How To Insulate Your Hot Water Heater Tank

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Did you know that by simply insulating your hot water tank you could save anywhere from 4%-9% on your water heating costs? If you go one step further and insulate the hot water pipes as well, you’ll save even more! Luckily, insulating your hot water tank is a relatively inexpensive and straightforward task that doesn’t require much in terms of technical training. Just follow these easy steps to insulate your hot water tank and start saving money:

Things you’ll need for the job:

  • Tank Blanket
  • Sharpie
  • Vinyl Tape
  • Scissors or Box Cutter
  • Dust Mask
  • Gloves
  • Protective Eye Wear
  • Rag

It is important to note that the blanket not block the vent area or burner access panel of a gas water heater, and that there needs to be clearance from the burner of an oil-fired water heater. The access panel is also the air intake for a natural draft gas appliance and must be clear for proper appliance function. Additionally, it is important that the top of gas appliances not be covered, giving appropriate clearance from the stack and not interfering with the draft diverter.

Instructions: how to insulate your hot water tank

Hot Water Tank: Be sure to don your gloves, protective eye wear and dust mask before working with the tank blanket. The microfibers of the insulation can irritate your skin, eyes and lungs if they come into contact with it.

1. Turn off the power to the hot water tank. To do this, open up your home’s circuit breaker and find the switch that controls the power to your water tank, this should be clearly labeled. Once you’ve found the switch, turn it to the off position.

2. Clean the top of the hot water tank. Take your rag and wipe any dirt or debris off of the top of the hot water tank. This will help your vinyl tape to adhere properly.

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3. Wrap the blanket around the hot water tank and mark where you’ll need to cut. Simply take the blanket and wrap it around the outside of the hot water tank. Take your sharpie and mark where the blanket overlaps on itself, this is where you’ll want to make your cut. Also, be sure to mark where your tank’s thermostats, access panels and water lines are as well. You’ll need to be able to access these at some point during the life of the hot water tank. You’ll be making cuts for these as well to make sure that they are accessible.

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4. Make all the necessary cuts. Lay the tank blanket with the vinyl side facing up and take your scissors or utility knife and make all the necessary cuts.

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5. Wrap the blanket around the hot water tank and secure it in place. By now your tank blanket should be trimmed to the proper size and is ready to be installed. Wrap the blanket around the outside of the hot water tank and secure it to the top of the tank first using strips of vinyl tape. The blanket should have “tabs” on one side of it, be sure these are on the top side of the blanket. Once that’s done, place a strip of vinyl tape along the seam of the blanket.

6. Turn the power to the hot water tank back on. Now that your hot water tank is insulated and ready to go, walk over to your home’s circuit breaker and flip the switch that controls the power to the tank back on.

Check out this video to get an idea of what it should look like when you’re done:

If you’re looking for more ways to save energy and money around your home, check out our green home improvement projects: Green Living Ideas, after all, is a top 20 home improvement website!

Photo courtesy of Energy.gov,







About the Author

graduated from Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) with a degree in journalism and has made sustainability and eco-conscious living mainstays of both his professional and personal life. It was during his time at PLU that he began his journey with sustainability and it's what has led him to writing for Green Living Ideas. He currently resides in Honolulu and works for Pono Home, an energy efficiency company focused on reducing carbon emissions and promoting a healthier, greener lifestyle.

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