Fitting a hot water tank jacket

Last updated Wednesday 30 April 2008

A well-dressed tank is the smart option

A 10 jacket can stop three-quarters of heat loss from your hot water tank. Wrap up and you'll feel the benefit.

A 75mm British Standard 'jacket' will cost you about a tenner, is easy to fit and cuts heat loss from the tank by up to 75%. It also reduces your annual CO2emissions from water heating by a quarter. Surprising then that around a million homes in the UK still have uninsulated hot water tanks.

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Photo: Fitting a hot water tank jacket

Saves about 160kg of CO2 a year

377 Bloomers are doing this

CO2 reduction 1 out of 5

Cheapness 5 out of 5

Popularity 4 out of 5

Cost 10, saves 20 a year

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How does it work?

Pub Fact

  • Americans use twice as much water as Brits per person, and the French slightly less
  • A bath can use up to 350L of water. The average bath uses 80L. The average shower uses 30L
  • Power showers pump out 15L of hot water per minute, so even a 5 minute power shower can be as bad as a bath for some
  • Power showers use so much energy-guzzling hot water that they are illegal in US federal government installations

When we say 'jacket', we're not talking James Bond-style tuxes here, just a series of humble (but highly effective) glass fibre-stuffed pads. These insulate the tank from the cold air around it, reducing heat loss.

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How will it make a difference?

  • A trussed-up hot water tank could save the average UK household 160kg of CO2, or up to 25% of emissions from water heating. That's equivalent to swapping your desktop computer for a laptop.
  • If everyone in the UK put an insulation jacket on their hot water tank, we'd cut CO2 emissions by 740,000 tonnes
  • That would shave 89m off our (combined) energy bills each year

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How do I do it?

Happily, you don't need to be built like a tank to wrestle with this one - it's DIY any of us can do.

  • Touch your hot water tank. If it feels warm, it needs a jacket
  • Measure and write down the height of the tank to the top of its dome, and its diameter. (Two standard sizes are 900mm x 450mm and 1,050mm x 450mm)
  • Before heading to the DIY shop, call to confirm they stock a 75mm British Standard jacket
  • Follow the enclosed instructions on how to fit the jacket
  • When you replace the tank, keep the factory applied foam insulation, which is more effective than an insulating jacket

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Comments

Anonymous 2009-02-04

THE JACKET IS GREAT. wE HAVE OUR HOT WATER ON FOR ABOUT 30 MINS A DAY AND THIS KEEPS THE WATER HOT ENOUGH FOR ALL OUR NEEDS. vERY EASY TO DO!

Baz (again), Shrewsbury 2009-02-04

By far the best way to avoid this loss is not to have a hot tank, ie a combi boiler, heat only the water you want when you want it. YEAH! I can hear you all shout, it's OK if you are changing the system.
Well, at my previous house we had a hot cylinder, it was lagged with roofing insulation, use (Space Blanket or the recycle plastic roll 'cause it won't get in your laundry and make you itch) wrap it around the tank, one roll above the other, don't forget the top. Now fit the pretty but innefective jacket you bought. I gaurentee you will notice a much cooler airing cupboard ie a more efficiently lagged tank. Also lag the pipe coming out of the top of the tank for as long as you can reach. If you heat the water by gas or oil in the summer, set the programmer to come on twice a day, just before you need water in the morning and again in the evening. This avoids short cycling of the boiler which leads to waste.

Martha Warner, Teeside 2008-05-27

Wow,
I dressed my tank up in a little jacket and he looks really smart. Shame he's attached to the wall - i would have taken him out to dinner!

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Glossary terms used on this page
CO2
CO2, or carbon dioxide, is made up of the elements carbon and oxygen. It exists quite naturally in our atmosphere, as part of the carbon cycle. Everyday processes in the plant and animal world both add CO2 to the atmosphere and take it out. However, because it is a greenhouse gas - meaning it affects the temperature of the earth - the exact level of CO2 is important. Burning fossil fuels releases CO2 into the atmosphere, hence the anxiety that extensive use of these fuels is causing climate change.
Emissions
Emissions are the CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) produced by energy use, usually calculated and stated as an annual tally: also referred to as your carbon footprint. Your personal emissions can be direct - such as the gas you personally use to heat your home or the petrol you burn to power your car - or indirect - meaning the energy use that has gone into the products or services you buy. The latter, such as the emissions caused by the manufacture of your new TV, or the packaging your food comes in, are also referred to as embodied emissions.
Emissions
Emissions are the CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) produced by energy use, usually calculated and stated as an annual tally: also referred to as your carbon footprint. Your personal emissions can be direct - such as the gas you personally use to heat your home or the petrol you burn to power your car - or indirect - meaning the energy use that has gone into the products or services you buy. The latter, such as the emissions caused by the manufacture of your new TV, or the packaging your food comes in, are also referred to as embodied emissions.
Emissions
Emissions are the CO2 (and other greenhouse gases) produced by energy use, usually calculated and stated as an annual tally: also referred to as your carbon footprint. Your personal emissions can be direct - such as the gas you personally use to heat your home or the petrol you burn to power your car - or indirect - meaning the energy use that has gone into the products or services you buy. The latter, such as the emissions caused by the manufacture of your new TV, or the packaging your food comes in, are also referred to as embodied emissions.

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