EcoRenovator  

Go Back   EcoRenovator > Improvements > Conservation
Advanced Search
 


Blog Register 60+ Home Energy Saving Tips Recent Posts Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-18-10, 08:00 AM   #1
Daox
Administrator
 
Daox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Germantown, WI
Posts: 5,356
Thanks: 998
Thanked 349 Times in 284 Posts
Default Insulating the water heater

So, a couple weeks ago I said I picked up a bunch of insulation stuff. I then insulated my hot water pipes. Its about time to get started on the next step. I bought a water heater blanket but I was not sure I am was going to use it since the heater is so old (12 years). So, I took a quick trip downstairs to evaluate the situation.

I've felt around my water heater many times. It never really felt 'warm' but I knew it had to be warmer than the air down there. So, this morning I went downstairs with my IR thermometer and shot the wall adjacent to the heater and the heater tank itself. The wall temp (this is an interior wall) was 58F (14C) and the side of the tank was 70F (21C). So, I think its pretty apparent that there is some fairly decent heat loss going on.

__________________
Current project -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
&
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Daox is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Daox For This Useful Post:
strider3700 (11-19-10)
Old 11-19-10, 02:34 PM   #2
gasstingy
Journeyman EcoRenovator
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Arab, AL
Posts: 488
Thanks: 106
Thanked 47 Times in 41 Posts
Default

I'm wanting to see the pictures of this install after you've wrapped it up. I've been putting it off at home because I haven't decided how much to wrap up. {As in how close to gas exhaust opening at the top, and how close to the gas valves and pilot light door at the bottom.}
gasstingy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-10, 03:02 PM   #3
Daox
Administrator
 
Daox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Germantown, WI
Posts: 5,356
Thanks: 998
Thanked 349 Times in 284 Posts
Default

I've also just turned the heat up a bit on the heater due to turning the hydronic floors on in the sunroom. That'll only worsen the situation.
__________________
Current project -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
&
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Daox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-19-10, 03:09 PM   #4
strider3700
Master EcoRenovator
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Vancouver Island BC
Posts: 745
Thanks: 23
Thanked 37 Times in 30 Posts
Default

after reading this I decided to do a quick test on mine.

the metal furnace duct beside the tank was 18.9 (roughly basement temp)

The top of the side of the tank was 23.6

The top of the tank was 25.6

The nipple of the cold inlet and the hot outlet was 36 degrees

the hot outlet 3 feet up where it goes into the roof was 24.1

The hot water pipe roughly 8 feet down the line was 19 so basically back to basement temps.

When I replace/relocate the tank I will definitely be adding heat traps, insulating the tank and insulating as much of the pipe as I can get to.
strider3700 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-11, 02:38 PM   #5
Daox
Administrator
 
Daox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Germantown, WI
Posts: 5,356
Thanks: 998
Thanked 349 Times in 284 Posts
Default

Whilst doing my flue damper testing I remembered I never put the blanket I bought for my water heater quite a while ago. So, I took some time this afternoon and wrapped it up. The instructions specifically say not to cover the top of a gas water heater, but I think I'm going to get some of it covered, but leave a decent gap between the flue and insulation so it can still get air. What are your guys thoughts?

Anyway, the blanket is rated at R-11, so its decently thick and its got the radiant barrier on it was well which should help out. I think the blanket was around $20. I'm anxious to see what the combination of pipe insulation and water heater insulation does to my gas usage during summer which is almost entirely water heating.


Here is the before shot of the heater.




First, I did my IR thermometer test again to see what was going on. I got my reference temperature of the wall next to the water heater first.




Then, I got the temperature at the top of the tank.




Then the bottom.




Here is the after shot.




And you can see how I had to cut around certain things.
__________________
Current project -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
&
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Daox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-11, 03:24 PM   #6
Angmaar
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Do you have to worry about the insulation being lit on fire by the hot exhaust? It seems a little close to the flue.

Last edited by Angmaar; 03-27-11 at 03:30 PM..
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-11, 05:22 PM   #7
Daox
Administrator
 
Daox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Germantown, WI
Posts: 5,356
Thanks: 998
Thanked 349 Times in 284 Posts
Default

Right now the insulation only comes to the top of the heater. There is no insulation on top of it.
__________________
Current project -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
&
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Daox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-11, 05:34 PM   #8
Angmaar
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daox View Post
Right now the insulation only comes to the top of the heater. There is no insulation on top of it.
The top of the water heater looked like it was covered in insulation in that picture. Sorry.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-11, 05:48 PM   #9
RobertSmalls
Journeyman EcoRenovator
 
RobertSmalls's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 344
Thanks: 3
Thanked 17 Times in 15 Posts
Default

The only feature on top of the HWH that I think shouldn't be covered is the flue vent. Also be careful to leave room for combustion air to enter between the tank and the floor.

You'll need to attach something non-shiny (e.g. black paint, or paper) to the insulation in order to take its temperature.
RobertSmalls is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-27-11, 07:46 PM   #10
Daox
Administrator
 
Daox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Germantown, WI
Posts: 5,356
Thanks: 998
Thanked 349 Times in 284 Posts
Default

Good point. I did just that. I shot it with some spray paint, let it dry, and it looks to be ~55F at the top of the tank now (vs 60 before). So, I can estimate that the heat loss through the side of the tank has been reduced by ~40%.

__________________
Current project -
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.



To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
&
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by Daox; 03-27-11 at 07:48 PM..
Daox is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Tags
insulation, tank, water, water heater

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Ad Management by RedTyger
Inactive Reminders By Icora Web Design