What Is A Heat Trap On A Water Heater

Water Heater Heat Traps – Do They Work?

Please keep in mind that this content may contain affiliate links. This means that, at no additional cost to you, we may gain a small profit on purchases made via our links. Many water heaters now incorporate a more complicated heat trap, and you may easily purchase and install one in your existing heater if you want to upgrade. The question is, how do they function, and are they worth the extra money to purchase?

How Does a Heat Trap Work?

Traditional heat trap loops (also known as goosenecks) take advantage of thermal convection to keep the heat trapped in the loop. Hot water will rise to the surface, whereas cold water will sink. With the addition of a U-shaped dip in the pipeline, the hot water is forced to condense and remain at the top of the loop, while the cold water is allowed to pass through and enter the tank. Although there are some small differences in design for nipples (for example, balls vs flaps), the functioning remains the same.

a Teflon ball is installed in the fitting for the hot water output, and a polypropylene ball is installed in the fitting for the cold water input.

When you turn on a hot water faucet, the balls are pulled out of their seats to allow for unhindered flow, and they return to their original positions when you turn the faucet off.

Do I Need a Heat Trap on my Water Heater?

The use of a heat trap loop or a heat trap nipple can minimize lost heat by as much as 60% when compared to other methods. When the invoices start to arrive, it starts to build up. Furthermore, heat traps are now required by a growing number of state and municipal legislation. Another advantage of employing nipples is that they are dielectric, which means that when linked to a different metal, they limit the amount of corrosion that occurs in a steel tank (such as copper). Given the inexpensive cost of heat traps and the ease with which they can be installed, there is no reason why you SHOULDN’T use them.

How Difficult is it to Install a Heat Trap Nipple?

Supplies for Nipple kits are freely accessible on the internet and at most hardware stores that sell water heater components (such as anodes). Our recommendation is to purchase Rheem heat traps, while other manufacturers such as AO Smith and Bradford White are also fine choices. The process of installation is quite simple. Turn off your tank and empty it down to around two gallons. Using teflon tape, attach the trap nipples to the existing nipples to provide more insulation and a stronger seal.

Then it’s only a matter of inserting the trap nipples and connecting everything.

Heat Trap Problems

Heat traps in water heaters are no different; they are prone to malfunctioning like any other component. Many plumbers prefer to bend tubing into goosenecks rather than use prefabricated goosenecks in order to lessen the likelihood of a blockage. Heat trap loops can also fail if their width is not kept to a bare minimum. If you have a recirculation loop installed, you are more likely to experience nipple problems. The most prevalent of them is noise produced by the balls themselves. Flap versions are often quieter than other types of pumps and are less prone to cause a reduction in water flow if they become stuck.

Most of the time, retightening the screw and/or applying a little amount of teflon tape will resolve the problem.

Because sediment or algae development is the most common cause of obstruction, cleansing your hot water tank on a regular basis and inspecting the anode rod for indications of decay can help to reduce the likelihood of these problems occurring.

Heat trap – Wikipedia

Flow of heated water into a pipe on top of the hot water tank, where it cools off on the sides of the pipe before recirculating back into the tank (microcirculation on the left). On the right, a loop in the pipe prevents the circulation of hot water. Heat traps are valves or loops of pipe that are fitted on the cold water inlet and hot water exit pipes of water heaters to reduce the amount of heat that is released. While allowing cold water to flow into the water heater tank, the heat traps restrict undesired convection and the passage of hot water out of the tank.


Many pieces of water-heating equipment are pre-installed with incorporated heat traps, which saves time and money. It is necessary to acquire heat traps and then install them in the inlet and outlet connections of water-heating equipment that does not already have them installed by the manufacturer. Heat traps are extremely easy and inexpensive to construct. They are an excellent method of preventing cooling of hot water in water heaters by thermosyphoning the hot water to a higher elevated area of the piping system, as shown in the diagram.

Heat is transferred to the surface of the water, where it is replaced by cool water underneath it.

See also

  • Thermal barrier
  • Thermal pad
  • Thermosiphon
  • Plumbing


  • Is it possible that we have neglected to construct heat traps? Esbe AB (Sweden), May 2012


A water heater is one of the most basic electronic devices that can be found in a home. Although some individuals have complained that it consumes a lot of power, this is not always the case. Depending on whether or not it contains a heat trap, the answer might be true or untrue. Is it necessary to install a heat trap on the water heater? It is absolutely necessary to have a heat trap installed on the water heater. A critical component in decreasing heat loss by up to 60%, this component is essential.

As a result, it helps you save money on your power expenses.

More information on heat traps may be found by continuing reading this article.

Do I Have To Install Heat Traps On a Water Heater?

