How to Install a Water Heater Blanket

What You'll Need
Water heater blanket
Tape Measure

A water heater blanket is a fantastic way to keep the water inside your hot water tank much hotter for much longer. Without one of these blankets you will find that the water will cool down too quickly which will mean you spend more money heating it up again.

A water heater blanket is a simple way to save money and make heating water much more efficient. Fitting a water heater blanket is also very easy to do, it doesn't take long and is certainly worth it. They're not that expensive and you will notice a return on your investment in a couple of months.

Step 1 - Cutting the Blanket

First you need to use the tape measure to measure the distance between pipes and anything else that you will need to cut around. Then using a pair of scissors or a knife you will be able to cut around the holes so that the blanket fits snugly over your water heater. Try to make this as accurate as possible because the better fit it is, the better insulation it will provide.

While you are preparing the blanket ensure that the hot water heater is switched off so that it will be cooling down. This will make it much safer and easier to install the blanket.

Step 2 - Fitting the Insulation

This is easy on an electric water heater. The blanket simply needs to be taped against the hot water tank. However in the case of a gas fired hot water heater you will need to be  more careful. The flue at the top of the heater and the drain at the bottom must be kept clear. Try to avoid covering these because it can restrict the air flow which could cause carbon monoxide to be produced. Also the glass fiber used to insulate the boiler can burn in some cases.

You will also need to leave the thermostat free so that you can check the temperature and adjust it as needed. Don't insulate the top of a gas heater because this can interfere with the vents.

Step 3 - Pipe Lagging

It's not just the hot water tank itself which can lose heat, it's also the pipes. Make sure that you cover all of the pipes with plenty of insulation to ensure that the heater is as efficient as possible. You can use specialist pipe covers or you can simply use the same insulation material you are using for your hot water heater.

Whenever you're working on a hot water heater there's a chance that you will get burned. It might be tempting to rush ahead with the heater on however you must ensure that the water heater is off and cool while you are working on it. It's simply not worth taking the risk to work on a hot boiler because it's just asking for trouble.