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Old 01-08-2018, 11:12 AM   #1
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Gas Hot Water Heater Blanket


Hi, I need to buy a hot water heater blanket. We have a gas hot water heater. Is there a difference between gas and electric blankets? I saw one advertised for electric, so though I would ask. Thanks in advance! Diane
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Old 01-08-2018, 12:13 PM   #2
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Re: Gas Hot Water Heater Blanket


Not really, just a difference in how you wrap it. Most can be used for either. Instructions are included and very easy for any homeowner to install.

On a gas water heater, do not cover/smother the flame or have any part of it under the heater. Additionally, do not cover the top either because of the hot exhaust.

Electric same is true, do not cover the heating element access panel. Top ok because no hot exhaust.

There are some good utube videos on how to do this.
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Old 01-08-2018, 12:14 PM   #3
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Re: Gas Hot Water Heater Blanket


Just some added info.

Imo, newer water heaters, within the past couple years, do not need one. Little or no benefit. Older ones there would be some benefit in installing one. Just my honest opinion.
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Old 01-08-2018, 05:13 PM   #4
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Re: Gas Hot Water Heater Blanket


An idea for a better ROI would be to insulate all the homes hot water pipes.

JMO
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Old 01-09-2018, 10:39 AM   #5
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Re: Gas Hot Water Heater Blanket


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Originally Posted by Gregsoldtruck79 View Post
An idea for a better ROI would be to insulate all the homes hot water pipes.

JMO
Thanks, we did this at our old home and I think it helped. This house is a little strange, I can use the shower, yet the hot water in the bathroom sink isn't hot yet and takes a while. I don't know how they ran the lines. We'll have the plumber check the lines sometime in the future.
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:18 AM   #6
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Re: Gas Hot Water Heater Blanket


" I can use the shower, yet the hot water in the bathroom sink isn't hot yet and takes a while. "


Depending on a homes floorplan, sometimes a plumber will just run a supply line from another "back to back" bathroom room to a vanity ..rather than "teeing" from the bathroom being used...tubs water supply lines. My sketch may or may not be, your piping layout. JMO
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Old 01-09-2018, 12:06 PM   #7
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Re: Gas Hot Water Heater Blanket


Hi Diana, where is the hot water heater located? If it is inside your heated home then any heat loss is contributing to the heat the home uses. Summer is the opposite but since you are asking during the winter I'm guessing it is more of a winter electric bill question. But if it is inside then the savings is basically the difference between heating fuel and electricity cost.

As jmon brought up, how old is the heater?

Also, are you using low flow shower heads, they are a major improvement over the traditional shower heads.

Bud
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Old 01-09-2018, 05:28 PM   #8
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Re: Gas Hot Water Heater Blanket


Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregsoldtruck79 View Post
" I can use the shower, yet the hot water in the bathroom sink isn't hot yet and takes a while. "


Depending on a homes floorplan, sometimes a plumber will just run a supply line from another "back to back" bathroom room to a vanity ..rather than "teeing" from the bathroom being used...tubs water supply lines. My sketch may or may not be, your piping layout. JMO
Thanks Greg! I talked to the plumber and he said it must be how they ran the lines and he mentioned something about 1" and 3/4" lines, so he thought the size of the lines were ok. The bathroom is on the main level and the hot water heater is in the unconditioned basement, really not that far apart, 10 feet over from the vertical??. The heater is 17 years old and I just ordered a blanket for it. Joys of moving into a new home!
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Old 01-09-2018, 05:34 PM   #9
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Re: Gas Hot Water Heater Blanket


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Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
Hi Diana, where is the hot water heater located? If it is inside your heated home then any heat loss is contributing to the heat the home uses. Summer is the opposite but since you are asking during the winter I'm guessing it is more of a winter electric bill question. But if it is inside then the savings is basically the difference between heating fuel and electricity cost.

As jmon brought up, how old is the heater?

Also, are you using low flow shower heads, they are a major improvement over the traditional shower heads.

Bud
Hi Bud, The hot water heater is located downstairs above 10' away from the bathroom. My husband replaced the shower head. It should be low flow, but great idea and I'll double check. The heater is 17 years old (a commercial 77 gallon tank). The plumber said it may last 1-2 more years. Hopefully I get the blanket I ordered for it this week. I finished reading your pamphlet and it made me want to build a new home to make it energy efficient. Today we measured the two attic access panels so we can insulate them tomorrow. You've been a tremendous help! Thanks!
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Old 01-09-2018, 05:40 PM   #10
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Re: Gas Hot Water Heater Blanket


I agree Diana, homes= our living, breathing, money eating monster at times with their NEEDS.