It is not required to have heat traps on a water heater in order for it to function properly. Nonetheless, they have a number of advantages, and it is thus recommended that they be installed. The likelihood that you’re utilizing a contemporary water heater with a built-in heat trap is high. You can easily identify the heat traps that were added at the manufacture. The majority of them are located at the very top of the water heater. In addition, you will be able to distinguish them by their color codes.

Following the steps outlined above should help you complete the installation procedure. So what is it about heat traps that specialists are so adamant about installing them? There are a plethora of advantages. They are as follows:

  1. First and foremost, they will help to prevent heat loss when the hot water heater is in standby mode. Heat traps will reduce the amount of heat generated by around 60%
  1. They are also referred to as dielectric heat traps in some circles. They were given this name because they have the quality of promoting a strong connection when two pipes are connected to a tank. For example, when a copper pipe is combined with a metal tank, the dielectric heat traps play a key role in minimizing the likelihood of corrosion occurring. The metals can corrode at the connection if they do not have them.
  1. The heat traps are also effective in protecting the heater system from the galvanic and stray currents generated by the electrical circuit. Nonetheless, you must take care while installing the heat traps to make this procedure more efficient. For example, you must use silicone pads to prevent the copper pipes from coming into direct touch with the tank.

How Do Heat Traps Improve Energy Efficiency?

The use of water heaters accounts for around 20% of total power consumption in most residential houses. As a result, if your water heater has a high efficiency rating, you will reap greater savings in terms of power expenditures. It would be ideal if you were able to resolve the standby heat problem that is associated with water heaters in this manner. There are a variety of methods via which heat can be lost. Heat loss through thermosiphon, on the other hand, is more commonly associated with heat traps.

What are Heat Traps?

A heat trap is often defined as a device that is meant to control heat loss at the intake and output of a water heater. There are two types of heat traps available on the market. First and foremost, there are individuals who have floating balls. Heat traps constructed of plastic inserts with flaps are the second type of heat trap. Heat traps take care of the water’s natural currents in the conventional sense. Heat and energy will be lost when the water in the heater is heated and then cooled by the cold water, resulting in a loss of both heat and energy This problem is solved by using a heat trap.

It is a passive process that does not need the application of any external force and will always occur in the absence of heat traps.

When heat traps are installed, they prevent the normal convection motion from occurring.

The result is a reduction in the use of energy and electricity.

How Does a Heat Trap Work?

It is via the use of the thermal convection concept that heat traps function. The typical heat traps, which are also known as goosenecks, are used to separate hot water from cold water. As a result, there is no heat loss by convection. When water becomes heated, it will rise to the surface, but cold water will sink. The heat trapping effect of the goosenecks aids in this process. It creates a u-shaped dip in the pipe, which allows hot water to be trapped on the top side of the loop. Following that, the cold water will travel through the loop and into the tank.

Nipples are heat traps that are located at the tank’s entrance and exit.

When it comes to the hot water outflow, a Teflon ball is used, and when it comes to the cold water input, a polypropylene ball is used.

In contrast, when the hot water is turned on, the balls open, enabling the water to flow through.

When you cut off the water supply, the balls return to their resting positions, preventing hot water from being drawn into the storage tank. This prevents heat transmission from the hot to the cold water, resulting in a reduction in energy consumption.

How Do You Install a Hot Water Heater Heat Trap?

The installation of a heat trap is an easy procedure that should not take up a significant amount of your time. To begin, get a nipple kit. The nipple kits may be found on several internet sites as well as at traditional hardware stores. Consider installing reputed heat traps, such as those manufactured by Rheem or Bradford White, which will provide you with years of service. The following are the procedures to be followed during the installation:

  1. To begin, locate the breaker panel and switch off the electricity to the heater. Testing the circuit using a non-contact circuit tester will ensure that you have truly shut off the power source. It is necessary for the sake of safety. If you’re using a gas-powered heater, make sure the gas valve is turned off. The water heater’s water supply must also be disconnected
  2. This is a must.
  1. After that, fill the water heater with roughly 2 gallons of water. You may use a bucket or any other vessel to collect the water. Keep in mind that you’ll be dealing with hot water throughout this stage so proceed with caution. Additionally, by turning on the taps, hot water will be drawn from the water pipes.
  1. With a pipe wrench, pry the pipe that supplies water to the heater from its socket. Ensure that this line is disconnected at both the intake supply and the hot water outflow.
  1. After you’ve disconnected the pipe, connect the heat traps to the hot water exit and cold water intake on the water heater. The heat traps are color-coded to make it easier to recognize which one is appropriate for which pipe. The cold water intake heat trap will be labeled in blue, and the hot water inlet heat trap will be coded in red, according to the manufacturer. It would be better if they were connected in the order of the code. This will result in the system being dysfunctional.
  1. After that, reattach the pipes to their original positions. Make careful you put plumbers pipe dope on the pipe’s threads in order to ensure a watertight connection. In addition, reconnect all of the nuts in the same manner as they were before the disconnect. Reconnect all of the faucets in your home and switch on the water supply. After attaching the water heater’s electrical system, look for any leaks.
  1. If there are any pipe leaks, these should be repaired to reduce heat loss. Following the connection, your heat traps should continue to operate properly. It is expected that the complete installation process will take less than an hour, particularly if all of the necessary equipment is accessible.
  1. Alternatively, you can make a gooseneck loop in place of the above-mentioned installation procedure.
See also:  How To Clean Rinnai Tankless Water Heater

What Are The Common Heat Trap Problems?

