Prevent Frozen Pipes This Winter: Insulating Pipes

Insulating your water pipes is a simple and relatively easy way to prevent disaster from striking this winter season. It can also be good practice even for warmer climates where freezing doesn't occur as frequently because insulating your pipes can help to limit heat loss and condensation. Pipe insulation can greatly reduce the chances of frozen pipes but it doesn’t completely eliminate the chances of pipes freezing. In extreme areas, heating cables can be installed around pipes to apply heat directly to them.


According to the U.S. Department of Energy, “insulating your hot water pipes reduces heat loss and can raise water temperature 2°F–4°F hotter than uninsulated pipes can deliver, allowing you to lower your water temperature setting.”


Preparation

  1. Which Pipes do I Insulate? Any water supply lines that are in an unconditioned space (attic, crawlspace, bathrooms above garages). Also, plumbing chases can be subject to cold air drafts that can cause frozen pipes even in conditioned spaces (saw this several times in the polar vortex of 2019). So it’s important and check any plumbing accesses you may have to see if you have any drafts that may need to addressed as well as pipe insulation.

  2. Measure: The two measurements that you'll want to take are (a) pipe diameter and (b) length of the pipes.

  3. Choosing Material: There are a LOT of different options to choose from when insulating your pipes. Foam pipe insulation is by far the easiest product to use, it’s easily installed and doesn’t require any special tools. It’s important that you tape your seams and limit any gaps or spacing between the insulation sections.

  4. Tools: You will need to have the following list of items handy for a stress free installation. Cable ties, duct tape/Aluminum foil tape, box cutter. Everything you need to complete this is readily available at any local building supply retailer (home depot, lowes, menards, etc.)

  5. Considerations: Make sure the the inner diameter of the insulation matches the outer diameter of the pipe that you're insulating.

  6. PIPE INULATION MUST BE 6 INCHES AWAY FROM WATER HEATER FLUE

Installation

  1. Begin your measurements at the water heater.

  2. Measure the pipes that are in an accessible area.

  3. Cut the insulation to the measurements you took of the pipe.

  4. Install the insulation with the included instructions if included.

  5. Install with the seam facing down, and secure the insulation with tape or clamps every 1-2 feet.

If you are dealing pipes that have already caused your home some water damage, call us anytime at 800 574 2000

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