How effective are heat traps?

Discussion in 'Water Heater Forum, Tanks' started by Murphy625, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. Murphy625

    Murphy625 Member

    Messages:
    149
    Location:
    Michigan
    Anyone have an opinion on installing heat traps on water heaters? Are they worth the extra effort and cost or just an over hyped extra thing that does very little?
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,951
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I would not install heat traps if you mean the nipples with floating balls. Those cause all kind of water hammer problems, and over pressure issues with the T&P.
  3. Murphy625

    Murphy625 Member

    Messages:
    149
    Location:
    Michigan
    Mine doesn't have those type.. I was going to install the 6 inch "U turn" looping type that is made from the piping connecting the hot and cold lines.
  4. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    14,951
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    There would be no restriction with those. It does help prevent warmed water from drifting into the cold.
  5. Murphy625

    Murphy625 Member

    Messages:
    149
    Location:
    Michigan
    I'm sure it does! But what I was wondering is if it was worth the extra effort or is it just a fad that doesn't save any significant energy?

    I mean, sure, technically the hotter water is going to go up into the cold water pipe but is it going to actually result in any measurable savings?
  6. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,933
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I think it would depend on how the plumbing is run as to whether or not there would be convection. In my case, the both the hot and cold turn down and go under the floor so there would be nothing to add.

    I agree with Terry about those silly nipples. Mine keep screwing up and one of these days I will unsweat the pipes and rip them out.
  7. netmouse

    netmouse New Member

    Messages:
    84
    Location:
    NJ
    I was told in a store that the hot water electric tanks now have plastic in the top connectors where the hot water pipe goes. He said this helps prevent this problem of warmed water drifting. The pipe should not be warm to the touch beyond a foot. Does that make sense? I have two plumbers that said they don't do the "U", as that is mainly for large systems, not a small home hot water tank.
  8. Murphy625

    Murphy625 Member

    Messages:
    149
    Location:
    Michigan
    Thanks for the replies.

    I decided to go ahead and use a stainless steel 24" corrugated flex connector to make the "U" turn.. (not the braided rubber type as I hear they're junk)

    It's all hooked up and working great! I insulated the stainless connectors and wrapped them up tight..

    The only thing I'm a bit disappointed with is the noise.. that darn power vent is LOUD!! You can hear it exhausting air outside and it makes a significant humming sound in the house..

    Oh well.. it should save me about $30 a month on heating bills as opposed to the electric water heater.
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