In the same way that each other component has issues, the heat trap nipples do as well. The installation procedure itself, however, is where a disproportionate percentage of these issues manifest themselves. Others are caused by the way the components were designed by the manufacturer. Here are a few of the issues that might arise while using heat traps:

  1. Prefabricated goosenecks are prone to obstruction and flow restriction in a large number of cases. As a result, some plumbers prefer to create their own goosenecks by bending pipes rather than purchasing and installing prefabricated versions. As a result, such loops are less prone to become blocked.
  1. Additionally, if the diameter of the loops is greater than the specified size, difficulties may arise.
  1. Nipples are not exempt from the dangers of heat traps either. In nipple heat traps with recirculation loops, you’re more likely to hear noise from the balls than in other types of heat traps. It is possible to overcome this problem by adding flap models
  2. Nevertheless
  1. Another issue that frequently arises with heat traps is leakage. It is likely that they will leak at the locations where water enters and leaves the tank if they are improperly placed. Tightening the joints, on the other hand, will alleviate the problem temporarily. To further reinforce the connection, try putting Teflon tape to both ends of each joint.
  1. Additionally, sediments or rust may have accumulated at the heat trap joints. This type of substance will have an impact on the operation of the heat trap.
  1. Finally, depending on the materials used to construct the heat sink ball, the heat sink ball may begin to degrade over a period of time. When it becomes worn out, it will no longer sit on the valves in the same manner as previously, and the heat traps will become useless.

The installation of flaps provides a solution to these problems and obstacles. Nipples are louder than flaps, which heat traps are quieter than. They are also less prone to obstruct the smooth flow of water since they are rarely clogged.

How Do You Know Your Heat Trap has Problems?

It is possible to discover when the heat trap is defective without the assistance of a plumber. Convectional heat loss is the most fundamental heat issue to deal with. Essentially, a heat trap is intended to eliminate this difficulty. As a result, a malfunctioning heat sink will be presented with a thermosiphon challenge. As a result, to determine whether or not your heat trap is malfunctioning, feel the cold water input pipe. If it is heated, this indicates that your heat sink is not performing at peak performance.

If you find yourself in this situation, you should either fix the pipes or replace the heat sinks.

DIY Tips To Prevent Thermosiphon

It is not necessary to operate on a large budget in order to resolve the thermosiphon difficulty. You may make a heat trap more efficient by modifying it using easily accessible materials. By bending a heated pipe into an au-shaped loop, you may create a heat trap. It will result in the formation of a gooseneck loop, which is prevalent in traditional heat trap systems. Similar to the prefabricated heat trap system, it will work by restricting heat dissipation and self-circulation. When making this loop, it is advised that the tubing used be at least 20 mm in diameter.

When water is heated, it will be shielded from contact with cold water, which is a dangerous combination.

The design of your system will also play an important role in determining the overall performance of the system.

Heat traps are especially important when you want to combine a heater with a tank because they prevent undesired circulation from occurring. As a result, the water boiler should be installed higher up than the storage tank. The performance of the loop will be improved as a result of this.

How Do You Remove a Heat Trap?

If your heat trap is experiencing difficulties, such as ticking or tapping noises caused by a worn-out ball, you may simply remove it. The most effective method of eliminating the heat trap is from the interior of the building. There is a good chance that the ball will make noise if you have a sprinkler attached to the heat trap system. The pressure differential created by this component on the heat trap is often the source of the noise generated by this component. The balls will have to be removed as a remedy.

  1. Following the removal of such problematic heat traps, you must replace them with a more durable type that will not break quickly.
  2. A large number of these heat traps are composed of plastic.
  3. All that is required is that you push them into the extension pipes.
  4. Additionally, you will have avoided the issue of noise that is typical with ball heat traps and other similar devices.
  5. You may accomplish this by following the procedures outlined above, and you will not require the services of a plumber.

Final Thoughts

Whether or not to place a heat trap on the water heater is a major source of debate among many individuals. It is recommended that you do not hesitate to install this component because of the numerous advantages it provides. By preventing heat loss, it has the potential to save you up to 60% on your power bills over time. As an added bonus, when you utilize a heat trap, your water heater system will operate more efficiently. Moreover, it should be noted that you do not absolutely need to build an expensive heat trap.

