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MY electric bill dropped thirty dollars last month when I changed the heating elements and put a cover on my hot water heater. The lower element was burnt out so the upper had to work overtime, plus the loss of heat because of no cover. Live and learn.
I called the manufacturer of my water heater (bought in 1999) and they said not to cover it. Here, in Texas with our lime buildup, they only last about 8 years anyway. I do try to drain the lime off the bottom every so often.
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When leaving a water heater inactive for a long term, such as months at a time, is it recommended to turn "off" the breaker to the heater to keep the sulfur buildup from making it smell like "rotten eggs"?
If the water heater isn't being used you need to disconnect it from the electrical supply, turn off the breaker if it is not supplying electricity to any other outlet, and then drain the water heater.
Draining the water heater keeps mold and other ickys from forming in the unit, and protects an immersed element if your heater uses that type element.
The sulphur smell in the water is a chemical reaction to the build up of minerals on the element in contact with water-because you are smelling it, you must have an immersion element, so drain that heater.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends turning off your hot water heater if you are away from home for 3 days or more. It saves energy.
I belong to the Grange, a fraternal non profit organization dedicated to community service and a better life for rural American's. We have a Grange Hall. Because we usually only use the hall once a month, we keep the water heater turned off the rest of the month. It doesn't take long for the water to be heated!
Save energy and save money!
Carol in PA
How do relight the water heater?
Naida from Dallas, TX