We live on a single level ranch home and the 40 gallon gas WH is about 44 ft. from our main bathroom. We waste a lot of water getting the hot water to finally come out of the shower every morning.

I wish I had either the good health and strong body to get under the crawlspace and put in a hot water recirculation loop/pump myself, or the money to pay someone to do it. Good luck on your hot water project !
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Old 01-09-2018, 07:16 PM   #11
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Re: Gas Hot Water Heater Blanket


Diana, here's how to measure your shower head flow. Use a quart container and set the shower running at a typical flow rate. Then time how long it takes to fill the quart container. Multiply that time by 4 to get "seconds per gallon". Divide 60 by that number and you have gallons per minute. A low flow shower head should be 2.5 or less gallons per minute.

Here is an example. If it takes 10 seconds to fill a quart multiplying by 4 would give you 40 seconds the time it would take to fill a gallon container. Divide 60 by that 40 and you get 1.5 gallons per minute flow. If it took 5 seconds to fill a quart (half the time) it would calculate out to double the 1.5 gallon or 3 gallons per minute.

I assume your water heater is gas and that is a big unit. But his estimate of 1 or 2 more years sounds like a sales comment, it could go 10 easily but I'll let the heating guys give their opinions.
@Greg your concern about wasted energy running the hot water for a long time to get to the far shower is one we hear a lot. But it is also one for which we can calculate that energy cost fairly easily. I won't bore you with the numbers but a quick back of the hand calculation came out to $1 a month for 60 showers needing 3 extra minutes to get the hot water to where it was needed. Of course I made a lot of guesses but bottom line is the payback for a recirculating system can be marginal.

Bud
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:21 PM   #12
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Re: Gas Hot Water Heater Blanket


[quote, Bud9051.
@Greg your concern about wasted energy running the hot water for a long time to get to the far shower is one we hear a lot. But it is also one for which we can calculate that energy cost fairly easily. I won't bore you with the numbers but a quick back of the hand calculation came out to $1 a month for 60 showers needing 3 extra minutes to get the hot water to where it was needed. Of course I made a lot of guesses but bottom line is the payback for a recirculating system can be marginal.

Bud[/quote]

Thanks for the heads up Bud. My costs for running (wasting) the cold water until it gets hot enough to shower with, is WAY above my pay grade to figure out.

The gallons of water wasted, the price per gallon of water, the MCF of gas used to compensate for the injection of cold water in to the gas WH, the recirc's pump's power consumption... you are right. Just 90 seconds x 2 of running water daily for showers and wasting it for my family of two, may not be so bad after all.
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Old 01-09-2018, 08:44 PM   #13
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Re: Gas Hot Water Heater Blanket


Being a retired energy auditor and a geek who likes basic numbers (no calculus please) I have enjoyed the process of calculating heat loss. But I use the math a lot so it stays with me. For most people when schooling ended so did their use for most math. The old "use it or lose it" expression. But it is just math and the real world doesn't always agree.

Bud
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:53 AM   #14
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Re: Gas Hot Water Heater Blanket


@Greg your concern about wasted energy running the hot water for a long time to get to the far shower is one we hear a lot. But it is also one for which we can calculate that energy cost fairly easily. I won't bore you with the numbers but a quick back of the hand calculation came out to $1 a month for 60 showers needing 3 extra minutes to get the hot water to where it was needed. Of course I made a lot of guesses but bottom line is the payback for a recirculating system can be marginal.

Bud[/QUOTE]

Somewhere on this chat, someone had mentioned that they had a recirculating system and after a month they turned it off due to the costs. We had the same problem at our other house, the hot water heater was located in the garage and our bathroom on the far side of the house. Glad to hear that it adds up to very little money. Thanks!
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:12 AM   #15
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Re: Gas Hot Water Heater Blanket


Quote:
Originally Posted by DianaKaye View Post
@Greg your concern about wasted energy running the hot water for a long time to get to the far shower is one we hear a lot. But it is also one for which we can calculate that energy cost fairly easily. I won't bore you with the numbers but a quick back of the hand calculation came out to $1 a month for 60 showers needing 3 extra minutes to get the hot water to where it was needed. Of course I made a lot of guesses but bottom line is the payback for a recirculating system can be marginal.

Bud
Somewhere on this chat, someone had mentioned that they had a recirculating system and after a month they turned it off due to the costs. We had the same problem at our other house, the hot water heater was located in the garage and our bathroom on the far side of the house. Glad to hear that it adds up to very little money. Thanks![/QUOTE]

Good to read.
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Last edited by Gregsoldtruck79; 01-10-2018 at 08:29 AM.
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