Should You Turn Off Tankless Water Heater When On Vacation?

Turning off a tankless water heater while on vacation reduces energy consumption and saves costs. When not in use, tankless water heaters continue to consume energy, even if no hot water is being used.

This can lead to unnecessary energy expenditure and increased utility bills. By switching off the water heater when not in use, homeowners can minimize energy waste and lower their costs while they are away. Additionally, turning off the water heater can also prevent any potential damage or accidents that may occur in the homeowner’s absence, providing peace of mind during vacation.

Should You Turn Off Tankless Water Heater When On Vacation?


Benefits Of Turning Off Tankless Water Heater During Vacation

When you go on vacation, one of the things you might be wondering about is whether or not you should turn off your tankless water heater. While these types of water heaters are known for their energy efficiency, there are still benefits to consider when it comes to turning them off during an extended absence.

Let’s explore why turning off your tankless water heater during vacation can be advantageous.

Energy And Cost Savings:

  • Lower energy consumption: By turning off your tankless water heater, you can significantly reduce energy consumption while you’re away. Since tankless water heaters only heat water when it’s needed, keeping them off during your vacation will save energy that would otherwise be used to maintain the water temperature.
  • Reduced utility bills: With lower energy consumption comes a reduction in utility bills. By turning off your tankless water heater during your vacation, you can enjoy cost savings on your energy bill.
  • Environmentally-friendly choice: Choosing to turn off your tankless water heater aligns with the goal of reducing carbon footprint. By saving energy, you’re indirectly contributing to a greener environment.

Increased Lifespan Of The Water Heater:

  • Less wear and tear: By turning off your tankless water heater, you’re giving it a break from continuous operation. This reduces the wear and tear on the system, potentially increasing its overall lifespan.
  • Extended warranty coverage: Some tankless water heater manufacturers offer extended warranties if the system is regularly maintained and not left running when not in use. Turning off the water heater during vacation can help preserve its warranty and give you peace of mind.

Reduced Risk Of Leaks And Water Damage:

  • Minimize potential leaks: Even though tankless water heaters are less prone to leaks compared to traditional storage tank models, the risk is not completely eliminated. By turning off the water heater, you can minimize the chances of any leaks occurring while you’re away, reducing the risk of water damage to your property.
  • Avoid costly repairs: Water damage repairs can be expensive and time-consuming. By turning off your tankless water heater during vacation, you can avoid the potential cost and inconvenience associated with repairing any water damage caused by leaks.
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Environmental Impact:

  • Conserving water resources: Turning off your tankless water heater during vacation not only saves energy but also helps conserve water resources. Since the heater isn’t operating, there’s no need for water to be heated, reducing overall water usage.
  • Supporting sustainability efforts: By actively making choices that reduce energy and water consumption, you’re contributing to broader sustainability efforts. Conserving resources is essential for a healthier planet and a better future.

By turning off your tankless water heater when you’re on vacation, you can benefit from energy and cost savings, increase its lifespan, reduce the risk of leaks and water damage, and make a positive impact on the environment. Take advantage of these benefits and enjoy your vacation knowing that you’ve made a responsible and energy-efficient choice.

Risks Of Leaving Tankless Water Heater On During Vacation

Leaving your tankless water heater on while you’re on vacation may seem like a convenient option, but it comes with its fair share of risks. Before you decide to leave it running, consider the following potential drawbacks:

Continuous Energy Consumption

  • The tankless water heater consumes energy even when you’re not using hot water. This can lead to unnecessary utility bills piling up while you’re away.
  • Continuous energy consumption can have a negative impact on the environment, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

Increased Wear And Tear On The System

  • A tankless water heater that operates continuously may experience increased wear and tear. This can shorten its lifespan and lead to costly repairs or replacement in the long run.
  • The constant working of the system can cause the components to degrade faster and require maintenance more frequently.

Higher Risk Of Leaks And Water Damage

  • Leaving the tankless water heater on without regular use can create the perfect environment for leaks. Increased pressure on the system over time can cause pipes or fittings to weaken and eventually fail.
  • A leak left undetected during your vacation can result in significant water damage and potential mold growth in your home.

