How to Insulate an Exposed Pipe

Making a home more energy efficient is of interest to most modern homeowners. Energy savings, lower utility bills and reduced maintenance costs often occur after adding insulation to a home where necessary. Insulation around cold-water pipes is crucial for homes that experience extreme colds and could lead to pipes freezing and splitting. Hot-water pipes also benefit by making hot water more accessible to showers and taps faster and more efficiently. There are several types of insulation available and it is relatively easy to work with.

Things You'll Need

  • Insulation material
  • Acrylic seam tape or duct tape
  • Tape measure
  • Pipe cleaning materials
  • Utility knife

Instructions

    • 1

      Choose the type of insulation best for the situation. Some types are neoprene foam form-fitted to the pipe size, insulating wraps and tapes, foam rubber wraps and fiberglass sheeting.

    • 2

      Measure or estimate the amount of insulation needed for all piping to be wrapped. It is best to wrap all piping near exterior walls, followed by any additional pipes required.

    • 3

      Clean all pipes thoroughly to remove any oil, debris or other material that may inhibit the insulation. Look for any leaks and repair any found. Wait for the pipes to dry before proceeding.

    • 4

      Measure and cut insulation to fit a section of pipe snugly. Seal all seams with acrylic tape or duct tape. For areas where pieces are butted up against one another, be sure the seal is tight.

    • 5

      Check all wrapped pipes within 24 hours to look for signs of problems with the insulation. Insulation that is warm to the touch is not thick enough, and any sweating means that the pipe insulation is not adequate for that section of pipe.

Tips & Warnings

  • Match the pipe insulation to the pipe's diameter closely to make a snug fit.
  • Use the highest rated insulation R-value possible.
  • Plastic ties can be used in place of tape but will not seal as efficiently.
  • Wrap the pipes the run parallel with outside walls, as those may freeze easily in very cold weather.
  • Stop the insulation on the hot-water pipe of water heaters 6 inches from the water heater. The insulation should not touch the water heater, and the first inches of pipe may be too hot on occasion as well.
Related Searches

References

  • "Ultimate Guide to Plumbing: Complete Projects for the Home;" Mr. Merle Henkenius; 2006
  • "Miller's Guide to Home Plumbing;" Glenn E. Baker, Mark R. Miller, and Rex Miller; 2004

You May Also Like

  • How to Insulate Water Pipes

    High energy costs have caused many to look for ways to lower their electric bills and run a more energy efficient home....

  • How to Make a Homemade Water Pipe Insulation

    Frozen and burst water pipes are a common winter occurrence in homes where insulation is lacking. The mess and destruction that comes...

  • Pipe Insulation Process

    Insulating pipes will save homeowners money on heating costs by protecting pipes from heat loss. Insulation also protects a home from water...

  • How to Prepare Outdoor Pipe Insulation

    Installing pipe insulation is a simple yet inexpensive way to conserve energy. Though it is usually applied to hot water pipes underneath...

  • How to Insulate PVC Pipes

    Insulating your hot water pipes can save money on your energy bill. In colder climates, insulating pipes that are exposed to the...

  • How to Insulate Outside Water Pipes

    Insulating outside water pipes can save you the hassle and expense of repairing frozen or burst pipes. In open or unheated spaces,...

  • How to Insulate Water Heater Pipes

    Insulating water heater pipes reduces temperature loss by 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit to plumbing fixtures throughout the house, according to the...

Related Ads

Read Article

Fabulous Fall Decor: Seasonal Touches for Your Home and Table