I am going to FLA for winter this year. I will turn off my water to my home, and set my thermostat at 55 for my 4 month absence. Should I also turn my hot water tank off? Or should I turn to lowest setting?

  • Off risks frozen pipes. Turning it down may also increase that risk...
    – keshlam
    Jul 18, 2016 at 16:23
  • @keshlam If there's no hot water being used (so no flow through the pipes) does it make any difference? I've never lived in an area subject to freezing so I don't know...
    – brhans
    Jul 18, 2016 at 16:39
  • Is it a gas water heater, electric, or something else (like a GSHP)?
    – wallyk
    Jul 18, 2016 at 17:24
  • Is this in an area subject to hard freezing? (More than 5 days below 20°F/-6°C)
    – wallyk
    Jul 18, 2016 at 17:27
  • 1
    Is the water heater located inside the home? At 55° I would not worry about freezing, and leaving it on won't help with any piping upstream of the heater and outside of the conditioned space anyway. Jul 19, 2016 at 4:44

1 Answer 1


If you have good access to the pipes and can be completely sure that they're empty down to the service entry, then you can get away with turning off the hot water heater and draining the lines/tank. If it's a newer model, though, they're generally extremely efficient, and won't cost you much to leave on for peace of mind.

If you can't verify empty lines, then no, you probably shouldn't turn off the hot water heater.

  • Draining water pipes will increase rust and corrosion which will be an issue when refilling.
    – wallyk
    Jul 18, 2016 at 17:25
  • 1
    The man makes a point. If it's old enough to be financially worth it, rust and scale would be a risk. If it's new enough to be cheap to leave full, you wouldn't have much rust and scale to worry about. Jul 18, 2016 at 17:36

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