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Water Heater Heat Traps: A Guide to Energy Efficiency

October 12, 2023
A fire in a bird cage.

Energy efficiency is a critical aspect of maintaining a cost-effective home. An area often overlooked in this regard is the water heater tank. Heat traps, also known as heat trap nipples, play a vital role in preventing heat loss, contributing to the efficiency of your hot water tank. Learn how they prevent heat loss and why you need it.

The Function of a Water Heater Heat Trap

A water heat trap is designed to prevent heat from escaping from the hot water stored within your water heater tank.

They come in a variety of designs, but they all serve the same purpose: to keep the hot water in the tank hot, and the cold water, cold.

Design and Working Mechanism of Heat Trap Nipples

Heat trap nipples are designed with a simple yet ingenious mechanism: a small ball or flap within the inlet and outlet of the hot water tank.

When water is not being used, the ball or flap closes the water flow, preventing heat from escaping.

When hot water is called for, the pressure differential pushes the ball or flap open, allowing water to flow from the tank.

Once the faucet is turned off, the ball or flap returns to its original position.

The Importance of Heat Traps in Energy Efficiency

Installing heat traps on the water heater tank can result in substantial energy savings. According to the US Department of Energy, it can save you from 25-60 dollars annually on water heating costs.

They maintain the temperature of the water inside the tank for a more extended period, reducing the amount of work the water heater has to do to keep the water hot.

Installing Heat Traps on Your Water Heater

Most modern water heaters come with built-in heat traps. However, if you have an older model or a water heater without it, you can add them.

Steps to Improve the Efficiency of Your Water Heater

While heat traps play a role in improving the efficiency of your water heater, there are other more impactful steps you can take.

Regularly Flush Your Water Heater Tank

Over time, sediment builds up at the bottom of the tank, which can act as a barrier between the burner and the water.

Install a Corro-Protec Powered Anode Rod

Installing a Corro-Protec powered anode rod is another excellent way to improve the efficiency of your water heater. This device protects your water heater tank from corrosion, a common issue that reduces the lifespan and efficiency of water heaters.

Conclusion: Optimizing Your Water Heater’s Efficiency with Heat Traps

Understanding the role and functionality of heat traps can significantly enhance the energy efficiency of your water heater.

Whether you choose to install a heat trap or opt for a powered anode rod, these devices can lead to substantial savings on your energy bills.

water heater heat trap

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