Water Heaters

@Modestah (11192)
United States
February 20, 2008 12:09am CST
(I almost wrote hot water heaters, but I hear some people have a peeve against that, hehe) Is it frugal to turn off the water heater during non peak hours such as overnight, or does it take just as much energy to heat it up again as it would have taken to keep it warm in the first place? Do you switch off your water heater?
6 people like this
16 responses
• Singapore
20 Feb 08
This question strikes me as... strange! Why would someone switch on the heater the entire day unless she is bathing the 24 hours? I am not sure if things are different elsewhere but over here, we just switch on the heater before going into the bathroom and within a min or so, the water will be heated enough and give it another min and it would be as scalding hot as you want. Then after our shower, we just switch it off. Do you know that 5 min of heater on is somewhat equal to your entire electricity usage for the day minus TV and computer?
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
20 Feb 08
hmmm, maybe it is different in different areas - or maybe we are talking about different things? I am talking about a tank that keeps some of the water for the house hot at all times - so when you turn on a faucet you can choose hot and it is readily available - for showering, washing dishes, cooking.... with the water heater tank off all you will get is cold water. These tanks are usually in the basement of the home or a utility room out of the way. They generally hold over 50 gallons of water and can be heated by electricity, propane or natural gas. With the heater on - when we go to our shower it may take that minute you speak of for the hot water to reach the shower faucet. with the water heater tank off it may take 25 minutes to heat up the water in it and then the minute to your shower stall. though I hear they now make tankless water heaters - that might be something worth our looking in to.
2 people like this
• Singapore
20 Feb 08
Okay... I am embarrassed to say I don't know how the tanks work over here.:P
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
20 Feb 08
:) if we leave the hot water faucet open all day long it would not take too long before we run out of hot water.... I thank you so much for responding to my discussion, LWW! it is always a pleasure.
1 person likes this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
20 Feb 08
I've never known anyone who did this, turn it off at night. The only time I've ever turned mine off was when I was going on vacation for a week or so. I would think for just a few hours it wouldn't make since - like you said it would take as much energy to warm it back up.
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
20 Feb 08
we do it while on vacation also - or even if going away for just the weekend... another thing we do which only saves my personal energy, lol, is put some chlorine in the commode and close the lid before heading out for a long day or vacation - that way when I get back the cleansing is already done for me (well at least the innard parts, lol.)
1 person likes this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
24 Feb 08
Great idea about the clorine in the bowl I'm going to have to remember that. I use "The Works" for cleaning but how nice to come home to an already clean one - we have 4 bathrooms in this house and there have been weeks when 2 of them only get used once or twice a week, I might do the same with those even when we're home because they get funky just setting unused.
• United States
20 Feb 08
When I lived in Miami I was told a few things to do to cut my bills down. Lowering the temp on the water heater was one of them. Also turning the breaker off when out of the house was th other. I thought it would ruin my food. Nope! the fridge stays cold when it's not opened. The first month I was down $30.00 and I continued to cut the breaker off.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Feb 08
I actually turned my hot water heater (don't shoot me) off at night for a month to see if it would change my electric bill. It didn't. And what was worse is I had to wait twice as long the next morning after I turned it back on to get the water hot enough for my shower. It was a waste of time and not a money saver.
1 person likes this
@Modestah (11192)
• United States
20 Feb 08
that is what I was thinking - though I may try one of those thermal sheets (metallic sheet covering air bubbles) to wrap around the device to help keep the unit from losing heat to the room.
1 person likes this
@jillhill (37383)
• United States
20 Feb 08
No I wouldn't do that because I live by myself and wouldn't know how to turn it back on! If I have problems I have to call a plumber. But I have heard that it takes more energy to reheat or heat up your house after you have turned off the furnace etc.
