Water Heater/ Vacation Setting ?

I would like to lower the temperature of my water heater. I put it all the way on the low side, in fact, it says "Vacation" when set on the lowest setting.
Two days later, I still get VERY hot water on this lowest setting. I ran it full blast for six full minutes, and the water was so hot that I couldn't stand under it. I ran it for three more minutes, and the water was still hot, but bearable. So, that is nine solid minutes of very hot water.
I don't know how to compare this to the hottest setting, but this doesn't seem right to me.
Any ideas why I can't get my water heater to a lower temperature setting ?
Thanks !!
James
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I assume you have a gas unit?
I had a home (SoCal) vacant for a number of years....I learned that the pilot was enough to keep the water warm to a usable level nearly year round
the pilot is often enough to keep water quite hot, unless the local temp is very low
cheers Bob
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The pilot light is not going to keep the water hot or even appreciably warmer that the surrounding temperature.
The control is broken.
Turning the unit off for vacation purposes is the simplest thing to do as long as it is not in a location that will freeze. Just remember to turn it back on when you get home.
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On May 20, 6:31 am, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

.........The pilot light is not going to keep the water hot or even appreciably warmer that the surrounding temperature. ......
sorry but you're wrong
I guess when I was working on my vacant SoCal home that had the water heater left on "vacation",
that the water was really cold & not warm.
Funny how when I took a shower to clean up before leaving, that the water was warm enough for a short shower.
Additionally I wonder what energy from the gas that was burned by pilot did? I guess it really didn't keep the water warm.
Sorry but my experience with my water heater contradicts your theory.....I stick with mine, the data (10+ years) confirms it and so does the arithmetic.
When the ambient air temp is in the 70's +, a water heater in an enclosed space (utility closet or small utility basement) has very low standby loses. The pilot can easily make up the difference.
The control on OP's water heat MAY be broken but depending on his locale ... the pilot can & will keep the water water than he surrounding air.
combustion / thermodynamics.
cheers Bob
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thanks for all the replies. By the water, this is an electric water heater. I should have noted that...........
James
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In that case, turn the pilot light off.
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To my knowledge, there is no "pilot" on an electric water heater. I don't find one on mine.
James
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In that case, turn the pilot light off.
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Probably no sense of humor either. Keep looking
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Darned it Ed, I DID find that PILOT LIGHT !! I had to go out and look for it while it was dark, and I could see it.
Wonder whey they don't discuss that in the Owner's Manual ????
James
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Since it is an electric unit, I assume it has two elements and you turned both thermostats down.
Don Young
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wrote:

And flip the circuit breaker, too!
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Simple logic will lead you to conclude that the control has malfunctioned. This is commoner on electric water heaters than on NG water heaters. Talk to a competent plumber/electrician about the cost to replace the control vs. replacing the heater, then make your choice.
Joe
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A will insulated large tank can hold that water hot for a long time. Nine minutes may only be 9 gallons from a 50 or 60 gallon tank. Or the control is broken.
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wrote:

James, years ago I had one of these heaters. Vacation basically turned it to 'pilot light' only mode, and that was enough, in a warmer basement, to keep the water relatively warm if it was not being used. Mostly good insulation, and good fittings keeping the heat in the water.
Short of turning it off (the gas) I think you getting as cheap as you can. <g>
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James wrote:

The pilot light will keep the water warm, critters (spiders and such) out of the flue and prevent condensation from forming inside the flue/heat chamber which will cause corrosion/rust. When I worked in the tropics, light bulbs were put in a perforated box in the bottom of the closets to produce enough heat to keep the moisture in the air from saturating clothing. Think about it, the folks who designed the water heater had to consider what would happen if the heater was shut down completely.
TDD
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