Wrap It Up: How To Install A Hot Water Heater Blanket

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If you want to make a hot water heater more efficient, install a hot water heater blanket. Without proper insulation the water cools too quickly, which means it takes longer to heat up again. Insulation blankets are also great for minimizing normal water heater noises when the tank expands.

Installing a water heater blanket is easy for a novice. 

Prepare to Work

For this project, you need:

  • work gloves
  • dust mask
  • measuring tape
  • marker
  • crescent wrench (optional)
  • clear tape
  • vinyl tape
  • utility knife
  • water heater blanket

Unplug electric water heaters. Find the hot water heater breaker in the breaker box, which is commonly a double pole switch, and flip it off. This should be marked. Put a sign up so no one will turn it on while you work.

To turn off a gas water heater, turn the valve on the gas line with the wrench half way to the left, or until it is perpendicular to the line. Set the knob on the control box to "OFF," and ensure the pilot goes out.

Measure for Insulation

Take measurements of the circumference and height of the water heater. Look under the cover plate to find out how many gallons the water heater holds. Buy insulation to fit the number of gallons and measurements. Look for an insulating value of at least R-8. The R value is the heating effectiveness. The best option for efficiency and muffling noises is fiberglass.

Install Insulation

Don't touch fiberglass insulation with bare hands, as it may irritate the skin. Wear a dust mask. Avoid covering the top of a gas water heater, since the flue attached to the top of the water heater can melt the insulation. It is fine to wrap the top of an electric water heater.

Unroll the blanket on the floor or a flat work surface. Mark the measurements on the blanket. When you cut the circumference, add two inches to the measurement.

Temporarily wrap the blanket around the water heater with clear tape. Get an assistant to help wrap the water heater, if needed

Feel for the the valves, mark them, and cut out the holes. On a gas water heater, you will need to make an arch-shape for the valves. An electric water heater has two panels. Mark and cut an X-shape over them.

Undo the tape, and attach the wrap; taping the seams together with the vinyl tape. Some wraps may already have tape. Avoid using duct tape, since it deteriorates faster. 

Restore power or gas. If you don't trust your skill, the heater makes noises you don't trust, or you have an older gas water heater with a combustion chamber, contact a plumber.

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8 March 2017

Exploring The Importance of Plumbing Pipes

Hi everyone, my name is Linda Strickerts. I am going to talk about plumbing pipes problems, repairs and upgrades on this site. Although the pipes hide beneath the floors and behind the walls, they are an integral part of the home. Without plumbing pipes, we would still be heading out to the outhouse to do our business. Washing clothes, dishes and ourselves would also not be possible without carrying buckets of water in and out of the home. I hope to explore the different ways plumbing pipes changed our lives for the better. I will talk about keeping the pipes in great shape as well. Thanks.