Insulating Your Plumbing

by April Reinhardt
(last updated July 8, 2015)

1

Did you know that the simple act of insulating your plumbing can use less energy and, thus, save you money? Not only can you save money, you can also help the world become more eco-friendly by insulating your plumbing since you may use less electricity and gas to heat your water.

Most people think of insulating their pipes in anticipation of cold weather so that the pipes won't freeze and burst. But if you check your inside pipes, and if they are warm to the touch, then your pipes are a good candidate for insulation. You can take it a step further and also insulate your water heater. Follow these easy guidelines for insulating your plumbing, and you will save energy and money:

  • Purchase. Visit your local home improvement or hardware store and buy pipe-insulating kits. Follow the instructions for insulating your plumbing.
  • Preparation. Save money and buy pre-slit foam, cut it to size, and fasten it to your pipes using electrical tape, duct tape, or pipe clamps. Before covering your pipes, make sure that they are dry and clean.
  • Insulation rating. If you have pipes behind walls, make sure that you use the proper rating of insulation in your walls, designed to fit around your pipes.
  • Hot and cold. Hot water pipes should be insulated to help them retain the heat, making your water heater work less. Cold water pipes can also be insulated to prevent them from sweating or freezing.
  • Close it up. Use duct tape, electrical tape, or vinyl tape to cover slits and joints of pipe sleeves.

With a little imagination, elbow grease, and ingenuity, you can insulate all of your plumbing inside and outside of your home. When insulating your water heater, purchase a specially designed insulated sleeve blanket. Make sure that you buy the sleeve that fits your type of water heater, and make sure that your type of water heater can be insulated. Some manufacturers prohibit the use of insulation. Always check with manufacturers of gas water heaters before insulating, as insulation can pose a fire threat with gas heaters.

Author Bio

April Reinhardt

An admin­istrator for a mutual fund man­age­ment firm, April deals with the writ­ten word daily. She loves to write and plans to author a memoir in the near future. April attend­ed More­head State Uni­ver­sity to pursue a BA degree in Ele­men­tary Edu­ca­tion. ...

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What is 2 + 7?

2012-12-29 03:28:27

Pete Laberge

Also be careful where you insulate.
I once insulated a pipe that was too near an outside wall. There was insulation, but not enough. The pipe was there, badly placed by the original builders, but it had to be there to avoid an obstruction.
The result is that it froze!
I fixed the problem though by carefully fitting some insulation between the pipe and the wall. And then I left the inside part of the pipe in that area non-insulated for about 1 foot or so. This solved the freezing problem, and the heat loss problem.
Moving the pipe would be a major chore, not worth it for that small section.


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