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AGE of WATER HEATERS
ALTERNATIVE HOT WATER SOURCES
ANODES & DIP TUBES on WATER HEATERS
ANTI SCALD VALVES
APPLIANCE DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY RATINGS
AQUASTAT CONTROL Functions
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
BACKFLOW PREVENTER, HEATER WATER FEEDER
CARBON MONOXIDE - CO
CHECK VALVES, WATER SUPPLY
CLOGGED SUPPLY PIPING
CROSS CONNECTIONS, PLUMBING
DEBRIS in WATER SUPPLY, Water Heater
DRAIN a WATER HEATER TANK
ELECTRIC WATER HEATERS
FLOODED WATER HEATER REPAIR
FREEZE-PROOF A BUILDING
GALVANIC SCALE & METAL CORROSION
GAS BURNER Flame & Noise Defects
GAS FIRED WATER HEATERS
GAS PIPING, VALVES, CONTROLS
HEATING COST SAVINGS METHODS
HOT WATER SUPPLY
HOT WATER IMPROVEMENTS
HOT WATER DELIVERY SPEED UP
HOT WATER EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENT
HOT WATER PRESSURE EXPANSION RATE
HOT WATER PRESSURE LOSS
HOT WATER PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS
HOT WATER QUANTITY IMPROVEMENT
HYDROGEN SULFIDE GAS
INDIRECT FIRED WATER HEATERS
MANUALS & PARTS GUIDES - HVAC
MIXING / ANTI-SCALD VALVES
NO HEAT - NO HOT WATER: HEATER DIAGNOSIS
NOISE, WATER HEATER
ODORS IN WATER
PIPING IN buildings, Clogs Leaks Types
RELIEF VALVE LEAKS
RELIEF VALVES - Water Heaters
SCALE REMOVAL, WATER HEATERS
SEWER GAS ODORS
SOLAR HOT WATER HEATERS
TANKLESS WATER HEATERS
THERMAL EXPANSION of HOT WATER
THERMOSTATS, WATER HEATER
TIMERS for ELECTRIC WATER HEATERS
WATER HEATER ALTERNATIVES
WATER HEATER ANODES, DIP TUBES
WATER HEATER AIR INLET
WATER HEATER DEBRIS FLUSH
WATER HEATER DRAIN PROCEDURE
WATER HEATER EFFICIENCY
WATER HEATER FLUSH PROCEDURE
WATER HEATER NOISES
WATER HEATER PROBLEM DIAGNOSIS
WATER HEATER COMPARISONS, PROPERTIES
WATER HEATER SCALE
WATER HEATER SAFETY
WATER HEATERS for HOME HEATING USE?
WATER ODORS, CAUSE CURE
WATER PIPES, Clogs Leaks Types
WATER PRESSURE TOO HIGH: DANGERS
WATER PRESSURE LOSS DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
WATER QUANTITY IMPROVEMENT
WATER SOFTENERS & CONDITIONERS
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
This article discusses when and how water heater tanks may be insulated, gives important water heater insulation safety warnings, and discusses whether you should insulate your water heater at all.
This discussion is part of a series of articles on how to improve the hot water pressure, quantity, flow, and water temperature safety in a building.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2014 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
Most new water heater tanks come with factory-installed insulation.
If your water heater tank was purchased in the last decade it may be a model that is already adequately insulated.
In fact some water heater manufacturers recommend against adding external water heater insulating blankets to their equipment, or indicate that their equipment does not need extra insulation.. (Arlene Puentes).
Still, some owners want to reduce standby heat losses from their water heater by adding an insulating blanket sold for that purpose. Below we provide important safety advice for people planning to add water heater insulation, and we offer a concluding opinion about the value of adding insulation to a modern water heater tank.
If your water tank is old, poorly insulated or if your water heater is not insulated at all, your plumbing supplier or building supply store can provide a water heater insulating blanket kit. See RANGE BOILER WATER HEATER for an example of heaters that were commonly left completely uninsulated (when heating oil and gas were cheap). It can make sense to add insulation to such devices.
SAFETY WARNING: Do not add water heater insulation without reviewing both the safety warnings we list below and also any safety warnings issued by the manufacturer of your own water heater brand and model. Failure to follow safe procedures when insulating a water heater could result in a fire or explosion.
In our photos at page top and just above, the water heater blanket has been poorly installed. Above the insulation has been installed on an electric water heater, the relief valve is improperly installed, and other details about this particular insulating blanket installation suggest that it has not been installed following the recommendations of the water heater manufacturer. In the photo you can see that this valve is missing its discharge tube as well - an unsafe condition.
The warnings we issue below were suggested by Arlene Puentes and are based on a review of water heater instruction manuals from Rheem and AO Smith, two prominent manufacturers of residential water heaters.
Also see our advice and safety warnings about water piping insulation at Insulate Hot Water Piping.
Regrettably, by the time we respect all of these "don't cover" this or that warnings from the water heater manufacturers, it becomes apparent that adding water heater insulation on a modern already-insulated unit is probably more trouble and risk than it's worth.
You may be able to skip adding water heater insulation and you may be able to save more on water heating cost if you simply use some of our other recommendations such as turning down hot water temperature, using less total hot water volume, or using staging tanks to "pre heat" incoming water to the water tank from ambient building heat.
And doing anything to your water heater that does not follow the manufacturer's recommendations may be both unsafe and a cause for voiding the warranty:
"The manufacturer’s warranty does not cover any damage or defect caused by installation, attachment or use of any type of energy saving or other unapproved devices (other than those authorized by the manufacturer) into, onto or in conjunction with the water heater. The use of unauthorized energy saving devices may shorten the life of the water heater and may endanger life and property. The manufacturer disclaims any responsibility for such loss or injury resulting from the use of such unauthorized devices " -- Rheem.
The articles listed below offer more details about steps one can take to increase hot water quantity, pressure, and flow in a building.
How to improve hot water quantity and reduce water heating costs by installing an active pre-heating tank for domestic hot water supply
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