Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Home & GardenMaintenance & Repairs · 1 month ago

Should Water Tank Feel Hot if Water Heater Working?

I have a big water tank in my garage. We have issues with the water heater. IF IT IS working right, should the water tank feel hot to the touch? Or, is it insulated enough that you wouldn't feel it from the outside?

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  • elhigh
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    My own water heater is just a few steps away, so I got up and confirmed what I already knew: it feels about the same temperature as my refrigerator.

    I'm a pro handyman and watch over several different kinds and sizes of water heater, from residential models in the 40-60 gallon range, all the way up to the big mamma-jamma with 1.8MBtu and 800 gallons of storage.  They're all well insulated, and all feel about room temperature on their tank surfaces.

    But just try touching - carefully - the output pipe.

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  • 1 month ago

    if the tank is well insulated it will not feel hot 

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Open a hot water faucet and feel the outlet pipe after 30 seconds.  It should be hot to the touch.

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  • 1 month ago

    Mine feels hot to the touch especially when steam is coming off the top. 

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  • Edwena
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    The sides of the tank should be room temperature because it is well insulated. Feel the hot water pipe on top of the tank. It will feel warm. The cold water inlet should feel normal. Turn on the hot water tap in the house and feel the hot water pipe on top of the water heater. It should be really hot.

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  • 1 month ago

    It depends on the age of the tank and how hot the water is. Newer tanks have a lot more insulation to keep their Energy Star rating. My one year old heater in the basement is cool to the touch. That said, the hot water output pipe and the safety valve should feel warm if the heater is working.

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  • Mr. P
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    I presume this is a hot water storage tank.

    If it only has the factory spray foam it will still feel hot and the insulation is just the bare minimum. 

     You can usually box it in with plywood and fill up the space with rockwool to superinsulate it and it will save you money. You just have to be aware that cables should not be in the insulation (as they may not be rated for that), and any pressure release valves are clear - and may need an extension. Also be nice and make it easy to service any thermostats or valves in there. There are products that keep the insulation sealed in bags so it is easier to work with and less of a hazard if you need to remove it. 

     Only use high temperature insulation - like rockwool, and seek advice before starting work to do this.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Depends somewhat  on the temperature setting. Maybe the outlet pipe is another way to check.

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  • 1 month ago

    Even with the best insulation, some heat will always get through. 

    However, with a water heater tank, it should not be particularly hot -- a bit warmer than air temperature, but nowhere near the 60 to 70 degree (Celsius) that the water is actually at.

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  • 1 month ago

    Our tank gets warm or hot to the touch but it’s an old tank. Not much insulation in the old ones. 

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