Boxing in heater and insulation


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Old 02-27-08, 11:53 AM
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Boxing in heater and insulation

I'd like to hide my gas water heater and tank in a cupboard, just something simple to build around it. It is in my garage so I will be seeing it at least twice a day, and I'm not a big fan of the industrial factory look in my house

My questions:
1. Do I have to leave a certain amount of space around the heater? Any big air holes or similar?
2. In my homeland of Britain, hot water tanks have a big puffy insulation jacket to stop the water cooling. None of the US ones I have seen seem to have one, so is the tank internally insulated?

It is pretty frustrating to learn so much as I grew up in Britain, only to find that everything in the US is done differently or has completely different language (even basic things like sandwich fillings and legal rights, let alone plumbing systems and phones) and my wife doesn't have a clue.
 
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Old 02-27-08, 12:14 PM
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Wrong forum...

http://forum.doityourself.com/forumdisplay.php?f=127 is about water heaters

That said, the insulation is inside the outer jacket. Your service person will hate you if you box it in tight!
 
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Old 02-27-08, 02:17 PM
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Thanks. Terminology-wise, boiler would apply to both where I come from.

Can one of the mods move this to the right forum please.
 
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Old 02-27-08, 02:31 PM
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Just one correection .........everything in Britian is done differently
 
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Old 02-27-08, 03:11 PM
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Well, I'd just put my bonnet in the boot, and be done with it!!



Seriously, sure you can. I just did it myself, and I've seen houses where the WH is behind the fridge! Leave plenty of room around it for maintenance and inspection. I put 2 vents, 14 x 14 , at the top and bottom, and a slight gap (1/8") at the bottom just in case of a leak. It's an older model, no pan, but luckily the floor in my laundry room slopes very slightly away from the WH, so any leaks would be very quickly detected.
 
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Old 02-27-08, 03:21 PM
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Hello and welcome!

You can purchase a water heater jacket for around $30.00. It will help to insulate the tank in the garage and save a little energy. I think you'd need to refer to your local building codes for how much space you need leave around it. Someone more knowledgeable than I will come along and give you specifics, I'm sure. How much space do you have for an enclosure?

Connie
 
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Old 02-27-08, 05:38 PM
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The water heater itself should have a label on it specifying minimum distance to walls. Here in the colonies, a normal spec is 0" rear, 1" sides, 4" in front of gas valve. Of bigger concern is combustion air supply. If you box in the unit, you need to provide 2 air inlet grills, minimum about 100 sq inches each, one near the floor and one near the ceiling.
 
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Old 02-28-08, 11:43 AM
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Thanks very much!
 
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Old 03-01-08, 12:08 AM
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I'm going to throw in my nickel and state that the water heater blanket is of minimal use so save the $30. The main loss with a gas-fired water heater is with the constant pilot and the constant draft through the flue. You can't do anything about either of those.

Both gas and electric water heaters are now made with foam insulation between the tank and the outer jacket. This insulation is far better than the fiberglass that was previously used and results in very low heat loss through the jacket.
 
 

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