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Submersible Aquarium Heaters: Why Unplug Them Before a Water Change?
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
Fish FAQs
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Q. Why is it recommended to unplug the heater when performing a water change?
 
A. A submersible aquarium heater should always be unplugged when performing a water change for 2 main reasons. First, if you leave your heater on and expose it to air, it can overheat. Secondly, when the hot glass comes back into contact with cool water, the heater may crack from the sudden temperature change.

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