Top 5 DIY Plumbing Fixes Every Homeowner Should Know

Turning off water to hot water heater.
Turning off water to hot water heater.

Plumbing Fix #2: How to Turn Off a Water Heater

It’s important to know how to turn off your hot water heater in case it develops a leak, overheats, if you’re going out of town for an extended period of time, or to drain it.

There are two steps involved in turning off a water heater:

    • Turning Off Gas or Electricity to Water Heater: On gas hot water heaters, turn the gas supply knob on the water heater to the off position. For electric water heaters, flip the circuit breaker or remove the fuse that powers the water heater.
  • Turning Off Water to Water Heater: To turn off the water to a hot water heater, turn the shutoff valve on the cold water supply pipe going into the hot water heater clockwise.

Watch our video on How to Drain a Water Heater to find out more.


  1. please, can you help me to fix my plumbing problem due to when I shut or cut off any of FAUCET at my home I hear some loud noise on or in PIPES.

    • Hi Joe,
      That’s called water hammer, and it’s caused by the sudden change in pressure when you turn off the faucet. It can be prevented by installing a water hammer arrester or water expansion tank in the water line near your hot water heater. Watch our video on How to Prevent Water Hammer in Pipes to find out more.

  2. Dan,

    I’m 86 years old and unable to do most of the jobs at home anymore but I enjoy very much reading your emails. If they apply to our grown children and their families, I send the emails to them or discuss the projects with them. Thanks for the good that you do.


  3. sometimes in winter my bathrooms cold water freeze up and nothing comes out until the weather get a little warmer what is the main cause even my toilets freeze up the kitchen water always works why? thank you

  4. What a good read this was, having been working with some of the best plumbers in La Mesa, CA, I can say with confidence that all of the tips that you gave is what I’m sure any professional plumber would agree. Knowing how to turn off the water heater is very important and giving problems. The best thing would turn it off and have a licensed professional inspect the water heater for any damages or malfunction. Water heater repair is very common in residential plumbing.

    All of the tips were great!

  5. Danny,
    You refer to a hot water heater……. Is it not a cold water heater?
    Or better yet just a water heater!

  6. This is some really good information about plumbing. I liked what you said about when you do have plumbing issues you should turn off your water. That is a good thing for me to know because I am about to purchase my first home.


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