Turning off the water to a gas hot water heater for a week or so at a time


Hi everyone,
We have an older house we're fixing up and trying to sell, but being we only visit the house on the weekends we're thinking of shutting off the water at the street during the week. This house has a gas hot water heater, so I wasn't sure if shutting off the water would cause any problems with the water heater, which is about 3-4 years old.
The reason we want to turn the water off is because for one, the house is old and I don't want a leak to pop-up when we're not there, and secondly we're afraid some folks in the neighborhood might take water from the outside faucet because I've seen them doing this to other houses.
Thanks for any advice.
Alex
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You can turn the water off and it shouldn't cause any problems. It is possible though that a cup or two of water could emerge from the TPR valve, because when water is heated, it expands. With many systems, the small amount of expansion is taken up by the municipal water system, giving it a place to go. By closing off the valve, that cup of water may emerge from the TPR valve, unless you have an expansion tank in the system.
One obvious solution is to turn the water heater to the pilot setting, which will also save you energy cost during the week it's off.
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