Water heaters

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Can you turn off the water to a water heater and not turn off the pilot. I have a water heater where you have to physically light the pilot and it is a pain to restart when we get back from vacations (especially when we get back in during the night). So, I was wondering, any reason I can't turn off the water supply to the filled heater (so if it goes bad the damage is limited) while keeping the pilot on?
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wrote:

I'd say that the danger of damaging the water heater is slim.
But I wonder about your priorities. Shutting off the water to the heater will limit water damage to 20-50 gallons or so if a leak should develop while you're gone.
The pilot, however, is an open flame. It would definitely be an unusual circumstance, but potentially devastating, if there was a gas leak.
I'd be shutting off gas in my house before water if I was going to be gone for a great length of time.
Jim
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in the winter shutting off gas could mean no heat, and repeatedly turning off main gas valve might lead to a valve leak.
trying to prevent everything leads to a endless spiral of worrisome what iffs....
while the biggest danger is likely a traffic accident while your away: (
personally getting hurt is way worse than any home disaster.......
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From 9+ years in the fire service (albeit 20+ years ago), my personal preference for a gas leak occurring would be while I was on vacation. Unless turning off the water will increase the likelihood of a gas leak, I view the gas leak as a random event with much lower odds that it would occur. For every gas leak explosion, there is probably 10 water heaters that break. The odds are even higher if you focus only on water heaters (and ignore the meters which tend to be high level offender, furnaces, etc.).

This is just a couple weeks.
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Jim Elbrecht wrote:

I'd be more concerned with the gas wasted running the pilot. It adds up to a significant amount over time.
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How much is really wasted? If the house is occupied, the pilot just helps to keep the water hot between uses.
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i hope you're trying to be funny. You could run a pilot light for a year on about a dime. You're certainly not going over the gas companies minimum with one.
s

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Steve Barker DLT wrote:

I've seen quotes of 5-15 therms per month, I don't know if this has been reduced significantly on modern equipment but at $1.30 or so per therm that I pay that works out to at least $78 per year, which is considerably more than "about a dime"! Is this accurate? I don't know, I'd love to see some solid modern data, but there's a reason standing pilots were banned on most gas fired appliances, water heaters being the exception given that the pilot heat is not really wasted as it goes towards keeping the water hot, but we're talking about shutting down a dormant water heater in which case the water doesn't need to be kept hot.
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" The exact cost of operating the pilot light will depend on the design of the heater and price of gas, but could range from $12 to $20 per year"
http://www.tankless-water-heater.net/tankless-water-heaters-cost.htm
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newer water heaters have much smaller pilot light flames
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But we really aren't talking (1) the difference between tankless and one with a tank--which is what this article is discussing and (2) the savings of shutting down the pilot for a week. I can guarantee you that the difference isn't all that much over a week to 10 days of vacation.
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or even a year....
s

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and that's coming from a company trying to sell a product. (a shitty one at that)
s

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the reason was safety. the dum bastards that insisted on keeping a can of gas next to their water heater caused this. Now they have combustible gas detectors and sealed chambers with spark ignition. There's no way a pilot uses ANY where near the amount of gas you were "quoted".
steve

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On Wed, 10 Dec 2008 18:42:03 -0800, James Sweet

I use an old gas range in my cottage that has FOUR standing piots. During the summer months with no other gas being used, these pilots didn't increase my gas bill over the minimum customer service charge.
Doug
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that should be safe, we routinely go on vacation and leave everything on.
the chance of a tank leak with zero pressure should be low, and the pilot so small a heat source it cant damage anything.
might be a good idea to firstr shut off water, then open both hot and cold valves say in a sink a little to take pressure off everything, then close those valves.
heck why worry if worse comes to worse homeowners insurane will pay the damages.
while your away a kid could torch your home as a prank
a electrical malfunction could start a fire and level your home.
in the winter your furnace could fail and freeze everything, cracking toilets and everything with a trap.
or someone could vandalize your home.
cant prevent everything, and worry to much can lead to health troubles and early death.
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When I leave I shut the water main open a main drain and open all faucets incase the heat goes out, I have 1/4 turn ball valves so it all takes a few minutes and no water will freeze, with no pressure your tank wont suddenly give away.
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i think the important thing to do if shutting water off and leaving pilot on is to turn the thermostat all the way down on the w-heater and youll be ok.
---------------------------------------------------------------- http://www.minibite.com/america/malone.htm
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On Dec 10, 7:52am, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

That's the way I've been doing it for the last 10 years without problems - water off and thermostat to minimum. BTW, I've come back 3-4 weeks later and the water temp is comfortably warm (not hot) - thats a 40gal tank with a standard pilot and no input of cold water during that time. KC
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Kurt Ullman wrote:

You worry too much. It's called OCD. Leave things alone.
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