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How to Insulate Your Pipes

Whether it is warm, cold, or somewhere in between, insulating the plumbing pipes within your home will protect your plumbing system all year round. Many homeowners will be pleased to learn that insulating the plumbing pipes within the home is a simple and inexpensive project that anyone can complete.

Why Should You Insulate Your Plumbing Pipes?

Insulating the plumbing pipes within your home provides multiple benefits to both hot and cold water pipes.

  • Cold Water Pipes

Although it may not seem logical to insulate your cold water pipes, it can help preserve the health of your plumbing system in two main ways:

1) Moisture in the air condenses on cold surfaces, and in this case that moisture condenses on your cold water pipes. The condensation that gathers on your cold water pipes eventually causes your cold water pipes to sweat and drip with water. Insulation will prevent your cold water pipes from collecting condensation and dripping in your basement.

2) During the cold winter months, insulation prevents pipes from freezing and potentially bursting in unheated areas within your home. In this scenario, insulation is a worthy investment when compared to replacing a burst pipe line. 

  • Hot Water Pipes

Insulating your hot water pipes, rather than protecting the health of the plumbing system, attempts to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your hot water pipes in two main ways: 

1) It is incredible how much heat your hot water pipes loose when traveling from your hot water heater to the fixture or appliance your intend on using. In a year’s time, this heat loss can cost a great deal of money and increase the time it takes for you and your family to receive hot water. Insulating your hot water pipes helps to retain the heat produced by your hot water pipes, saving you time and money.

2) Hot water pipes will expand due to the drastic change in temperature between the metal pipe’s temperature and the hot water’s temperature. When a plumbing pipe expands it can produce unwanted creaking and rattling noises when in use. Insulating your hot water pipes will help mitigate the issue of expansion by reducing the temperature difference between the pipe and the hot water.  

How Should You Insulate Your Plumbing Pipes?

Insulating your hot and cold water pipes is simple and inexpensive; we would like to present you with the knowledge necessary to insulate your entire plumbing system and enjoy the benefits that it provides. 

Step #1 – Clean the Pipes You Intend to Insulate

Using a damp rag and gentle cleaner, remove any dirt or grease that has accumulated on the plumbing pipes you intend to insulate. Allow the pipes to dry thoroughly. 

Step #2 – Choose the Type of Insulation

There are many different types of insulation that can cater to your specific plumbing needs. 

  • Polyethylene Insulation

Being one of the most commonly used insulations, polyethylene insulation is inexpensive and easy to install. Polyethylene insulation provides great protection for both cold and hot water pipes.

  • Flexible Elastomeric Insulation

Designed for insulating air conditioning units and cold water pipes, flexible elastomeric insulation can withstand temperatures below -297 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, some flexible elastomeric insulation products have an antimicrobial compound that prevents the growth of mold. 

  • Fiberglass Insulation

Wrapped in a vapor barrier jacket, fiberglass insulation is ideal for long stretches of straight piping. Because of its fiberglass construction, paint may be applied to surface of the insulation to match and blend in with finished basements. Make sure that you wear protective gloves when handling fiberglass insulation to prevent splinters.

Step #3 – Insulate Your Plumbing System

After taking proper measurements and determining the type of insulation you wish to use, you may begin to insulate your cold and hot water pipes. Nearly all insulation products are pre-slit and come equipped with self-sealing adhesive strips, allowing for easy installation. Simply apply the insulation, remove the protective covering, and press the self-sealing adhesive strips together.

Call or contact us today to learn more about plumbing insulation and our plumbing services!