At the first sign of a problem with your home’s water heater you should call a professional plumber. After you have placed that call you can follow the steps below to shut down the water heater. These simple steps will help to protect your home and your valuables.
1. Power Off
For Gas Water Heaters (they have a wide vent pipe at the top, as in the picture to the right) – turn the gas shut-off valve to OFF.
For Electric Water Heaters (they have an AC power cable at the top with no side vent) – turn the power switch OFF or use the circuit breaker to cut the power.
2. Turn Off The Water Supply
Turn the cold water supply valve above the unit clockwise until it stops, or turn off the main water valve to your house.
3. Drain The Water Heater
Draining the water heater will help you avoid damaging rust. To drain the water heater attach a standard garden hose to the drain faucet at the bottom of the unit and place the other end of the hose in a lower location that hot and potentially rusty water won’t damage. Twist the drain faucet counter clockwise. Pull the pressure relief valve so air can enter the draining tank – you can also achieve this last step by opening any hot water faucet in your house.