Heating water in your home is a year round necessity but most people don’t realize that like a leaky door or window jam loses you heat the pipes connected to your water heater can be sucking money out of your pocket.
Anytime there is a heated and unheated substance whether it be air, liquid or a solid next to each other the heat will transfer to the cold item. In our attics and walls we insulate and doors and windows get weather stripping.
Heat traps are basically check valves that are placed on the feed and supply sides of your water heater to reduce the transfer of heated water when you are not requesting water at a faucet or fixture.
Installing heat traps is relatively easy they come with threaded ends that connect to the inlet and supply side connections on your water heater.
The connection is not soldered but if you are retrofitting your heater you may need to shorten the pipe and reattach its threaded connector.
Another good thing about installing heat traps is that if you ever need to service your water heater you can use them much like a union fitting to allow easy removal and replacement of your heater.
When installing your heat traps you want to pay close attention to the directional arrows on the fittings. Make sure that you install the arrow pointing in the direction of water flow or the check valve will not work properly. Some heat traps will come with a blue and red end cap that is suppose to help you understand which side of the heater it goes on.. the hot side for red and the blue side for the street connection.
You can normally pickup a set of heat traps for about $15 at any home store that sells water heaters or plumbing supplies.
If you are changing your water heater remember to change your heat traps because they may be stuck open due to calcium deposits.
Although you probably won’t save hundreds of dollars a year you can probably get your money back in a year no matter if you live in Alaska or Florida.