Installing a Water Heater Blanket

Installing a water heater blanket not only saves money but also is good for the environment.  Unless your water heater's storage tank already has a high R-value of insulation (at least R-24), adding insulation to it can reduce standby heat losses by 25%-45%.  This will save you around 4%-9% in water heating costs.

When a water heater is warm to the touch it is wasting energy and costing more money to operate. Installing a fiberglass insulation blanket is a simple solution.

Many companies now offer eco-friendly recycled glass in their fiberglass insulation products, making a water heater blanket great for the environment and the wallet.

Things You'll Need:

  • Thermal Fiberglass Insulation Blanket (aka Water Heater Blanket)
  • Preformed Insulation Tubes
  • Heat Traps (One-way Valves or Loops of Flexible Pipe)
  • Utility Pipe
  • Tape


Step 1 - For an electric water heater, cut holes in the fiberglass blanket for the heater element covers. Use tape to secure it on the sides and top of the heater.

See important information under warnings for water heater blanket installation for gas water heaters below.

Step 2 - Insulate the pipes with the preformed insulation sleeves, particularly the first three feet extending from the water heater.

Step 3 - Heat loss also occurs through the convective flow of hot water into the pipes.  Install the heat trap of your choice to stop this flow and to prevent excessive heat loss.

Tips & Warnings

  • The installation of insulating blankets or jackets on gas and oil-fired water heater tanks is more difficult than those for electric water heater tanks.  It's best to have a qualified plumbing and heating contractor add the insulation.
  • IMPORTANT information for GAS WATER HEATER INSTALLATION:  Keep the jacket or blanket away from the drain at the bottom and the flue at the top.  Make sure the airflow to the burner isn't obstructed.  Leave the thermostat uncovered, and don't insulate the top of a gas water heater tank-the insulation is combustible and can interfere with the draft diverter.

Contact Michaels Plumbing Service to have your water heater blanket professionally installed.  Call the plumbing professionals at Michaels Plumbing Service (770) 592-0081 or online for service.

Published with permission - this article was originally published on November 20, 2009 under the byline Katrina Derrico at eHow.com - http://www.ehow.com/how_5586579_install-water-heater-blanket.html

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