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I am getting a new water heater (Bradford White RG2PV50T6N, which is gas powered). I was wondering if I could do anything easy to make it more energy efficient.

1) Would a jacket help conserve heat? Several documents I read said not to bother unless the tank feels warm to the touch. The tank I have now does not; I assume the new one won't either. Are the new ones so well insulated that a jacket is pointless?

2) I was considering adding a timer so that it would only heat water at the times I need it. But, again, some reading made it sound like it was pointless. If I understand correctly, the tank will heat new water as I use up the old water, and then should be insulated well enough to keep the water hot all day without expending any additional energy. It sounded like a timer is mostly useful to heat water during non-peak energy times--which doesn't apply in my case because I have a gas-powered tank.

Am I wrong? Would a jacket and/or timer be helpful? Or is the best energy savings just to turn the temperature down a few degrees?

  • A jacket is so inexpensive it is not worth thinking about, just put one on. I have a water heater in an air condition space so a jacket is worth twice of whatever it is worth. A timer on a gas water heater sounds like trouble. – blacksmith37 Dec 15 '18 at 17:02
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A blanket is unnecessary and some manufacturers of tank WHs state that a blanket should not be added.

The temperature set point of a tank should not be below 130 F and some say not below 140 F. This high temperature is necessary to prevent the growth of Legionella bacteria. For the same reason a timer is not recommended and I don't think a gas tank can be controlled by a timer.

Research the proper temperature setting and just use the heater as it is equipped. If you have a shower with a thermostatic anti-scald valve it would be OK to use 140 F, but if you don't, then you might want to use the lowest recommended temperature setting. A lot depends on how many people in your house want to shower at the same time or in quick succession.

  • I checked out the catalog for the water heater, and it doesn't say anything about a blanket (either prohibiting or requiring it). For other models in the same document, it's mentioned that a blanket is required. – Annie Dec 17 '18 at 22:18
  • The catalog says that the model has an energy factor of 0.7. I take it this is good (correct me if I'm wrong), so that would mean I would get diminishing benefits from other energy-saving methods. – Annie Dec 17 '18 at 22:19
  • There are timers for gas tanks; they control the gas valve into the tank. The ads for them promise the world, but don't give any legitimate information that would allow me to calculate what they would actually save me. – Annie Dec 17 '18 at 22:23

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