Whether you're dealing with a leak, performing routine maintenance, or going on an extended vacation, knowing how to safely turn off your hot water heater is a useful skill for any Philadelphia homeowner. Here are four simple steps to ensure you can safely shut down your water heater when needed.

Step 1: Turn Off the Power Supply For an electric water heater:

  • Locate your circuit breaker box and turn off the breaker designated for the water heater.
  • This is crucial to prevent electrical accidents or damage to the unit when water is drained.

For a gas water heater:

  • Find the gas valve located near the bottom of the water heater.
  • Turn the valve to the "off" position to stop the flow of gas.

Step 2: Turn Off the Water Supply Find the cold water valve leading to your water heater and turn it off. This will stop more water from entering the unit while you work on it. The cold water valve is usually located above the water heater. Turning it off prevents any more water from filling the tank.

Step 3: Drain the Water Heater

  • Connect a garden hose to the drain valve located at the bottom of the water heater.
  • Lead the hose to a suitable drainage area where hot or rusty water won’t cause damage.
  • Open the drain valve to allow the water to flow out. Be careful of the hot water that will come out of the hose.

Step 4: Open the Pressure Relief Valve

  • This is an important safety step to prevent a vacuum from forming in the lines while you drain the water heater.
  • Simply lift or pull the lever on the valve. You might hear a hissing sound as air enters the tank.

Safety Tips

  • Always ensure you wear protective gloves and eyewear when performing maintenance on your hot water heater, especially during the draining process as the water can be extremely hot.
  • If you’re uncomfortable with any step of the process or encounter issues like a stuck valve, it's wise to call a professional.

Conclusion Turning off your hot water heater can be straightforward if you follow these steps. Regular maintenance can also extend the life of your water heater and help prevent emergencies. If you’re unsure or uncomfortable with any part of the process, don’t hesitate to contact a local expert like McCorry Comfort, who can ensure your water heater is properly and safely handled.