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Old 12-14-2009, 04:26 PM   #1
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Water Heater Insulation??


Have any of you folks used a product like this to insulate you water heater?

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...atalogId=10053

Is something like this even necessary?

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Old 12-14-2009, 05:57 PM   #2
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Water Heater Insulation??


it is advisable to use this. BUT.... use it only on an electric water heater. not gas or oil fired ones.

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Old 12-14-2009, 06:26 PM   #3
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Water Heater Insulation??


I put one on my old hot water cylinder and it did make a difference. Well worth it. All the new copper cylinders here have got factory applied insulation.
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:35 PM   #4
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Water Heater Insulation??


Begin by checking the owner's manual for your water heater. Some newer models specifically recommend that you do NOT use a heater blanket.If your water heater is warm to the touch your could probably use a blanket
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Old 12-14-2009, 06:46 PM   #5
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Water Heater Insulation??


This is a somewhat controversial topic in the Home Inspection industry, especially as some local energy codes may require a blanket. A few things to keep in mind:

1) The listing of the appliance requires that the various labels be visible, people rarely bother to cut the blanket to expose them.

2) If not properly installed the blanket may interfere with air flow to the draft hood, if it slips down it may obstruct movement of combustion air to the burners, it may also interfere with the operation and inspection of control and safety devices.

3) According to the manufacturers anyway, modern water heaters are donít need a blanket:

http://www.hotwater.com/bulletin/tcb1.html

4) So a retro-fitted the blanket may actually decrease efficiency, see for example:

http://www.inspectorsjournal.com/for...?TOPIC_ID=3143

So if you do install a blanket, you want make sure itís installed in compliance with the manufacturer's instructions, and inspect it regularly for slippage or damage.
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Last edited by Michael Thomas; 12-14-2009 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:16 PM   #6
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Water Heater Insulation??


Now, with all of that said- I agree that a blanket should not be used on a gas water heater. I agree that is may be controversial as far as covering up any pertinent labels/tags on the water heater. But, in my case: I bought/ installed a new Whirlpool Energy Smart electric water heater back in '04. This unit was supposed to be insulated with "new" insulation material and I installed it with no wrap. My water heater is in a dedicated closet in the hall of my house, very small. After installing the water heater I noticed that the closet was just as very warm as the old unit-before installing a water heater wrap. So, I installed a water heater wrap to prevent heat loss from making the closet too warm, and this worked. I should say the closet also has two small vents in the top to let excess warm air out, but it was just getting too hot for me to tolerate. So, water heater wraps do have some advantage depending on what you are trying to accomplish with them. David
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:56 AM   #7
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Water Heater Insulation??


Thanks guys. The water heater is brand new, and it is gas, so I won't be needed or using one.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:49 PM   #8
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Water Heater Insulation??


I thought about putting one of those on a few years ago but decided against it. I figured if the water heater wasnt warm anywhere on the outside, then heat loss was extrememly minimal
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Old 02-17-2010, 01:47 PM   #9
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Water Heater Insulation??


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Mariani View Post
it is advisable to use this. BUT.... use it only on an electric water heater. not gas or oil fired ones.
I've heard/read that a lot..dont' use on a gas heater..but NEVER heard/read any reason for that....so wrap my gas water heater I did!! I don't see any reason why not to if installed properly. What am I missing?
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Old 02-19-2010, 03:14 PM   #10
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Water Heater Insulation??


Quote:
Originally Posted by piste View Post
I've heard/read that a lot..dont' use on a gas heater..but NEVER heard/read any reason for that....so wrap my gas water heater I did!! I don't see any reason why not to if installed properly. What am I missing?

I was interested in a response to Piste question also. I installed a blanket over my gas unit as well. Sounds like this is just an opinion.
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Old 02-20-2010, 07:31 AM   #11
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Water Heater Insulation??


Insulating gas or oil fired water haters can be a fire hazard. if the heater malfunctions.

Next, is on gas fired water heaters. Many people were putting the insulation over the burners air inlet, and causing either flame failure, or high CO and soot in the combusted gas.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:23 AM   #12
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Water Heater Insulation??


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Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Insulating gas or oil fired water haters can be a fire hazard. if the heater malfunctions.

Next, is on gas fired water heaters. Many people were putting the insulation over the burners air inlet, and causing either flame failure, or high CO and soot in the combusted gas.
Could you explain...that in the event of a heater malfunction...there is greater risk of fire hazard with oil/gas water heaters vs. electric water heaters??

Also, anything done incorrectly can cause a problem. If the issue is being sure not to put insulation over the burners air inlet...wouldn't the solution be to advise people to be sure not to do that...as opposed to the more drastic measure of not using the blanket at all.

Unless and until someone posts some clear and specific reason not to insulate a gas water heater...and despite the cautions against it on the blanket packaging itself....I'm gonna say there's no harm in doing so. Like anything in life...done incorrectly and it could be a problem...but I don't think it's that hard to install an insulating blanket on a gas water heater correctly.
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:09 PM   #13
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Water Heater Insulation??


Quote:
Originally Posted by piste View Post

Unless and until someone posts some clear and specific reason not to insulate a gas water heater...and despite the cautions against it on the blanket packaging itself....I'm gonna say there's no harm in doing so.

That is the kind of reasoning that gets people injured and or killed.
Because you don't understand why something shouldn't be done. It must be ok to do it.


Electric water heaters don't have a flame that can come back out a combustion air intake during a downdraft.

Foil and vinyl wraps will burn, and produce toxic fumes.
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:24 PM   #14
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Water Heater Insulation??


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
That is the kind of reasoning that gets people injured and or killed.
Because you don't understand why something shouldn't be done. It must be ok to do it.

Electric water heaters don't have a flame that can come back out a combustion air intake during a downdraft.

Foil and vinyl wraps will burn, and produce toxic fumes.
I hear what you are saying and take it to heart. On the other hand...a healthy scepticism goes along way toward seeking information, education, and understanding and not just doing (or not doing) something cuz someone(s) sez so.

The vast majority of the surface area of a tank is...well ..just that...the closed surface area of the tank itself. One can very easily wrap the vast majority of that surface area without coming even close to blocking, impeding, or otherwise putting the material in a position where it would catch fire in the event of a "downdraft". Which...by the way...shouldn't or couldn't the gas flue have a backdraft prevention "valve" in the duct? And lastly...can you (or anyone) provide any documented examples of this risk actually coming to fruition?? ie. these so called fire breathing gas water heaters...

I suspect this recommendation not to wrap gas heaters at all is meant to protect many people against themselves....for those who need that.

In the end...if there is any risk...I can dig the recommendation not to wrap it given the relatively minor yet not insubstantial cost savings. Just trying to engage some intellectual discourse here...so I hope folks these comments in the spirit intended.
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Old 02-22-2010, 03:37 PM   #15
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Water Heater Insulation??


A backdraft can send a temp exceeding 800įF up the side of the tank. So even wrapping just the top 2' is a hazard.
The insulation can smolder for a long time before anyone notices a problem. If they even notice before the house is on fire.

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