Worth Turning off the water heater while on vacation?

Just took the kids to grandma and grandpa's for a week (california) While we were gone its was cold, mid 20's and low 30's. I had turned the heat down to 50 throughout the house. Now my water heater is in a closet in the house (no basement) and I was thinking that i'll bet it was running more often because I had lowered the heat. So I thought well maybe next time i could just turn off the water heater then it wouldn't run. I would just have to wait once we got back into town to run hot water.
Oh and its a Electric heater 50 gal.
But is there danger in doing this? is it even worth it?
John
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Some hot water heaters have a "vacation" or "warm" setting. I'm not sure what the temp is, but I'm guessing it's low enough so you're not wasting energy by keeping the water at your everyday temp, but you're also not letting it get so cold that it takes a huge amount of energy and many hours to heat it back up when you get home.
If I'm going to be gone for more than a couple of days, I set mine to the lowest temp...if I remember.
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wrote:

Lowest average temp ALWAYS saves energy consumption. It doesn't matter how long it takes to reheat a week later. The average temp maintained is all that counts.
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Once when power was off for a week, I still had relatively hot water 4-5 days into the outage. The insulation does a pretty good job conserving energy, so don't bother unless you're gone for months.
If you throw the breaker, you'll just forget to turn it back on and end up with a very unpleasant shower experience.
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Why not? I always turn off the water heater and well pump if I'm gone for more than a couple of days. When I get back, the heater will warm from stone cold to warm-enough-for-a-shower in about 15 minutes.
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On Mon, 26 Nov 2007 14:30:43 -0800 (PST), runsrealfast

Sure. It should only take about 15-20 minutes to get enough hot water for a quick shower or to do dishes and you should have the whole tank hot in 1.5 hours 120 degrees from 50 (50 gallons with 5.5kw heat elements, 70 degree delta, ~28000 BTU)
The old idea that it costs more to heat up a tank than to turn off the power, simply doesn't pass the laugh test for anyone who understands physics.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I just got back from out of town; due to several escapades with plumbing I decided to turn the main valve off, crack the faucet in the basement, and turn off the water heater before I left just for the simple reason that I didn't want to come back to a flooded basement (see my previous post, I have reason to be gunshy as my furnace is now trying to dampen my basement experience) I came home at exactly 6:00 yesterday evening and my hot water heater had cycled and gone back to pilot by 6:30. Now the *furnace* was still running at that point (had been set at 55 degrees while we were gone) but the house was nice 'n' toasty after getting back from dinner.
nate
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On Nov 26, 6:37 pm, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Good to know that. Thanks!
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AND, not only turn the power off, but turn the water off. If you have a major leak when you are gone, it can be pretty nasty.
I had a couple of summer places once, and in the winter, not only did I turn the power and water off, but also drained the tank. However, make sure to fill the tank FIRST before you turn the power back on! The elements will burn out otherwise, as then MUST be immersed in water when powered up.
I had to explain to the intellectually challenged person who bought a house from me that they really needed to turn the water off when they were out-of-town for more than a couple of days.
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news:2ebf7a9c-35e4-47b7-8550-

You "had to"???
That must have given them a warm feeling about the deal.
Bob
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Bob F wrote:

I'd say that it would be mandatory UNLESS the water heater is installed in a room without a floor drain and/or drain pan properly drained. Just too much possibility for something to go pear-shaped.
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