Water Heater Timer FAQs

Last Updated On June 11, 2024

Updated on July 1, 2022



Reviewed by

ultimate guide to water heater timers

Do you want to give yourself more control over your water heater? A water heater timer allows you to control when your water heater operates, meaning you won’t have it running when you don’t need it. This saves energy, and of course money. 

However, you probably have a lot of questions to help you determine if the investment is worth it for your household.  

In this PlumbingNav guide, we cover:

  • How does a programmable hot water heater timer work?
  • Does a hot water heater timer save money?
  • How to use a water heater timer
  • How to install a water heater timer
  • How to set a water heater timer
  • How to turn off a water heater timer

What's In This Guide?

      How Does A Programmable Hot Water Heater Timer Work?

      A programmable hot water heater timer is a small device that can be attached to the exterior of your hot water heater. The timer allows you to set a schedule for when the hot water heater should be turned on and off. 

      For example, you could set the timer to turn the hot water heater off at night when you are typically not using it, and then back on in the morning so that there is hot water available when you need it. 

      You can also use the timer to schedule hot water heater usage around your family’s schedule. For example, if you have young children who take baths in the evening, you could set the timer to turn the hot water heater on an hour before their bath time so that the water will be warm when they are ready to use it.

      did you know water heater timer faq

      Does A Hot Water Heater Timer Save Money?

      Your water heater accounts for roughly 14% of your home’s energy costs (roughly $250 a year for gas water heaters and $400 a year for electric water heaters). 

      A hot water heater timer can definitely help you save on your hot water heater expenses. 

      By only heating the water to be ready when you need it, you can reduce the amount of time that the heater has to run. In addition, you can set the timer so that the water is only heated during off-peak hours when energy rates are typically lower. 

      While there are some upfront costs associated with installing a timer, this investment could pay off over time in lower energy bills. In fact, a water heater timer can pay for itself in just about a year. 

      If you’re looking for ways to save money on your energy costs, installing a hot water heater timer may be worth considering.

      How To Use a Water Heater Timer

      Timers are simple to use and can be easily programmed to fit your schedule. 

      To use a timer, simply set the time of day that you want the heater to turn on and off using the analog or digital interface. While digital interfaces may prove easier, not all gas water heaters can accommodate them if they don’t use any electricity.

      Once the timer is set, it will automatically turn the heater on and off at the specified times. If you need to make any changes to the schedule, simply adjust the timer accordingly. 

      How To Install A Water Heater Timer?

      Fortunately, installing a timer is a relatively easy do-it-yourself project that anyone with basic handyman skills can handle. 

      In most cases, all you’ll need is a screwdriver and a drill. 

      Simply remove the screws that hold the panel in place, and then follow the instructions that accompany with the timer to wire it into place near the water heater hose.

      Learn more about how to install a water heater timer and water heater blanket for optimal efficiency in the video below:

      Keep in mind that different water heater timers will install differently. The water heater you select will depend on a number of different factors, including the type of water heater you have and the features you want. Read our review of the best water heater timers to find the right one for you. 

      How To Set Water Heater Timer?

      Many modern water heaters come equipped with a timer that allows you to set the times when the heater will be active. This can be a useful feature if you want to make sure the water is hot at a particular time of day. You may also want to conserve energy by only heating the water to be ready when it is needed. Setting the timer on your water heater is generally a straightforward process, but there are a few things to keep in mind. 

      First, check your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to operate the timer on your particular model of your water heater. 

      Then, decide what time or times you want the water to be heated, and set the timer accordingly. 

      Keep in mind that most timers must be manually reset after a power outage, so it is a good idea to choose a time that will not be disruptive if the power goes out. With a little planning, setting the timer on your water heater can be a simple and effective way to save energy and money.

      How To Turn Off Water Heater Timer?

      One of the most common questions we get from homeowners is: how do I turn off my water heater timer? While it may seem like a simple task, there are actually a few different steps involved. 

      First, you’ll need to locate the breaker box and flip the switch that corresponds to your water heater. Next, head to the water heater itself and find the knob or switch that controls the timer. Once you’ve located it, simply turn it to the “off” position. That’s all there is to it!

      If you’re looking for an easy way to save money on your energy bill, installing a water heater timer is a great place to start. In just a few minutes, you can make a big difference in your energy consumption – and your wallet. 

      Remember that a water heater timer works best for older water heaters that still work well. When it’s time for an upgrade, consider a new tankless water heater that comes with programmable features built-in!

      Meet Your Plumbing Navigator

      Plumbing Navigator: plumbing advice

      About Plumbing Navigator

      We’re passionate about all things plumbing, and love sharing tips, “how-to”, and reviewing the latest products to help make your project a success!

      Learn More Plumbing Tips

      Want to tackle more plumbing projects? Check out these helpful guides!

      best water heater stand
      tankless water heater flush kit
      best mesh drain strainer
      Best Shower Drain Cover

      Got Plumbing Questions? Search For In-Depth Answers Below!

      About Plumbing Navigator

      We write about "all things plumbing," helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

      About Plumbing Navigator

      We write about “all things plumbing,” helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

      Recently Published Guides