Standard Method of Measurement of Pipe Insulation


Pipes have wide and varied applications, including some that cause the pipes to be placed in environments with undesirable temperatures. This means you might have to insulate your pipes to protect them and what is inside. While pipe insulation is easy to come by, you need to know what size your pipes require for proper protection. There is an easy way to shop for insulation by using the universal pipe measurement for your pipes. Using the standard method of measurement, you can easily find the universal size for any width pipe you are working with.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape or string and stiff ruler
  • Marker
  • Standard pipe size chart by circumference
  • Wrap a measuring tape around the outside of the pipe and pull the tape securely. If you don't have a measuring tape, use a piece of string and wrap it around the pipe in the same way.

  • Mark the measuring tape or string with a marker to indicate how big the pipe is. Once you have made the mark, you can release the tape or string.

  • Look at the measuring tape to find the marked number which is the measurement of your pipe. If you used string, hold it against a stiff ruler to measure how long the string up to the mark is.

  • Refer to a standard pipe sizing chart to find the size of your pipe by use of the measurement you took. For example, if you found the circumference of your pipe to be 24 inches, then you will find 24 inches on the chart and see it corresponds to pipe size number 7.

  • Measure all of your various pipes in the same way until you have the sizes for each different set of pipes. Buy insulation according to each of the pipe sizes you have.

Tips & Warnings

  • Find the circumference measurements of all of your pipes and bring the numbers to the store with you, because they will probably have a standard pipe size chart.
  • Standard pipe sizes are only relevant for pipes starting from 2 inches up to 75 3/8 inches.

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  • Photo Credit pipe fitting image by Joann Cooper from
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