It will perform in the same manner as a prefabricated heat trap.

If it does, check to see if it is operating properly.

You will enjoy significant benefits from the installation, particularly in terms of reduced power expenses.


  • Heat Trap Installation on a Water Heater
  • Installation Instructions and Tips for Water Heater Heat Traps

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Are Water Heater Heat Traps Worth the Trouble?

You could be looking for a strategy to make your water heater more energy efficient. Are you fed up with having a high energy bill as a result of escaping heat? Today’s topic is water heater heat traps, and whether or not they are a good investment in the long run. Heat traps have grown so important that they are now included in practically all modern water heaters. They’re straightforward and effective. Today, we’ll walk you through exactly how they function and whether or not you may benefit from one.

What Are Water Heater Heat Traps?

The first heat trap developed was a simple copper tube fashioned into a loop, which was intended to capture the heat it collected. Heat traps have advanced in recent years, making them more effective. They are still straightforward structures, often consisting of a pipe that has been shaped into a valve or loop in the same manner as the original. However, today’s systems include microscopic metal components known as “nipples,” which are essentially a little piece of pipe with either a ball or a flap lying on the inside.

They will prevent heat from escaping owing to convection in this area.

How Do They Work?

In general, there are two types of heat traps: passive and active. There are two types of loop pipes: the old loop pipe and the modern heat trap nipple. Both of these measures prevent heat from escaping from the tank by convection. A dip tube is a feature found on the majority of storage tank water heaters. This is the cold intake pipe, which is responsible for bringing fresh water into the tank. A trapless system heats the water inside a tank, causing it to expand and rise via the pipes as the unit heats the water inside the tank.

  1. As a result, energy is being squandered since the boiler is now required to utilize more power in order to maintain the temperature of the tank.
  2. Traditional heat traps have the intake and outlet pipes formed into a loop, which is referred to as a “gooseneck” in certain circles.
  3. Cold water will drop to the bottom of the tank as the hot water rises, where it will be heated.
  4. These are equipped with either a ball or a flap, which is now the preferred method by most specialists.
  5. The two sorts of types operate in a similar manner.
  6. Teflon is employed because it has the ability to withstand the corrosive nature of hot water and other chemicals.

While your water heater is in standby mode, the heat traps are positioned in front of the valves to keep them warm. They are preventing heat from dispersing via the pipes in this area. When you turn on the hot water faucet, the flaps or balls rise, enabling for unhindered water flow to be achieved.

Are They Worth It?

A loop or heat trap nipple will dramatically minimize the amount of lost energy, with some estimates stating that it can cut waste by as much as 60%. You may save anywhere from $15 to $30 per month on your energy expenses if we look at it from that perspective (2). Aside from that, heat trap nipples are a useful feature. The majority of them will form a dielectric union, which may help to increase the life of your anode rods. Furthermore, this connection has the capability of minimizing corrosion within steel tanks.

In many cases, homeowners prefer to modify their existing unit rather than replacing it entirely.

Even if you don’t want to undertake the installation yourself, the cost of hiring a professional is typically not prohibitively expensive.

Common Heat Trap Problems

Heat traps are not free from malfunctioning. Rumbling noise, thermal expansion, flow constraints, and energy loss are some of the most prevalent problems we face in our customers. Poor installation or a defective trap are the most common reasons for these issues to occur. Please consider the following problems in further depth, along with some potential remedies.

1.Thermosyphoning, Convection, or Thermal Expansion

It is an issue that develops when there is a problem with the heat traps that causes them to overheat. It’s simple to identify since the cold water may be running warm or even hot when it should be chilly. If there is a problem with the heat traps, they will cease to operate and hot water will be allowed to enter the cold water pipes. If you suspect that this is occurring, attempt to feel the entrance pipe with your fingers. If it’s hot to the touch, you may be sure that at least one of the heat traps is malfunctioning.

The fact that the ball may fall into the system and cause noise or flow problems makes this practice not advised.

This, in turn, reduces the corrosive resistance of the anode rods, resulting in rust accumulation in the tank.

The Solution

Remove the current pipes and replace them with longer, more flexible lines to give the system greater flexibility. Afterwards, construct a gooseneck heat trap and insulate the pipes with heavy insulation. Although this can avoid thermosyphoning, thermal convection can still occur as a result of the process. A non-return valve can also be installed if you are unable to bend the pipes due to a lack of available space. Keep in mind that doing so may result in higher flow resistance in the system.

See also:  How To Drain My Hot Water Heater

2.Flow Restriction

It is possible that flow limitation will arise while using ball heat traps.

The result is that the ball becomes trapped inside the heat trap. When you open the hot water faucet, the ball is prevented from moving and the flow of water is restricted. Most of the time, this problem is caused by improper trap placement.

The Solution

There are two straightforward options. Remove the ball using a screwdriver or replace it with a flap to finish the job.

