We have a leak in the bathtub faucet that needs to be addressed, but getting to the main water shutoff is located in a crawl space beneath the adjacent unit.

Is it okay if I shut off the cold water supply to the hot water heater for a few hours, while I repair the tub faucet?

When I turned it off just briefly, it started making an almost pressurizing noise, which had me a little worried. Might have just been the water retreating down the piping, but I wanted to make sure

  • 1
    Turning off the cold water supply to the water heater won't do anything to the cold water supply at the tub faucet...
    – mmathis
    Feb 7, 2017 at 22:19
  • @mmathis Yes, but the faucet leak is severe enough that the water heater's H20 supply will deplete pretty quickly if I can cut off it's intake. Once it's drained, I'm assuming I can begin work. I've gathered that I should shut off the water heater itself initially
    – Jimbo1128
    Feb 7, 2017 at 22:25
  • 1
    @Jimbo1128 -- what about the cold supply to the bathtub faucet? Feb 7, 2017 at 23:50

1 Answer 1


Yes, but...

  • Turn off the water heater first. You don't want the elements heating without a full tank. Be sure to fill it completely before turning it back on.

  • Expect some residual pressure for a bit. Open a few taps low in the house to help.

  • 1
    And by "fill completely" that means open hot water faucets and wait until air stops coming out with the water. Only THEN should you turn the water heater on.
    – Ecnerwal
    Feb 7, 2017 at 22:47

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