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No Water In Electric Hot Water Heater – Can It Start A Fire?

water got shut off and we can’t figure out how to clip power to the hot water heater – it already made bumping noises haha – is this thing gonna cause a fire in the middle of the night?

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  1. Comment by guitmn54
    November 4, 2009 @ 4:02 pm

    turn off the breaker for it. I doubt it will cause a fire but you will burn out the elements inside. water heater elements need to be submerged or they will burn out.

  2. Comment by DustinDa
    November 4, 2009 @ 6:34 pm

    If the water heater is a typical tank style then it should still have water in it even though there is no water pressure. It will continue to heat up whenever it has cooled to a certain point. This should not cause any harm in the short term. If this goes on for weeks it could dry the tank out completely since no water is coming in. You may hear bumping noises as it heats up. This is normal and occurs even when the water supply is on.
    As for turning it off there should at least be a circuit breaker that controls it. Can you turn it off at the breaker panel?

  3. Comment by Tex
    November 4, 2009 @ 7:37 pm

    Yes it could if it does not pop the breaker first!! Go to your power panel and look for two breakers side by side labeled water heater and push them to off. If no labels try turning off any paired up breakers until you find the correct ones.. IF ALL ELSE Fails turn off the main breaker and call someone that knows what they are doing. At the very least you will burn up the water heater and could very easily burn a lot more.
    THIS IS NOT ANYTHING TO LAUGH ABOUT YOU COULD EASILY BURN DOWN THE HOUSE!!!!!

  4. Comment by chopsaw
    November 4, 2009 @ 8:57 pm

    Find the breaker at the panel and turn it off………just remember that you are dealing with 240 not 120 and you get get hurt or even killed……so get it off. Good luck guys.

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