3.Noise Problem

Once again, the ball is to blame for this issue. As soon as you start using hot water, the pressured water will begin to flow around the ball within the heat trap. The ball naturally vibrates, resulting in the production of a rattling sound. If you have a recirculation pump that generates a lot of pressure, this is generally a more noticeable problem. Fortunately, if your water heater is located away from any residential areas, this may not be a problem in the first place.

The Solution

For the most part, folks advise that you just replace the ball with a flap. Natural convection will be reduced as a result of the increased heat trapping.

Should You Buy One?

Of course, you are free to make your own decisions. When you consider that heat traps are affordable and have the potential to save you money, there aren’t many reasons not to use them. Having said that, as we’ve already demonstrated, heat traps are not without their share of drawbacks and drawbacks are inevitable. Except if it’s a legal necessity in your jurisdiction, it all boils down to personal taste in the end.

Tips for Installing Heat Traps

Installing heat traps is a simple process that requires just a basic understanding of plumbing. It is recommended that you consult a professional if you do not have prior expertise or if you wish to construct a loop heat trap. They may be able to bend the existing pipes and will avoid making any blunders in the process. Kits for heat trap nipples are readily available at most hardware stores that sell water heater replacement components. Additionally, major manufacturers like as Rheem, A.O. Smith, and Bradford White are available to purchase them through their online stores.

You’ll need the following items to complete your project:

  • Heat traps, Teflon tape, or another joint compound, a non-contact circuit tester, and a large bucket are all necessary tools. a handkerchief

Here’s a quick tutorial on how to set up heat traps in your home.

1.Turn the Power Off

First, locate and switch off the appropriate breaker in your breaker box by pressing it in the “Off” position. To check for electricity in your heater, use the non-contact circuit tester that came with it.

2.Drain the Tank

Approximately 2 litres of water should be drained from the tank. You can utilize the drain valve or the relief valve to do this.

3.Remove Nuts From Pipes

Using a wrench, unscrew the pipe-connecting nuts from the pipe nipples at the top of the device and discard them.

4.Apply Teflon Tape

Attach the heat traps to the pipes with Teflon tape or similar joint adhesive before inserting them into the hot and cold pipes. If your heat traps are color-coded, keep in mind that red indicates high temperatures and blue indicates low temperatures.

5.Tighten and Finish

Take the pipe wrench and tighten the bolts until they are snug. The wrench should not be used on the thread, but only on the steel body. After that, simply switch the power back on and you should be good to go.

Trap That Heat

Heat traps for water heaters are nearly always required during installation. Alternatively, you may bend the pipes to make a “gooseneck,” which is available as “nipples” with a flap or a ball. Thermal insulators will prevent any heat from escaping when the computer is in sleep mode. Your hot water tank’s efficiency will improve as a result of this. They’re quite simple to set up and reasonably priced to purchase.

Unfortunately, they are not immune to problems, but thankfully, most of them are straightforward to resolve. Have you considered installing a heat trap? Do you have any recommendations? We’d like to read your response in the section below.

How to Install Heat Traps

What exactly are water heater heat traps and how do they function? Are they really worth the extra time and money spent on them? Does it matter whether they cause difficulties, and what happens if they are removed? Installation and purchasing suggestions are included. Get Quotes from Highly Qualified Water Heater Professionals! Get Free Estimates on Your Project!

In this article:

  1. Energy use and methods to increase energy efficiency are discussed. What exactly are heat traps, and how do they function? Is it necessary to build heat traps? How to avoid thermosyphoning with a few simple steps
  2. Instructions for installation
  3. Is it possible to remove heat traps? Having problems because of the heat traps

Energy usage and how to improve energy efficiency

Residential water heaters consume around 20% of the entire energy consumed by a home’s electrical system, according to various studies As a result, the higher the efficiency of the heater, the better for you because you will spend less money on heating. It’s critical to note that if you have a water tank heater installed in your house, standby heat loss is one of the most significant reasons that you may be experiencing elevated energy costs. Heat is lost mostly through the flue vents (gas type), tank walls, and pipes; thus, insulating the heater to ensure that it operates efficiently is recommended.

What are the heat traps?

In order to prevent heat loss via the heater’s input and output pipes, heat traps are tiny devices that are installed in the pipes. The most common designs are floating balls and plastic inserts with flaps, which are both quite popular. When the hot water is not extracted from the tank, the heat that is contained inside the tank may escape through the cold (inlet) and hot (outlet) pipes as a result of natural convection in the tank (the heat moves from hot to cold). Thermal syphoning is the term used to describe this process, which is the primary cause for water circulation while the heater is not in operation.

How does a heat trap work?

