Residential Water Heater Heat Traps

The Tank Residential Water Heater Heat Traps

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    The book suggests bending the copper flex pipe to make a heat trap.

    In Northern Calif Orchard supply sells funky plastic lined steel nipples

    with some sort of hokey plastic projection into the center of the nipple

    which I presume is a one-way valve, but looks to be more like a


    Which of these is best for residential applications, or should I look harder

    at specialty plumbing shops for a real check valve nipple?


    Larry Weingarten

    Hello: You’re right about the hokey heat traps for sale. If the job can be done with no moving parts, that’s better. There seems to be no definitive answer on just how deep a heat trap should be. My experience is that a 24″ copper flex connector installed like an upside down “U” works well to prevent heat escaping up and into the plumbing. It is important that both hot and cold lines be insulated to help reduce standby loss. Use 3/4″ thick foam insulation or better.

    A real check valve should not be used as it would create an issue with thermal expansion when water is heated.

    Yours, Larry

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