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How To Insulate A Electric Water Heater




Doug from Vancouver, BC wrote:

Hey Itchy,

When I get near my water heater I can feel the heat escaping from it. What's the best way to insulate a electric water heater?

Most people don't bother insulating the water heater. They should because they can save up to 9% in water heating costs. This is a do it yourself task that can be done in a small amount of time. You can find pre-fit water heater insulation blankets at your home improvement store. Also check with your utility company. Some will offer rebates and sell them to you cheap!

These guidelines are not meant to replace the manufacturers instructions if you have any. Put on some protective clothing and grab a dust mask.


Illustration showing a water heater with insulation on the top and cut to fit around the piping. The cuts have been taped closed, and the corners of the insulation have been folded down and taped to the sides of the tank.1. The first thing you need to do is to cut the insulation to be fitted on top of the water heater. Make sure it fits around the pipes and tape the cuts you've made with tape.

2. The corners of the insulation need to be folded and taped to the sides of the hot water heater.

Illustration of a water tank covered by an insulation blanket secured by two belts.




3. Find yourself a helper. Wrap the insulation blanket around the water heater. Have your helper hold it in place while you secure the insulation with the belts. Don't tighten the belts too much or the insulation will lose some of it's r-value. Just make it a snug fit. Make sure the belts don't cover the access panel. If the pressure valve is located on the side of the tank you'll have to make a cut so you don't cover it and tape the seam to seal the insulation blanket.


Illustration of a water tank covered by an insulation blanket secured by two belts. At the bottom of the tank, an x-shaped cut has been made in the insulation blanket over the access panel.


4. Find the access panel. Locate the four corners. Starting in one top corner and going down, make a diagonal cut down to the bottom corner. Do this again with the otIllustration of a water tank covered by an insulation blanket secured by two belts. The triangular flaps created by the x-shaped cuts have been folded under the insulation to expose the access panel.her top corner to make a X cut in the insulation blanket. Fold each piece so it tucks underneath the insulation blanket.

That's it!



         Photos courtesy of U.S. DOE



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