Can I Leave My Hot Water Tank on Pilot?

how to light up pilot

Water heaters are a common thing in most homes. But these water heaters have a challenge sometimes. Furthermore, these water heaters have different settings and you might be wondering how I can set it while on vacation. But all water heaters have some common features. This article will be important for you when it comes to some water heating setting.

Is It Ok to Leave My Hot Water Tank on the Pilot?

can I leave the pilot on

Various reasons can make you think about leaving your hot water tank heater on, or just the pilot light on.  However, modern gas control devices are probably one of the safest devices in your home.

Yes, it is normal to leave your hot water tank heater on while away. Long absences from home you may want to turn your water heater back to pilot only to save cost of heating the water. Safety controls will shut down the gas valve when it does not sense heat from a pilot light.

A big advantage to leaving your water heater on while away is, you will find the water warm when you come back. Most people want to wash the trip off in a shower or bath once they are back home again. It could be a good idea to turn back your temperature setting while away to deter expense in heating water you are not using. That way you still can clean up with warm water and turn the temperature back up to normal once home.

The biggest things to worry about are your water heater overheating or blockage of the pressure relief valve outlet or a water leak in general. So, turning your water off while away is a super smart thing to do. You should always know where the whole house shut off is anyway for emergencies.

Is It Safe to Leave the Water Heater on the Pilot?

Leaving the water heater on a pilot mode is safe. If it was safe while you are living in the home, then while you are away it 99.9% will be fine.

If you have problems with your pilot light going out while at home, or the smell of gas fumes, well you need that checked. It is most likely a flue problem. Wind can travel down and blow the light out, or an animal (like a bird) has built a nest blocking the air flow in the flue. So, if problems like this happen prior to vacation, or a business trip, then turn your gas valve to off.

Is It Expensive to Leave a Water Heater on a Pilot Mode?

I can say leaving your water heater on a pilot mode is not expensive. But there will be a higher amount of gas being used up than that of a person who switches it off. But the rates are not that huge. This is because the amount of gas that a water heater uses while on a pilot mode is minute compared to it running, however it is higher than when Pilot light is off.

how to light up pilot

Can I Leave My Water Heater on a Pilot Mode While Going for a Vacation?

Most people love going on vacation. These vacations might be long and you might be wondering if you can leave your water heater system on the pilot. To start with, there is some water heater system that offers a vacation mode. This is ideal for those that have vacation option then you can make use of them. This option is always available for most water heater systems which are of a more recent manufacture date.

If you are using the old water heater system, then you can turn it to pilot mode. If everything works well while you are at home, and your hot water heater does not have a “vacation mode” then turning your water temperature down while away is a good frugal move.

Does Leaving the Water Heater System Make a Water Leak?

This is no; if you leave your hot water system on, it will not leak because it had heated water.  If the temperature sensor goes bad while away it can keep heating and trip the pressure relief valve which can rush hot water out typically on to a basement floor, or down a drain. This would happen if you were home or away if the sensor fails.  Other leaks are usually caused by over pressure from the municipality or well pump. Thus, creating a breach in the seal within a pipe or faucet.

Freezing pipes is the number one (#1) reason for water leaks that cause property damage.

Check out this article on Leaving Your Water Heater on While Water is OFF


David: Penn State-educated Mechanical Engineer and Business-savvy Fluid Dynamics Specialist. Balances family plumbing business support with a thriving engineering career at a top, undisclosed company. (they want it that way) I help Will with plumbing and HVAC needs on his Real Estate.

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