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How to Increase the Efficiency Of Your Hot Water Tank

Hot water tanks, as shown in Figure 1, are notorious consumers of power. They basically are working 24 hours a day 7 days a week to ensure that when you turn the hot water faucet on you will receive hot water.

hot water tank
Figure 1 - Hot water tank

There are a few methods that you can implement to reduce the costs of providing hot water to your family in your home.

hot water tank blanket
Figure 2 - Hot water tank blanket
hot water tank timer
Figure 3 - Hot water tank timer
pipe insulation
Figure 4 - Pipe insulation
  1. A great deal of heat is lost through the sides of the hot water tank. The lost heat requires the hot water tank to keep its elements on longer and more frequently in order to keep the water hot. Hot water tank blankets, as shown in Figure 2 or jackets as they are often called are placed around the tank to contain the heat. They are easy to very easy to install. Make sure that the blanket you buy is made for the size of your hot water tank.
  2. Selection of water heater blankets.

  3. On electric hot water heaters you can add a timer, as shown in Figure 3, that will allow you to automatically turn the unit off when you are asleep and then turn the hot water tank back on a few hours before you awake. This prevents the hot water tank from cycling during the night which is a waste of energy.
  4. Selection of water heater timers.

  5. If you are going away for as little as a few days it is worth turning the circuit breaker that controls the hot water tank to the off position. Why continually heat the water in the hot water tank while you are away? But remember, you can’t come home and jump into the shower!
  6. Insulating the hot water pipes, as shown in Figure 4, that exit the hot water tank will reduce heat loss and heat loss means a greater amount of energy to keep the water hot in the tank.
  7. Selection of pipe insulation.

  8. The temperature setting of the hot water tank is part of the cost of energy required to make the water hot or even hotter. The higher that you have set the thermostat on the hot water tank, the more energy that is required. Lower water temperatures also help to prevent accidental scalding.