If you live in a place with cold winters, insulating the water pipes in your house can help prevent pipes from freezing and save you money by cutting down your water heater usage during the cold months. Moreover, it’s something you can do yourself. Consider the following when insulating your water pipes.
Make sure you measure your pipes before you get the insulation material so you know how much to purchase. