It is generally not recommended to turn off your water heater in winter, especially if you live in a cold climate. If you do turn it off, the water in the tank can freeze and cause damage to the unit. It is better to keep it running at a lower temperature to prevent freezing.

3. Can I remove my water tank?

No, you should not remove your water tank unless there is a specific reason for doing so, such as repairs or replacement. The water tank is an essential part of your water heating system and removing it can cause water pressure and other plumbing issues.

4. Can I turn off my gas water heater?

Yes, you can turn off your gas water heater by locating the gas supply valve and turning it to the “off” position. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions or consult a professional if you are unsure.

5. Can I remove an immersion heater?

No, you should not remove an immersion heater unless you are a trained professional or have experience in handling such equipment. Removing an immersion heater without proper knowledge can result in damage and safety hazards.

6. Can I save energy by turning off my water heater when not in use?

Yes, turning off your water heater when not in use can help save energy and reduce your electric bill. However, it is recommended to use a timer or a water heater thermostat to control the temperature and prevent extended periods without hot water.


Before unplugging your water heater, make sure to switch off the electric or gas supply and the main water valve. Also, drain the water tank to avoid any buildup or harm. Seek professional advice if you’re not certain about the procedure.

You can set a timer or adjust the temperature setting to save energy costs when you don’t need hot water frequently. Insulate your water heater with a blanket for better efficiency and reduced heat loss.

Note that tankless water heaters don’t need unplugging as they just heat water when required. This can result in big energy savings compared to standard tank-style water heaters.

Pros from JustAnswer say unplugging your water heater can help reduce your electricity bills, especially when you don’t use hot water a lot. Consider the potential cost savings and the danger of freezing pipes in colder climates before deciding.

In conclusion, while it’s possible and advantageous to unplug your water heater in certain situations, it’s best to consult a specialist for advice and guidance appropriate to your system and circumstances.