Heat traps, as previously said, inhibit heat loss and circulation. When the hot water tap is turned on, water pushes the ball into the upper position, allowing water to flow freely from the tank to the fixture, as shown in the illustration. If there is no water pressure, the ball will seat at the lowest position possible, impeding heat dissipation via the pipe (ball type). The flapper style accomplishes the same thing as the other types; it opens while the heater is in use and shuts when the unit is not being used.

Do I have to install heat traps on a water heater?

Heat traps are not required, although they are highly recommended. The majority of the new models already have these fitted. If the heat traps are not factory-installed, manufacturers and experts recommend that they be fitted during a retrofit installation. Retrofit kits are available from the heater’s manufacturer or from any plumbing/HVAC retailer. Heat traps are useful for a variety of applications, including decreasing standby heat loss and connecting two dissimilar metals (for example, copper pipe to a metal tank).

Dielectric heat traps are made of a metal body with threaded ends on either end, and its inside section is lined with a thermoplastic lining to prevent galvanic corrosion from occurring.

DIY tips to prevent thermosyphoning

Make your own heat trap to prevent self-circulation and heat dissipation by bending the hot pipes downward and forming a “U” shape pipe, also known as a gooseneck loop, with the hot pipes. It is advised that the pipe be bent by at least 20 mm before use. An concept like this may be utilized to safeguard the thermostatic mixing valve when the valve is exposed to higher temperatures, especially when the valve is situated near to the heater and when the valve is not in use for an extended period of time.

If the boiler is positioned above the water storage tank, it will increase the amount of undesired circulation that occurs.

Installation tips

The installation of heat traps is a do-it-yourself home project. Making this is not difficult, nor do you need any particular equipment or talents to complete it. If you use a nipple that has a floating ball and threaded ends on both sides, you won’t have to solder the connection together. Only if you are retrofitting will you be required to cut an existing pipe and make additional space available. Some experts advise emptying a few liters of water before installing the T P valve and relieving the pressure on the valve once it has been installed.

Remove the old nipples from the heater on one side and the piping connector on the other side with the adjustable wrench.

Make sure they are installed in such a way that the arrow points in the direction of the water flow.

As previously said, you may also create your own “heat trap” in the form of a gooseneck loop.

Can I remove the heat traps?

If your gas or electric water heater is fitted with ball-type heat traps and you are experiencing frequent noise problems such as “ticking,” “clicking,” or “tapping,” some plumbers advocate removing the ball from the interior of the heater. It is possible that you have sprinklers and water pumps installed, and that frequent pressure fluctuations will cause the ball to rattle, creating an obnoxious sound. It is possible to alleviate this problem by adding flexible disk-type heat traps, which are present in some water heaters manufactured by the Bradford White company.

Problems caused by the heat traps

Heat traps, like any other component, are susceptible to failure.

Heat traps that have been improperly placed may develop corrosion, silt, or leaks. If the valve is not placed correctly, it has the potential to limit or completely cease normal water flow.


Purchasing and installing heat traps on water heaters is not a costly or time-consuming endeavor that necessitates the use of specialized equipment or experience. Simply follow the instructions or watch a video. They are a simple and cost-effective solution for decreasing standby heat loss, undesired circulation, and valve exposure to higher temperatures. They can achieve savings of up to 50% while also extending the life of valves. When properly placed, they may function as union valves, allowing for the quick and easy removal and replacement of your heating element.

Related articles

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  • Thermostats: how to set them, what faults to look for, how to test them, and how to replace them Instructions on how to replace an anode rod
  • What to do when you need to repair a thermocouple
  • Changing a TPR valve
  • Replacing a TPR valve What is a dip tube, how does it operate, and how do you replace the tips
  • Gas valves, mixing valves, and heat traps are all included.

What is a heat loop at a water heater?

In order to prevent hot water from escaping from a water heater by convection, an old-fashioned but effective solution is to create a loop in the pipe above the hot and cold water connections on the heater. Everyone is familiar with the fact that hot water rises and cold water descends. As a result, a minor circulation of water, known as thermosiphoning, might be initiated, resulting in energy loss during idle periods. The loop may be oriented either upward or downward, and it is quite excellent in retaining heat.

  1. Heat trap nipples are also available for purchase and retrofitting.
  2. The International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) specifies that a heat trap be installed on all tank-type water heaters, with the exception of those that are part of a solar water heater system, because solar water heater systems rely on thermosiphoning to function.
  3. A single loop is present in excess (the middle loop) in the water heater seen at the top of this page, which will enable stagnant water to gather behind the loop after the TPR valve opens if the tank overheats.
  4. What does it imply when the discharge pipe of a water heater’s Temperature/Pressure Relief (TPR) system becomes “trapped”?
  5. Is it possible to install a Temperature and Pressure Relief (TPR or T P) valve so that it discharges horizontally?
  6. According to the building code, the minimum size of the water heater intake pipe is 1/2″ or 3/4″ in diameter.
  7. What is the best way to determine whether a water heater is HUD-approved for use in mobile or prefabricated homes?
See also:  How To Light The Pilot On A Gas Water Heater

In the case of a water heater, is it permissible to install a shut-off valve on both the hot and cold water pipes?

