Any ideas on how long it will take a 40 Gal electric water heater to
have a problem with the water supply shut off, pipes drained but water
heater full, and electric still on? Or will it not be a problem at all
if the water heater was not drained? What would be the worst case
I'm 4 hours away or I would just shut the power off.....
Thanks for any input, Rich
Thanks Edwin.... All I did was drain the water in the pipes by opening
a lower level sink faucet and venting from 2nd floor so I am pretty
sure the water heater is still full. Don't think it could have
syphoned the tank. The property is in cold country and I wanted to
shut off the water and drain the pipes in case the heat went off so I
would only have to deal with the water in the house if there was a
problem. I was in a rush and said to myself, I'll leave the water
heater on so I don't cause thermal expansion and contraction which I
was afraid might lead to cracks in pipes that have been hot for 20
years. Half way to our destination.... I started to think about the
tank loosing water from heating with none to replace it. I can drive
up and back tomorrow (8 hours) if I have to but can't go back until
after Christmas if I don't go tomorrow. Do you think it would hold for
How is leaving the water heater on going to have any effect on pipes
which are 20 or 40 ft away and full of air? Hopefully, all the water
heater is doing is keeping the water in the tank hot, with some waste
leakage to pipes within a few feet. I would have just shut it off.
Half way to our destination.... I started to think about the
Nothing to do with the pipes, keeping water heater on and ready when
we get home and preventing joints in the water heater which have been
hot all their life from cooling and heating up again which might
(unlikely but) develop leaks after they contract when cooling and then
expand again when re heated.
===================================================== email@example.com wrote:
For what it's worth, I have a beach house and an electric water heater.
I always turn off the water, drain the pipes, and leave the water
Never had any problem. And I have been known to leave it that way for
months at a time.
I wouldn't worry about it.
You're worrying too much. I live in Montana and when I go on vacation (two
weeks long this past Thanksgiving; it got to -10 here then), I just turn the
water main off and set the (gas) water heater control to "pilot". The house
is kept at 55 during that time and in the unlikely event that a pipe does
break, the water is shut off so there won't be much damage.
Thanks for all the input.... and you're right, I probably do worry too
much. We just bought this house last June and it's in NY on the
Canadian boarder so it can get cold up there too which is why I shut
the water off to minimize damnage if the power goes out and we have no
well with the power to the water heater on. I was worried about the
water in the water heater vaporizing and emptying itself but in the
essentially closed system it really has nowhere to go, the air in the
pipes will compress a bit from the vapor pressure and everything should
For the future, for week long trips.... after turning the water to the
house off and draining the pipes.... better to leave the power to the
water heater on - or shut it off??? What do you think?
By the way... your responses have saved me a very long day, Thanks!
Bob M. wrote:
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