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Are there problems if you turn off water heater using timer.

Are there problems when turning off heater for several days

Turning water heater on-off has no effect on water heater, health or bacteria.
You want to keep water heater from freezing if heater is off for a long time.

There is one consequence to idle hot water heater in rare circumstance....
if you are on a water well.,..
... an unheated water heater for several weeks can cause build-up of hydrogen when the harmless bacteria reacts to anode rod....
usually it is a rare combination of events.... but known to happen

If you are concerned with bacteria.... water heaters can be cleaned with hydrogen peroxide or bleach... I recommend harmless hydrogen peroxide...

There is another condition that can introduce bacteria into the water system.
Siphoned water from water hose...
Any water hose left in a pond or swimming pool can draw water back into house through the hose faucet located on side of house.
How it happens.... you run water inside house... and the movement of water creates suction against closed outdoor faucet ... and the rubber seat on outdoor valve is slightly leaking... this action pulls contaminated water into house.
Some areas require anti-siphon valve on each outdoor faucet.
It's recommended that you never leave hose in pool of outdoor water.

Affect of timer or power outage on Electric water heater:
Ordinary electric water heaters are not affected at all by on-off.
Whirlpool Energy Smart electric water heater is not affected by on-off.
Commercial 3-phase and 1-phase electric water heaters are unaffected by on-off.
Some heat pump or hybrid water heaters are reset to factory defaults if they are turned off.
Tankless electric are not affected by power loss.
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Gas: propane and natural.
Ordinary gas water heater, with electronic or old-style gas valve, are not affected... and have a vacation setting that keeps tank from freezing if you do not want to turn completely off.
Some water heaters with blowers, and power dampers must go through a reset series after power loss, which causes a delay in restart but otherwise no problem.
Commercial gas water heaters I do not have resources on all the varieties and types to make generalization.
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Gas and electric water heaters Support the economy:
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