A Brief Guide to Pipe Insulation at Home

a frozen pipe

Drastic temperature change in winter can damage the water supply pipes at home. It can cause plumbing leaks and heat loss. Even though you place your pipes inside the house’s structure, they are still vulnerable to bursting and cracking. Insulation is vital to securing the house’s pipework.

Pre-Installation Check

Before you install insulation tapes, heat cables, or foams, you need to make sure that the whole pipelines in the house do not have any defects. There are three ways to do the plumbing inspection.

a pipe joint

First, you can ask for professional services. Call a plumber and let him/her do the checking for you. But plumbers may not be able to inspect leaks in planted pipes. If recently you have noticed inflated water bill though you used the water economically, then there must have been pipe leaks somewhere in the lines. In that case, you have to call water leak detection experts. They are plumbing hand heating system specialists who use tools like thermal imaging device, acoustic leak detector, and leak tracer gas.

Second, you can check the lines by yourself. Inspect the exposed pipes, and see if there are any leaks there. If you spot any damages and you believe you can fix them, then go ahead and be the house’s handyperson.

Choosing the Right Pipe Insulators

wrenches on a pipePipe insulation tapes are preferable because they are adhesive to the pipes and can give maximum coverage on the fittings. But if you use them for a long pipeline, you may waste too many tape rolls in the process. A pipe sleeve cover foam is what you need because it is intended to insulate pipe that is 6 feet long or more. Or you can also use fiberglass insulator and insulating plastic wrap because this type is also designed for long lines.

Pipes have gaps, and they should be insulated to maximize the temperature keeping. Otherwise, the cold air between the gaps can cause heat loss.

Dealing with the Outdoor Pipework

outdoor pipeworkOutdoor pipes are rarely built to be wholly exposed, especially in areas where the temperature drops below freezing during winter. As for the water system in the garden, you can prevent the pipes from bursting by installing anti-freezing faucets. They are equipped with a mechanism that can free both air water pressure inside the tubes. Once there is no air nor water, you won’t have freezing issues with your outdoor pipework.

The second option is to install frost-free sillcocks to replace the outdoor faucets. They are different from regular faucets because the valve is placed deep within the wall.

The third option is to cover outdoor pipework and faucets with insulation jackets. Despite their high cost, they are a quick solution to outdoor insulation and are reusable.