1 person likes this
@crazynurse (7489)
• United States
20 Feb 08
I think that it would take just as much electricity to warm the water again come morning if the water heater was turned off each night. We do turn ours off if we are going to be gone for more than a day. We also turned down the temperature of the water which the tank keeps. That helped reduce our bill. We also turn our thermostat down on the furnace if we are going to be gone more than a day.
1 person likes this
@zeloguy (4913)
• United States
25 Feb 08
One of the #1 areas where you are going to get a high electric bill is from your HOT water heater. I actually have a very large one (whirlpool tub requires it) but I have found that because I have bought a highly efficient one and I know of nobody that has a lower electric bill than what I do, I don't even bother. Remember also that the water is going to get cold (at least tepid) and is going to need to be heated back up again which may just wipe out any savings you would have of turning it off. I believe it is extremely frugal to do that and something I personally would not recommend. Thanks Zelo
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
22 Feb 08
If you call your power company they will come out and put a timer on your water heater for you, no charge. They will even give you a rebate for letting them control it during peak hours. It will save you a lot of money. I turn mine off myself, and I save 24 dollars a month. Add that up over a year kids. And my water heater is a small one. It takes half an hour for my water to get hot enough for a shower and still have enough to do the dishes. Shalom
@surfette (674)
• United States
22 Feb 08
If you want to save money with your water heater, just make sure the water temperature is never set higher than medium. The water is hot enough to bathe or shower, but will not be hot enough to scald you or any children in the house. It is economical and much safer and you will find that your water heater will last much longer that way. Now, as far as turning off your water heater, you must all have electric water heaters in your home. Turning off a gas water heater for a lengthy period, even just overnight, can cause an explosion in your home. The heater builds up so much pressure and it has nowhere to go. You have to completely shut off the supply of natural gas to the heater itself, not just shut it off. You won't be saving much money if it explodes and sends the heater hurling through your roof and possibly setting your whole house on fire. Check with a plumber before shutting off any appliance that is serviced by natural gas or just call the gas company. I just don't want any of you getting hurt, so I'm passing this along to all my friends at My Lot. Have a great day!
• United States
22 Feb 08
We turn it doen when we are going out of town and durring the summer when we dont need the heat so much for baths any more. I dont know if it saves us anything though. It is what I have always done so I have nothing to compare it too. I would love to get one of thoes that just heat the water as we need it but until ours breaks there is no use throwing away the money.
• United States
21 Feb 08
No we don't switch ours off and on. For one it would be a pain in the behind to get to it so that we could turn it off and on. And I don't have that much patience in the morning to wait for it to heat back up so I can get in the bath. But I don't think it would save you money. I think it would go up because your heater would be working harder to heat it back up so you could use it again.
• India
21 Feb 08
i do it once the water is hot i doswitch off the heater
@ayou82 (3460)
• Philippines
21 Feb 08
We dont switch off the heaters even in summer like this. We just want to have a hot shower to relax at night time.
• United States
21 Feb 08
I don't turn mine off. I think that it would take just as much energy to reheat. I am not for sure though. I have read a lot on all of the energy saving water heaters though. I considered changing mine out last year but did not. If you put something around your water heater it helps to conserve energy.
• United States
21 Feb 08
Turning the water heater off and on, like most have been saying so far, isn't worth the effort and inconvenience. A blanket will help, as will lowering the temp. Most water heaters are set, from the factory, at 160 degrees F. I don't know about you, but I can't tolerate water that hot! Turning it down to, say, 120, would be more cost effective than turning it off and on. Now, if you REALLY wanted to save money, look into the "on demand water heaters", or "instant hot". They're costly to buy and install, but well worth the investment and usually pay for themselves in a few years.
@mehale (2200)
• United States
21 Feb 08
I am not sure that turning it off would save that much - after all it would have to work to re-heat the water the next time it was turned back on. My husband and I are looking into a "tankless" water heater. They heat water on demand and only use electricity when hot water is needed. This saves on the electricity and you never run out of hot water. I think when we replace our current water heater, we will get a tankless version.