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50 gal. gas water heater, can I leave it on while shutting the water down?

50 gal. gas water heater, can I leave it on while shutting the water down?


  #1  
Old 11-16-14, 11:25 AM
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50 gal. gas water heater, can I leave it on while shutting the water down?

Leaving for vacation during Xmas/New Year and I always shut the water main and empty the pipes. Normally I also turn off the water heater however I am a bit concerned if God forbid something happens to the furnace next to it and it stops working while we're out, that the water in the tank will freeze and crack the tank (they are both in the basement, very close to bulkhead door, it is a non-heated space).

Is there any issue leaving the gas on while the water is off?

Thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 11-16-14, 12:46 PM
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I would suggest turning the combination gas valve to the "pilot" position. At the least turn the temperature knob to the lowest setting, often marked "vacation".
 
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Old 11-16-14, 12:50 PM
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I wouldn't leave the water heater on, except for the pilot. Personally, I wouldn't leave my house unattended for an extended time without being periodically visited by a friend or neighbor. You can install a thermometer in the house that can be read remotely over the web.
 
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Old 11-16-14, 01:16 PM
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I do have a Honeywell WiFi thermostat that alerts me when the temp. falls below (or rises above in the summer) a pre-set temp. But I'll be thousands of miles away and it is the holidays, people are out, I need to take an extra step to make sure I have no surprises when I get back.

Say all hell breaks lose, what are the chances of the water inside the tank to completely freeze? Granted, it is an unheated area of the basement, but it is not exposed to the outdoor.
 
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Old 11-16-14, 02:12 PM
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There are no guarantees if everything goes south. I also recommend having someone check the house every day or two for problems.

In my area a house left vacant is open season for squatters and once they move in it is a big problem to get them out. Maybe that has more to say about our courts than anything but I simply wouldn't leave my house vacant for an extended time.
 
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Old 11-16-14, 02:55 PM
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You're draining the pipes... but leaving the water heater full? Is that the plan?
 
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Old 11-16-14, 03:58 PM
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You're draining the pipes... but leaving the water heater full? Is that the plan?
Correct, and then leave the gas on on a low temp. or pilot at minimum.

Furd - not really concerned with squatters in my area, to be honest with you. The water heater is more of a concern to me
 
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Old 11-16-14, 04:34 PM
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In any case it would probably be a good idea to drain and refill the heater when you return. That water in the tank can turn nasty!

I'm moving your post to the Water Heaters forum.
 
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Old 11-17-14, 04:07 PM
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Anyone?! (................................)
 
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Old 11-17-14, 05:28 PM
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Anyone what???

You have been given valid suggestions. If they don't fit your thinking,. just do it your way.
 
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Old 11-18-14, 06:13 AM
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Hmm, not really. I asked about specific scenario - shutting the water main, empty the pipes, but leave the tank full of water with (at minimum) the pilot on.
 
  #12  
Old 11-18-14, 06:45 AM
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Well, 2 people agreed with draining and turning to just pilot. Assuming you have a pilot light...some don't anymore...I think.

You'd be amazed how warm the water will stay with just the standing pilot.

Flushing when you get back is important. Not as much of a concern on city water where chlorine and fluoride is used, but I'd still do it.
 
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Old 11-18-14, 07:22 AM
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Thanks Gunguy. I do have a pilot. Just wasn't sure if shutting cold supply and keeping pilot on is OK.
 
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Old 11-18-14, 07:27 AM
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As long as no one uses water..but since your's is in the basement and depends on water pressure for flow, they wouldn't get anything anyway. Basically, it's now just an insulated tank with a match under it.
 
 

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