Will My Water Heater Work During a Power Outage?

will my water heater work during a power outage

Every household depends on a reliable supply of hot water to outlets and appliances in the home. But will you continue to get hot water if your power goes out? This depends on the type of water heater you have, and the fuel source used for your water heater. This guide can help you determine whether your hot water supply will stay stable during a power outage.

Different Types and Fuel Supply of Water Heaters

Electric Conventional Tank Water Heater

If you have a conventional tank-style water heater powered by electricity, your water heater will stop heating water in the event of a power outage. However, water that has already been heated up to the point when the power goes out will remain hot for some time while stored in the insulated tank. While the power is out, it can be helpful to turn off the power and water supply to the tank water heater to keep the remaining hot water as hot as possible. This hot water reserve could last for a few days.

Gas Conventional Tank Water Heater

Gas water heaters don’t use electricity as a fuel, and many homeowners assume they will work in a power outage. This depends on your gas water heater type. If your gas water heater uses a continuous gas pilot light, it is likely that your gas water heater will continue to function normally in the event of a power outage. Even gas water heaters with electric pilot lights can continue to work as they don’t necessarily rely on mains electricity. However, if you notice a power cord plugged into the wall and connected to your gas water heater, it’s likely it does rely on mains power and will only supply hot water for a few days in a power outage (the same as an electric tank). If this is the case, be sure to turn off your gas supply in the event of a power outage.


water heater adjustments
Electric On-Demand Water Heater

Because an electric on-demand water heater uses electricity to heat water on the spot for your immediate use, your on-demand electric water heater will no longer provide any hot water from the time of a power outage.

Gas On-Demand Water Heater

While on-demand gas water heaters don’t rely on electricity as a fuel source to heat water, on-demand heaters usually have a control panel that is powered by electricity which is the ‘brains’ of the water heater. So even a tankless gas water heater will not work independently in a power outage.

Other Water Heaters (Solar, Fuel Oil, Heat Coil, Indirect)

Whether or not your water heater will work during a power outage depends on whether it relies on mains electricity or not. The easiest way to assess this is to check the water heater to see if it is connected to a power outlet.

If power outages are a concern for your home, you should choose your home water heater with care. For more advice, talk to your experienced local plumber, Magnificent Plumbing, to find the best water heater to cover all your needs.

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