I only use hot water once a day to shower. Recently, my 16 year old Bradford White gas hot water heater has taken a turn for the worst, and will only put out a little hot water at a time, and, regardless of whether or not I'm using water, the fan will run constantly.

I'm considering upgrading to tankless in a few days, but, in the mean time, I don't like the idea of the blower running up my electric bill. Am I safe to unplug the water heater from the wall and simply plug it back in an hour or so before I shower in the mean time?

  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Would you give us the model of the unit, and a picture or two? And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 12:17
  • fans don't use very much electricity. At an average cost of about a penny a day for every 3 watts, a 50W fan will cost $0.18/day, or about $5 a month
    – dandavis
    Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 19:10
  • I just wanted to make sure it was merely a fan. In particular, I didn't know if it did something else that actually hogged kwh. Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 20:15

1 Answer 1


Is this an exhaust booster? If it is I would not turn it off without turning down the thermostat so it won’t be running without a proper draft. This is the only fan on gas water heaters I have installed, boilers with induction fans are a different matter and without the Induction fan the system won’t run. But normally a multi pass system not a std household water heater.

  • It's a black exhaust fan on top of the unit with a PVC coming out of it leading up to the ceiling. I have no idea what it does, other than run all day. It feels hot when it runs too. Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 3:28
  • That sounds like a booster, some homes need them to push the carbon monoxide out of the home, usually with multiple bends that kills the natural draft, I don’t remember how many bends are allowed it may be a total of 90 degrees I don’t remember , if your house is really tightly built could be another reason. You might get a Co monitor and see if the fan is needed.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 21:09

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