Are you going on vacation and are wondering if you should turn off your water or gas water heater for vacation? Read on to find out more!
It is a great idea to turn off the hot and cold water when you are going away on vacation. Doing so will give you peace of mind that you have taken away the pressure in your pipes, appliances, etc. and eliminated the risk of coming home to find that a water pipe has burst and flooded your home. Also, with a mains pressure Hot Water System (HWS) you are not keeping the cylinder hot for all of the time you are away, therefore saving you on your gas or power bill costs.
How to turn off your Hot Water System for vacation
On properties that have a storage HWS, firstly turn off the isolation valve that can be found before the water meter, or it may be on the outside wall of units. It is important to know where isolation valves are and how to operate them. If you can’t find the valves, ask your plumber or property manager. If the isolation valve does not turn off the water completely, then get your plumber to replace it. Next, turn the knob on the gas controller to the pilot position. It is recommended that you don’t turn the knob to the off position as this will extinguish the pilot light, which can be difficult to relight and may require the assistance of a plumber.
If you have an electric HWS, then turn off the switch in the electric meter box marked ‘Hot Water’. Be aware that if you have a system that only heats overnight, you may be without hot water until the next day
When you return home after vacation, just turn on the water isolation valve and then turn the knob on the gas controller to the ‘on’ position or the electric switch to the ‘on’ position and everything should begin operating again.
With a continuous flow HWS, it is even easier. All you have to do is to turn off the water at the isolation valve. As continuous flow systems do not have a pilot – they only heat the water that you need, when you need it – there is no need to turn anything off, other than the water inlet to your house. So when you return home, turn on the water and continuous flow HWS will work right away, no need to worry about whether the pilot light has gone out.
Worry is the last thing you need when returning home from vacation. By doing these things, you can relax and have a great holiday knowing that you are not going to return home to be met by a flooded house or other HWS issues.
If you are having someone coming around to water the garden or some plants for you while you are away, then they will need to turn on the isolation valve, but make sure to request that they turn the valve back to the ‘off’ position once the watering is completed. If you have an automatic watering system, then you may be able to get a plumber to install an isolation valve that isolates the water to the house and leaves the water connected to the sprinkler system and outside garden taps.