Can the water heater be damaged if the gas has been turned off for a period of time?

  • I edited out a "No" at the end of your post; was that an attempt to answer your own question? If so, please use the checkbox labeled "answer your own question" below it, but be aware that we'll want a more detailed answer than a simple "no".
    – Niall C.
    Aug 20, 2015 at 1:19

1 Answer 1


That depends. If the water heater in question has a pilot light, as opposed to an igniter, then probably not, but if there is an igniter and not a pilot light, the fuse for the igniter could blow as the igniter tries to light a nonexistent gas flow. As far as physical damage to the water heater itself, I don't see how. A fuse is a pretty minor fix. And if you turn the thermostat all the way down, you shouldn't have to worry about the fuse either.

  • If a water heater has an igniter, it probably also has circuitry to prevent the igniter from running indefinitely.
    – Tester101
    Aug 19, 2015 at 23:19
  • 1
    Yeah, it's called a fuse. Sorry, couldn't resist. But seriously, I can only draw from my own experience, and I know I've lost two fuses due to lack of gas supply to my HVAC heater while said heater was on. And you're probably right; 99 out of a 100 people won't have a problem, but I'd hate to give bad advice to that 100th user.
    – BillDOe
    Aug 20, 2015 at 1:10

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