Potential For System Malfunction

  • Continuous operation of the tankless water heater without regular use may increase the likelihood of a system malfunction. The lack of use can lead to mineral build-up, which can affect the heating elements or the system’s overall performance.
  • A malfunctioning tankless water heater can leave you without hot water upon your return, causing inconvenience and potentially requiring expensive repairs.
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It’s important to weigh the convenience of leaving your tankless water heater on versus the potential risks associated with doing so. Considering the energy consumption, increased wear and tear, higher risk of leaks and water damage, and the potential for system malfunction, it may be wise to turn off your tankless water heater when going on vacation.

This will not only save you money but also give you peace of mind knowing that your home is protected from potential risks.

Best Practices For Turning Off Tankless Water Heater During Vacation

When going on vacation, it’s essential to consider the best practices for turning off your tankless water heater. By following the manufacturer’s recommendations and taking a few simple steps, you can ensure that your water heater remains safe and saves energy while you’re away.

Here are some key points to keep in mind:

Check The Manufacturer’S Recommendations

  • Familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s guidelines for turning off the tankless water heater during extended periods of absence.
  • Read the owner’s manual or visit the manufacturer’s website to understand the specific instructions for your water heater model.
  • Some manufacturers may provide specific steps to follow for shutting down and restarting the system.

Properly Shut Down And Drain The System

It’s important to properly shut down and drain the tankless water heater before leaving for an extended vacation to prevent damage and ensure its longevity. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Turn off the power supply to the water heater. Locate the circuit breaker or switch that controls the water heater and switch it off.
  • Close the gas valve or shut off the gas supply if your tankless water heater operates on natural gas or propane.
  • Identify the drain valve at the bottom of the unit and connect a hose to it.
  • Place the other end of the hose in a drain or outside area where it won’t cause any damage.
  • Open the drain valve and allow the water to completely drain from the system.
  • Once the tankless water heater has been drained, close the drain valve securely.
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Set The Water Heater To Vacation Mode Or Lower Temperature Setting

Setting the water heater to vacation mode or adjusting the temperature can help save energy while you’re away. Follow these steps:

  • If your tankless water heater has a dedicated vacation mode, activate it as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • If no vacation mode is available, consider lowering the temperature setting on the unit to a minimum, ensuring it remains above freezing temperatures to prevent freezing of the pipes.
  • Lowering the temperature setting not only conserves energy but also helps reduce the risk of accidental scalding when you return from vacation.

Prevent Freezing By Insulating Pipes

Freezing temperatures can pose a risk to your tankless water heater, especially if it’s located in unheated areas such as a garage or basement. Follow these tips to prevent freezing:

  • Insulate exposed pipes using foam pipe insulation or heat tape. This extra layer of protection can help maintain the temperature in the pipes and prevent freezing.
  • Pay close attention to pipes in areas that are prone to freezing, such as exterior walls or unheated crawl spaces.
  • If necessary, consult a professional plumber to ensure the proper insulation of pipes and take additional precautions based on local climate conditions.

By following these best practices, you can ensure that your tankless water heater remains in good condition while you’re on vacation. Remember to always check the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific model and take the necessary steps to protect your water heater from damage, save energy, and enjoy a worry-free vacation.


Deciding whether to turn off your tankless water heater while on vacation depends on various factors. Firstly, consider the duration of your absence and the potential energy savings. If you will be away for an extended period, it may be worthwhile to turn off the heater to minimize energy consumption.

Secondly, consider the climate in your area. If you live in a region with freezing temperatures, leaving the heater on can prevent pipes from freezing and bursting. However, if you are confident in your insulation and pipe protection, turning it off may still be an option.

Lastly, consider the convenience and peace of mind that comes with having hot water immediately available upon your return. Weighing these factors will help you make an informed decision that suits your specific situation. Remember to consult your manufacturer’s guidelines for any specific instructions regarding your tankless water heater.


I am a mechanical engineer and love doing research on different home and outdoor heating options. When I am not working, I love spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy blogging about my findings and helping others to find the best heating options for their needs.