Step 6: Insulate the Heater

insulating the tank of a water heater with foil-covered bubble wrap
Photo: Ryan Benyi
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Cut the insulating blanket (shown: R-4.5 foil-covered bubble wrap) to fit around pipes, the TPR valve, and the temperature control sticking out of the tank. Wrap the side of the tank, and seal cuts with foil tape. Do not cover the tops of oil or gas heaters. Cap an electric heater with an oversize circle of insulation, and tape its edge securely to the side of the tank.
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    Tools List

    • bucket with sponge
      Bucket
    • pipe wrench
      Pipe wrench
    • garden hose
      Garden hose
    • socket wrench
      Socket wrench with 1-1/16-inch head
    • flathead screwdriver
      Flathead screwdriver

    Shopping List

    1. Anode rod

    2. Teflon tape

    3. 3/8-inch-thick self-stick foam pipe insulation to hold heat in the pipes. Make sure you get the right diameter for your pipes 4. 1-inch-thick unfaced fiberglass pipe wrap to insulate pipes near the flue

    5. Water heater insulating blanket

    6. Foil tape to seal the insulating blanket