DIY Alert: You Can Insulate Your Pipes


DIY on how to insulate your pipes

Why should I insulate my pipes?

  • As discussed previously, insulating your pipes can keep them from freezing during a cold snap. Even if you hire the experts at Johns Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning to do it for you, it’s a relatively cheap insurance policy against the huge cost and mess of a flood.
  • Even without the risk of flood, insulating your pipes makes good financial sense. Uninsulated hot water pipes cause water to lose some of its heat as it travels through the pipes. But insulating the pipes allows you to lower your water heater temperature by four degrees without any change in the heat of the water when it reaches the faucets.  According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it only costs $10 to $15 to insulate your pipes, which results in a savings of $8 to $12 a year. This may not seem like much, but it adds up over the years, and the investment amortizes in just one year.
  • Insulating your hot water pipes also keeps water in the pipes warmer for longer, thus reducing the time you have to wait for heated water to flow from the tap if you turn it off for a few minutes and back on. This adds convenience, as well as helping to save water.

How do I insulate my pipes?

  • Foam pipe covers make insulating your pipes a breeze. Your local hardware store stocks several different diameters for different sized pipes, and you can cut the length to fit. Most pipe sleeves have a vertical slit down the side so you can easily slide them over your pipes. Some already have a sticky inside which adheres to the pipe, but you can secure the sleeve with duct tape, wire, or a clamp, and you’re ready to go.
  • Fiberglass spiral-wrap insulation looks a bit like shiny duct tape, but it’s not actually sticky. Secure one end of the insulation around the beginning of the pipe, and then wrap the pipe, overlapping each layer by about a half-inch. Secure the other end of the insulation at the end of the pipe.

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