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How To Install A Hot Water Heater Blanket

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New hot water heaters are pre-insulated to improve efficiency, but older hot water heaters lack the insulation and can quickly lose heat. This will lead to a higher electric or gas bill, and the potential of not having enough hot water when it is at peak use in your home during everyone's morning showers. Thankfully, installing a hot water heater blanket is easy to do on your own, can save you money, and makes an old tank more efficient.

Tools & Materials

Start by gathering the following items:

  • Hot water tank blanket
  • Utility knife or scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Permanent marker
  • Duct tape

Purchase The Blanket

Before heading out to the store, make sure that you know what size hot water heater blanket to purchase. You can do this by making note of how many gallons the hot water heater holds, or the circumference and height of the tank. Your local home improvement store will carry different size blankets, and one is sure to meet your needs.

Trim The Blanket

The insulation blanket will need to be trimmed so that it creates a perfect fit around your home's hot water heater. Make sure that the very bottom of the insulation blanket does not extend past the tank's drain valve. For gas tanks, you want to avoid covering any part on the very top of your tank.

Take measurements of where the pipes, burners, and valves stick out from the tank, since you'll need to cut holes for them in the blanket. You can use your utility knife or scissors for cutting holes or slits for the items to stick through. It helps to avoid placing the seam over those openings, so plan accordingly when making the holes.

Attach The Blanket

Once all of the trimming is complete, you can loosely fit the blanket on your hot water heater. Now is the time to make small adjustments to ensure a good fit. The blanket should have ends with tape on them, allowing you to pull both ends tightly together and secure them to each other. If not, use duct tape to secure the blanket in place.

With the water heater blanket installed, you'll be saving 5-9% of standby heat loss from the tank, which comes out to around $40 per year. Hopefully, you never find yourself accidentally taking a cold shower again now that the tank retains heat better with the blanket in place. 

If you need help with installation, contact a plumber in your area, such as Brother's Plumbing.