Do water heater blankets do anything?

Do water heater blankets do anything? I'm installing a new gas water heater and one hvac/plumber who came down said that they do help in heat retention and tank longevity. Is there any thruth to this?
Personally whenever I've touched the outside of the water heater tank it has never been warm so I can't see how a blanket would help in this respect.
Thanks, sj
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SJ wrote:

Newer heaters are so well insulated that a blanket will have minimal effect. Gas heaters waste more heat just from the natural draft (and pilot) up the flue.
Jim
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SJ wrote:

well the blanket is insulation and if you tore open a modern water heater you would find that the inside insulation is about 1/2 in thick.. so the blanket is about another 12 inch.. it just about doubles the insulation value of the heater.. i put one on about 2 yrs. ago and never had any problems with it.. it did seem to keep the laundry room a little cooler... so it might just be working... what you go to loose?? about $12 at home depot..
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No, it does not. The temperature drops exponentially, not linearly; in plain English, thinking of the insulation as being in the form of (say) many 1/64" layers, the first such layer of insulation is doing far more than the last layer. As others have said, it the outside doesn't feel warm, insulating it isn't going to do much. Moreover, if the water heater is in a warm room (such as a room with a furnace in it as well), insulation is less worthwhile since the rate of heat loss depends on the difference between the stored hot water temperature and the temperature of the room. Now if the water heater is sitting outdoors in the snow, more insulation may be worthwhile.
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I think that's what the OP is asking basically.
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SJ wrote in message ...

has
The outside is cool because it is losing heat so quickly that it stays at nearly room temperature.
I insulated mine and repeated your experiment by sliding my hand between the outside of the heater and the added insulation. It gets so hot in there that you can't hold your hand on the metal. That's a reflection of the heat that is escaping the uninsulated shell, and being trapped by the additional insulation.
I didn't fool with the "attractive" insulating blanket. I just wrapped mine with leftover 3 1/2 inch batt.
Regards Old Al
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any
has
Wrap it. Over the life of the heater, you will reclaim the cost of the blanket, plus more. I personally have wrapped mine with the 1/4" double reflective 3M product from ACE, plus a blanket. Do some serious taping, but leave accessable any area you might have to get into in the future. Not sure of the heating costs in your area, but in ours, the electricity and gas have taken a big rate hike in just the last year.
Since water heaters last many years, the savings will pay for the initial outlay.
Steve
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SJ wrote:

Be sure to check the warranty on your heater. Some manufacturer's void it when a blanket is used.
I believe (I'm not sure) the concern is that the blanket can trap moisture and can cause premature rusting, and therefore leaking, of the tank.
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I had a blanket on my old gas water heater. I had the heater replaced in April and the plumber told me not to use a blanket on a gas heater since it could get ignited. Any truth to this, if the blanket is installed correctly?
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At one time I thought the rule was to *not* insulate water pipes -- at least not the hot-water pipe.
WHY was that, and also what is the general advice these days?
David
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On Mon, 20 Oct 2003 14:44:34 +0000, David Combs wrote:

Why was that? I don't know. 25 years ago, when my family built our house we used them on all the hot water pipes in the house. As a 12 year old who wanted to help, that was one of the jobs that I was eligible for. Had to rush the work on a few occasions, as the drywall didn't go up until the pipe insulation was finished.
I wish the same had been done in the house we just inherited. Takes a good minute of cold water until the hot water makes it to the bathroom. In the winter with an under insulated basement, it only takes 15 minutes to cool the water back down.
If you are debating doing it, my recommendation is to stop debating and start doing.
Carolyn
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I would insulate the hot water pipes. Can't hurt...
wrote:

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