When operating in front of an electric water heater, how much clearance is necessary for access and working space?

Is it necessary to have a shutoff valve on a water heater?

When was it initially mandated that a gas water heater be elevated 18 inches above the level of a garage floor?

In the case of a water heater, what is the function of a thermostatic mixing valve?

What is the purpose of a sacrificial anode in a water heater?

Is it necessary to install a pressure relief valve on a tankless water heater?

What is causing the water to accumulate in my water heater drain pan?

Is it OK to leave a gas water heater in situ while converting a garage into a living room or bedroom?

Is a drain pan required for a tankless water heater installed in an attic?

Is it necessary to install a catch pan and drain plumbing when replacing a water heater?

What is an FVIR water heater, and how does it work?

What is a dielectric union, and how does it work?

What are the most typical mistakes people make when installing a new water heater for their home?

What can I do to ensure that my water heater lasts as long as possible?

What is the operation of a hydronic heating system?

Was there a significant difference between a standard water heater and an electric power vent water heater?

What is the best way to tell whether a water heater is gas or electric?

What is the purpose of the valve on the water heater that has a flip-up handle?

Visit ourWATER HEATERSpage for further blog entries on this topic, or go to theINDEXfor a comprehensive listing of all of our articles. Cshirp/Wikipedia is the source of the illustration. Bradford White took this photograph of a heat trap.

How to install Heat Traps on Water Heaters – Instructions

When it comes to pleasant water heating, what are the heat traps, installation advice, and difficulties that might arise.

Heat traps and thermosiphoning

Heat traps are devices added on electric and gas-powered water heaters that are intended to prevent heat loss from the storage tank when the flow ceases while boosting the overall efficiency of the water heater. When hot water from the storage tank rises through the cold water inlet (dip tube) and out via the plumbing, it loses heat energy as a result of thermal expansion. Natural convection and thermosiphoning are terms used to describe this phenomenon. It is possible to verify the heat dissipation process by touching the cold water inlet, and if it feels warm or hot, the thermosiphoning process is in operation.


In order to boost energy efficiency, most tank-type water heaters, including those from Rheem and AO Smith, as well as those from State, American, Bradford White, and others, are now equipped with two heat traps (hot and cold pipes), and those without may be modified. The most commonly encountered forms are those with metal nipples that have flaps or balls within. Heat traps with flaps are preferable because of their smaller size and quieter heater operation, but ball type heat traps may often be stacked, which reduces the amount of water that flows through them.

The most common concerns associated with heat traps are flow limitation, a shortage of hot water, and noise, particularly if the system is equipped with a recirculation loop.

Installation instructions

  • Turn off the electricity to the water heater
  • Discharge roughly 2 liters of water through the drain valve or the relief valve
  • Pipe wrench: Remove the pipe connection nuts from the pipe nipples on top of the water heater by turning them counter-clockwise. Application of Teflon tape or joint compound to the heat trap before creating connections, and installation of the heat traps inside of both the hot and cold pipes The pipe wrench should be used on the steel body of the element rather than on the thread
  • Reinstall the connection nuts onto the pipe nipples once they have been removed. Always use caution when applying heat to a pipe fitting if the connecting nuts have sweated onto the pipe surfaces. These heat traps are recommended because they contain a self-cleaning fitting or a dielectric inert thermoplastic liner that prevents corrosion from occurring. They have a cold input (blue) and a hot exit (red) that are color-coded
  1. How to Install Heat Traps on a Water Heater
  2. How to Install Heat Traps on a Water Heater

Water Heater Heat Traps – How Do They Work?

Notice of affiliate links: This website contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on the links and make a purchase, we will get a small commission at no additional cost to you. In the right circumstances, water heaters may be both handy and inexpensive if they are utilized appropriately. They often consume a great deal of energy, which puts a strain on one’s wallet, but not nearly as much as, for example, central heating does. Even while the primary function of heat traps is to save energy, they also have another, even more beneficial function, which will become clear later in this book.

  • They are found in almost all of today’s water heaters.
  • They are installed on the intake and outlet of either a gas or an electric water heater with the goal of reducing heat loss by enclosing the heat.
  • Because of this energy waste, the boiler would have to work harder to maintain the tank temperature, increasing the overall energy consumption of the system.
  • Water that is hot rises to the surface, whereas water that is cool sinks to the bottom and gets heated.
  • The majority of plumbers favor this type of heat-trapping over the newer, more energy-efficient approach, which is more beneficial in terms of energy savings.
  • Because of its corrosion resistance, Teflon is used for the balls and flaps of these devices.
  • The dielectric union helps to avoid extensive corrosion and degeneration of the pipe system as a result of galvanic and stray currents flowing through it.

