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Old 08-02-2022, 08:49 AM   #1
FlyingScot
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Default Gas water heater over the winter...

SailinAway's recent thread brings a different question to mind--

Our NH house is used sporadically over the winter and we have kept the gas water heater on....Is it OK to turn off a gas hot water heater for weeks or months at a time, then turn it back on, wait a few hours for the water to heat up, and enjoy a shower as if nothing had happened? (I'd switch off/on both gas and electric simultaneously)

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Old 08-02-2022, 09:02 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingScot View Post
SailinAway's recent thread brings a different question to mind--

Our NH house is used sporadically over the winter and we have kept the gas water heater on....Is it OK to turn off a gas hot water heater for weeks or months at a time, then turn it back on, wait a few hours for the water to heat up, and enjoy a shower as if nothing had happened? (I'd switch off/on both gas and electric simultaneously)

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I hope so as I regularly turn off the gas hot water heater on the island if I am away for long stretches (generally during the "shoulder seasons"). When I get to camp, I light the pilot, heat the water, and use it without thinking about it.
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Old 08-02-2022, 09:03 AM   #3
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I would not reccomend doing this as bacteria and other items will grow in the water and could contaminate. If you are going to do this then I would drain the tank, what you could do is lower the temp on the water so it cycles still. was advised but a plumber a long time ago, legioneers is a possibility
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Old 08-02-2022, 10:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC2717 View Post
I would not reccomend doing this as bacteria and other items will grow in the water and could contaminate. If you are going to do this then I would drain the tank, what you could do is lower the temp on the water so it cycles still. was advised but a plumber a long time ago, legioneers is a possibility
From the other thread's research, it appears that once the water is heated up to >120, bacteria/Legionnaire's is not an issue.

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Old 08-02-2022, 10:24 AM   #5
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We have been going to our house in California for the winter since 2010. At the house in Massachusetts, I shut the main water valve off and shut off the gas water heater. My plumber said it was not a problem. The only difficulty is starting the thing up when we return. The controls are almost on the floor and this poor body does not enjoy the deed. The plumber installed a Rhem heater, not my favorite. Should have purchased one myself.

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Old 08-02-2022, 11:50 AM   #6
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Quote:
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From the other thread's research, it appears that once the water is heated up to >120, bacteria/Legionnaire's is not an issue.

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its the water sitting after it stops being heated up
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Old 08-02-2022, 01:27 PM   #7
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After it has been heated to 140F... it does not matter if it cools down.
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Old 08-02-2022, 02:50 PM   #8
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Agree. Been turning off and on for 20 plus years with no issues.
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Old 08-02-2022, 07:32 PM   #9
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With a well insulated tank, your heating costs should be relatively minimal. If you are going to shut off either a gas or electric hot water tank, you should plan to drain it as well.

I have an electric HW tank at my camp, the KW hours used when no one is around are negligible.... And it is in an uninsulated area of the camp... The tank is on from April to Nov. every year.... even in the cold months, the electricity usage is more from using the stove, and electric heaters, then it is from the HW tank....

I understand people are looking for ways to cut energy costs, but you really need to understand what the major contributors to your electric bill are:

- electric ranges and ovens...
- Refrigerators
- Clothes Dryers

Things are the things that are horribly inefficient, and used in such a way that promotes them into using the energy....
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Old 08-02-2022, 10:48 PM   #10
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Water heaters tend to use more than refrigerators.

https://www.energystar.gov/products/...t_water_heater

It takes less energy to lower a cubic foot of air 1F than it does to raise a cubic foot of water 1F.

You can avoid cooking on the range or in the oven over the summer, and avoid the dryer... but the refrigerator will need to run.

In the winter, the excess heat loss is just contained in the space and offsets other heating source demands.

https://www.iso-ne.com/

If you watch the real time fuel mix... you can see why... NG is providing the majority of our electricity; and Europe is willing to pay about six times what we do for it.
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