When to Turn Off Your Water Heater and Why: Tips from the Experts

Turning off your water heater is an integral part of maintenance. Many homeowners don’t know when to turn off their water heater, leading to problems down the line.

In general, the best time to turn off your water heater is when the main water pipes are off.

This means that you should turn off your water heater when you go on vacation, during severe weather conditions, or when the house is being remodeled.

water heater controller

Contrary to popular belief, turning off the water heater in between uses doesn’t conserve energy. In fact, it can actually increase your energy bill because the water heater has to work harder to heat up the water when you turn it back on.

If conserving energy is your main concern, newer water heater models are more energy-efficient.

However, during those weeks or months when you’re not using your water heater, turning it off plays an essential role. Not only does it help conserve energy, but it also helps keep the water heater in good condition.

Advantages of turning water heater off during inactive Periods

Reduce Corrosion and Sediment Build-Up

One of the biggest benefits of turning off your water heater is that it reduces corrosion and sediment build-up. Sediments can clog the pipes and reduce the heating efficiency of your water heater.

Over time, this can lead to a number of problems, including a decrease in water pressure, rusting, and leaks.

turning off water heater

When the water heater is turned off, there’s no need for the hot water to flow through it constantly. This gives the metal time to cool down and prevents corrosion from happening. It also helps prevent sediment from building up in the bottom of the tank.

Prevents Scale Build-Up

Scale build-up is another common problem with water heaters. This happens when minerals in the water stick to the sides of the tank, which can reduce its efficiency and lifespan. This is a common problem in homes where there is hard water.

The best way to prevent scale build-up is by draining the tank every few months. However, this isn’t always possible or practical. Turning off the water heater can help reduce the amount of scale that builds up over time.

Maintains the Tank’s Temperature

When the water heater is turned off, there’s no need for the tank to maintain its temperature. This can help prolong the water heater’s life and prevent it from reaching high temperatures that could cause damage.

Additionally, when the water heater is turned off, it’s an excellent opportunity to clean the tank. This can help get rid of any sediment or scale that has built up and improve the efficiency of the water heater.

Prevents Formation of Harmful Bacteria in the Tank

When the water in the tank is heated and then cooled down, it creates the perfect environment for bacteria to grow. Bacteria can cause a number of problems, including health issues and damage to the tank.

When the water stays in the tank for prolonged periods of time, the bacteria can grow and spread. Turning off your water heater helps prevent and stop the formation of harmful bacteria in the tank.

Saves Energy

Although turning off your water heater between uses doesn’t conserve energy, turning it off during inactive periods does.

This means that it doesn’t have to constantly keep the water warm, especially during those days that nobody is using it. This can save you a lot of money on your energy bill.

Maintains the Lifespan of Your Water Heater

Finally, turning off your water heater helps maintain, and even increase its lifespan. When it’s turned off, there’s no need for it to work as hard to keep the water warm.

This gives the heater time to rest, preventing it from overheating. As a result, your system will last longer, require less maintenance and repairs, and run more efficiently.


  • Always refer to your manufacturer’s instructions before turning off your water heater.
  • Only turn off the water heater if you’re not using it for an extended period of time.
  • If you’re unsure, always ask a professional to help you with these tasks.

Turning off your water heater is a great way to conserve energy, maintain your tank’s temperature, and prevent corrosion and sediment build-up. Following these tips can help prolong the life of your water heater and keep it running efficiently.