Do I Need to Drain the Hot Water Heater When I Go on Vacation?

Before going away on vacation, there are several things to consider. A water leak that develops while you're away can flood your entire home, but is draining your hot water heater really necessary?

Shut It Off

Whether you drain the tank or not, you can shut the gas and extinguish the pilot light. Left on, the hot water heater would burn out if it developed a leak and the heat was on.

Shut Off the Water

If you're concerned about a flood, you can shut off the water supply to the heater. The worst thing that can happen is that the 45 gallons in the tank will leak out.

Is Your Heater Leaking

If your hot water heater is leaking, it must be replaced. Putting it off is asking for trouble.

When You Get Home

If you're looking forward to a hot shower when you come back from vacation, you will have to be patient.

Relighting Your Hot Water Heater

Most hot water heaters have instructions for lighting the pilot light on the side of the tank. It will take about an hour for the water in the tank to heat up. Remember to turn on the water supply.

About the Author

Stephen Byrne is a freelance writer with published articles in "Nor'East Saltwater," "Sportfishing" magazine, "Pacific Coast Sportfishing" and "Salt Water Sportsman." As a fishing charter captain, he was also interviewed for a feature in "Field and Stream." Byrne studied environmental science at the State University of New York at Delhi.