You cannot rely only on this, and you must take extra care to ensure that the installation is done correctly, for as by isolating the copper sections using silicone pads and utilizing dielectric unions.

In the event that you are still living in the Stone Age and your water heater is of an older vintage, you need not worry because heat traps are quite inexpensive and simple to install.

Of course, electricity is not the only power source available, and you can also get a gas tankless water heater, but only after reading a guide to the top quality tankless gas water heaters.

The majority of issues are caused by improper installation, defective traps, or a combination of the two.

Loss of energy, thermal expansion, and rattling noise are all signs that something is wrong with a system in most cases.

If it is warm or hot to the touch, this indicates that the heat trap has failed and that hot water is now entering the cold-water pipe through the trap.

It is possible for heat traps with balls to generate a flow limitation problem because the ball may become caught inside the trap.

Instead, it becomes entangled at the exit of the limiting “nipples,” preventing water from flowing through.

Fortunately, you may fix this by releasing the ball or even better, by replacing it with a flap.

The rusting and corroding of the nipples is a regular occurrence, and they can be difficult to remove without breaking, although it is not always impossible.

Despite the fact that this is a decent strategy, it does not always work, particularly when the installation is old and the rust is extensive.

Because this is a widespread problem, there are several solutions for how to unwind a rusty nipple that can be found all over the internet to solve it.

An immediate dispenser is usually advantageous, although it is not always feasible in all situations.

You may not be able to run your home totally on it, but it may be a useful extra source of income. Those who own a water heater may also be interested in our post on what to do with an old water heater, which is available here.

Water Filter Mag

The Water Filter Mag team is available to answer all of your questions about water treatment applications, to assist you in identifying the most appropriate solutions for your clean and safe water requirements, and to handle any and all water filtering, softening, plumbing, and repairing issues that may arise.

heat trap

A heat trap is a valve or a loop of pipe that enables water to flow into a water heater tank while preventing unnecessary hot water from exiting the tank through the valve or loop of pipe. Heat traps contain balls within that either float or sink to the bottom of a seat, which prevents convection from occurring. These carefully engineered valves are sold in sets of two. The valves are built differently depending on whether they are used in the hot or cold water lines.

Pipes on the top of a water heater with two heattraps installed, one in the hot water line and one in the cold waterline

The addition of heat traps to your storage water heater can result in energy savings if the storage water heater does not already have them. They can save you between US$15 and US$30 per year on your water heating expense by avoiding convective heat losses through the inlet and exit pipe systems. A pair of heat traps is just about $30 in total cost. Heat traps, on the other hand, require expert installation by a certified plumbing and heating contractor unless you are proficient in properly soldering a pipe junction.

Heat traps are now standard equipment on many modern storage water heaters, and they are also offered as an option on some older models.

How to Install a Heat Trap Nipple

Heat trap nipples are threaded into the ports of a water heater. A heat trap nipple is a device that minimizes the energy consumption of a water heater. Heat trap nipples are used to prevent heat loss through the water pipes that are linked to the intake and output ports of a water heater. A heat trap nipple is a check valve that employs a flapper or ball design to keep the heated water from the water heater in the tank until one of the building’s hot-water faucet valves is turned on. Whenever the faucet valve is turned on, the check valve is activated, allowing unlimited water to flow into and out of the water heater without restriction.

Step 1

Pipe thread compound should be applied to the ends of the threads on each heat trap nipple. A water heater has two heat trap nipples that are used to trap heat. In addition to having two sets of threads, each heat trap nipple is equipped with a color-coded check valve.

Step 2

Insert the heat trap nipple into the water heater’s input port, which is normally labeled “Cold,” by turning the threads on the heat trap nipple with the blue-colored check valve. If the heat trap nipple has an arrow on one of its sides, turn the arrow so that it points toward the water heating system. Tighten the heat trap nipple using your hands.

Step 3

Twist the threads on the heat trap nipple into the water heater’s output port, which is normally labeled “Hot,” while using the white- or red-colored check valve to keep the heat trapped.

The heat trap nipple with an arrow on one side should be oriented away from the water heater, unless otherwise specified. Tighten the heat trap nipple using your hands.

Step 4

Pipe wrenches should be used to tighten each heat trap nipple.

Step 5

Connect the cold-water supply pipe fitting from the building’s cold-water supply pipe to the heat trap nipple using the blue check valve. Adjust the water pipe fitting using an adjustable wrench until it is snug.

Step 6

Connect the fitting on the hot-water supply pipe of the building to the heat trap nipple that has been inserted into the hot-water port of the water heater. The adjustable wrench should be used to tighten the water pipe fitting.


Use caution while applying heat with a torch to a heat trap nostril or nipple. This will cause the check valve to melt or distort.

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