Jim Connors: Hi! I am Jim Connors with Rheem Manufacturing Company. I am showing you how to make an existing water heater more energy efficient. Now I am going to show you how to insulate your hot water pipes as well as other simple tips to save energy with an existing water heater.
Repair any leaky faucets or pipes immediately. Even a small constant leak can increase the energy expense to operate a water heater over time. Replace older shower heads with 2.
5 gallons per minute (low flow shower head). Most new fixtures can provide just as good shower at these lower gallon per minute flow rates.
This provides the added benefit of decreasing your water usage. Insulate your hot water pipes, just like the water heater tank has standby heat loss so do uninsulated water lines. Imagine how much heat is lost in 20 to 30 feet of uninsulated pipe. Consider adding a timer on your electric water heater. A timer can be set so that the water heater only heats during peak demand hours, usually in the morning or early evenings. Set the timer to turn the water heater off at night and then on again in the morning, before it is needed for the day showers.
Finally, older water heaters may benefit by adding an insulating blanket. Consult your owners manual for safety precautions and follow the insulation instructions for the blanket. Never cover the gas valve or burner area of the gas water heater. As with all of these tips be sure to consult your owners manual or contact a professional plumber or contractor before beginning the project and to determine what might be the best option for you.
Those are some additional tips on saving energy with an existing water heater. Next, I will talk about the energy savings available when purchasing a new water heater.