DIY Message Boards
Hot water heater, drain or leave alone while on vacation

This topic can be found at:

Mar 20, 2013, 12:21 PM
Hot water heater, drain or leave alone while on vacation
I am getting a lot of conflicting opinions about what to do with my gas hot water heater while I am on a two week vacation. The water heater is just over 9 years old, and I have never had any problems with it. I was planning on just shutting off the water to it, and lowering the thermostat. Now I am concerned if the tank springs a leak while I am gone, I could have 50 gallons of water in my mostly finished basement waiting for me when I get home. Should I just drain the tank? Will draining the tank speed up any corrosion in the tank? Thanks
Mar 20, 2013, 12:29 PM
I wouldn't drain it. Turn the gas to vacation mode and you can turn the water off to the house. I always turned it off in our last house that had plastic plumbing supply lines. This house I just turn off the water to the washing machine when we go away.

General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Mar 20, 2013, 05:30 PM
Just put it in vacation setting and leave it.

In the future, you may want to install a drain pan with drain under the WH. If you think about it, even if you are home what are the odds that you'll notice a leak in the WH?

Mar 20, 2013, 10:06 PM
We put ours on vacation setting too. And we turn off the main water to the house, (shutoff house side of the meter). Not only a water heater leak, but a failed washer hose, outside tap, refrigerator line, any plumbing issue could cause damage.
Mar 21, 2013, 10:08 PM
as others have said vacation setting
but if your bound and determined to shut it down. then go ahead. turn off gas,turn off water. drain tank.then go and enjoy your vacation
turn off water to the whole house and drain it
disconnect all hoses, disconnect ice maker line, disconnect washer hoses
buy 1 gallon of anti freeze and pour 1 cup into each drain fixture. to protect the ptrap from freezing*****?v=vn7bkncf1_E
Apr 02, 2013, 06:10 PM
A whole lot more work if you drain that tank.
If you do it in the spring your going to have to remove all the aeriators on all the faucets and the shower head and flush out the lines.
If not there all going to be filled with trash flushed out from the water heater.