What is used to insulate a hot water heater tank and where do you get one?
Insulating products for hot water heater tanks are called jackets or sometimes blankets. They come pre-cut and with instructions for you to self install them if you choose to do so. You will need to visit a hardware or other type of store that sells home servicing products such as home improvement stores to find one. Also you may find a water tank jacket by asking for one from your local service provider. You can easily purchase one that is under twenty dollars, which is a small price to pay for increased efficiency and yearly savings. When looking into your jacket purchase, seek out one that has no less than an R-8 rating.
You can tell if you need to insulate your hot water heater tank se by looking for the R-value of your tank. If you have a high number, such as R-24, you probably don’t need an insulating jacket. Can’t find the value for your tank? That’s okay because you can do a touch test to determine if one is needed. Simply touch the tank, if your hands aren’t burning slightly, you may need to insulate. Having a tank that is only slightly warm is a sign that you may have a low R-value.
When it comes to insulating a gas hot water heater tank, you need to take special precautions against fire hazards by making sure that the jacket doesn’t come into contact with places that might ignite the materials used. Do not place any part of the jacket on the top of a gas powered tank. Also, be sure to leave the thermostat uncovered. When placing the jacket, look at the airflow for your tank’s burner. Make certain that it isn’t obstructing the flow of air in any manner. Check the flue at the top of your tank for impediment from the jacket, fixate it accordingly. The flush drain at the bottom needs to be clear also.
An electric hot water heater tank has a slightly different set of rules for applying the insulating jacket. Typically it is a little easier to install on an electric tank. Like with the gas powered tanks, you will need to follow the directions precisely. Your tanks thermostat will need to be set under 130 degrees F. If it isn’t under this, you may have overheated wiring which could really cause problems. Your thermostat access panels will need to be let clear. You may also want to install a bottom board, or piece of rigid insulating, to prevent further heat loss that can occur at floor level.
No matter if you have a gas or electric hot water heater, its tank should be checked for possibility of needing insulation. This is particularly true for older or more moderately priced units because they could potentially have lower insulating properties. Directions are to be followed precisely and can be a daunting task if you’re new to servicing your hot water heater. Getting your tank insulated with a properly fitting jacket or blanket that doesn’t obstruct any crucial components is something that will take time and expertise. Don’t expect to rush through the job in one hour without fully understanding the directions from the manufacturer, which is a recipe for a mistake.
If you aren’t sure of what you are doing in the insulating job, consult a serviceman for a price quote. It is a job that likely won’t require very much money as it is not an invasive project. Your area service and repairman can do the job for a good price and you can be sure that there are no hazards from misplaced jacket material. On the other hand, if you have the time and can accurately follow the manufacturer’s directions on the jackets, go for it! Either way you will find that if the job is done correctly, there will be a good result with the efficiency of your hot water heater.