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How to Install a Water Heater Jacket and Why It's Essential

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Why a Water Heater Jacket?

I'm talking about a jacket for your water heater. An essential? Yes, unless you enjoy throwing your money away!

I am a conservationist at heart. I don't like wasting anything that I don't have to. One of my pet peeves became our water heater. I have an indoor gas water heater. Now you might be thinking, “Why would you need a jacket for a water heater if it's indoors?”

Being the conservationist that I am, I don't even heat unoccupied rooms. So, the water heater is located in the kitchen. An area that is only warm when dinner is being cooked. The rest of the time that area is not heated. The water heater may as well be outside.

On more than one occasion, I woke up in the middle of the night and went to the kitchen to get a drink. Lo and behold, the water heater fired up while I was standing there.

I thought, “Why in the world is that thing running at this time of night? There's no demand for hot water right now. Is this thing cycling on and off all night long just to keep the water hot for nobody?” The answer is, "Yes, it is."

That's when I decided to get a jacket for the water heater. I don't need that thing warming water when nobody is even awake! Putting a jacket on the water heater was very easy and straightforward.

How to Put the Water Heater Jacket On

Here's how I put it on with photos!

I ordered the jacket on Amazon. They had it delivered to my home within three days! I live up in the mountains, that's unheard of delivery time around here!

The first thing I did was don a mask and a pair of gloves. The manufacturer suggested goggles as well, but I had no intention of getting that wild with the stuff. But by all means, follow the manufacturer's instructions.


Follow along with the photos below if you like.

  1. Suit up with goggles, mask, and gloves.
  2. Lay out the jacket on a flat surface.
  3. Take into consideration the height and diameter of your particular water heater. If it's anything like mine, which is a standard water heater, it will be taller than it is round. So, looking at the jacket laid out the longest side should be for the height and the shorter side for the diameter. Use a tape measure to measure the diameter of the water heater. Cut the jacket to the diameter you need with an inch or two for overlap.
  4. At your water heater, you should have a strap around it to keep it steady in an earthquake. Unscrew the strap for just a few minutes to get the jacket on. Don't completely remove the straps, just unscrewing should be enough to slip the jacket around.
  5. Now pick up your water heater jacket and start, with one edge, to slip the jacket around the water heater. Some of the hoses may be very near the water heater body (Mine was right up against it!). You don't want to be bending these hoses too much. Do your best to squeeze the jacket between the hoses and the water heater. The jacket material is very squishy, so it will moosh between things.
  6. Once you have the jacket around the water heater, put a small piece of tape to hold it in place so you can straighten the jacket and smooth out wrinkles for the final taping.
  7. At the seam, I overlapped mine by about an inch or two and adjusted my holding tape while I overlapped the length of the jacket.
  8. When it's all straight and ready, put a final long piece of tape down the length of the seam, top to bottom, in one piece.
  9. Now it's time to cut out the holes for the gas supply unit or electric supply unit. Cut out the areas that have hoses as well. I did this last so I could re-situate the jacket under the hoses and put a piece of tape there so it would have any exposed areas. Don't insulate the top of gas/propane water heaters. It's a no-no.

And you're done!

Notice the Difference!

For myself, I immediately noticed a difference! Some people may need to wait and see their electric bill to notice the difference.

My water heater stopped turning on at night. As a matter of fact, I haven't heard it turn on at night once since the jacket has been put on it! It rarely turns on during the day, but the water is so hot coming out of the spigot that I actually turned the thermostat down on the water heater because it was so hot!

I like it a lot. You will too!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2019 Joanna


Joanna (author) from Wilseyville on March 10, 2019:

Hey Maren! It's great to see you. I know what you mean about procrastinating! But when it can save you so much energy, you gotta get 'er done! LOL

Maren Elizabeth Morgan from Pennsylvania on March 09, 2019:

Thanks for this article. I've been meaning to do this for my water heater, but I procrastinated. Now you have given my that gentle kick in the pants which I needed. :-)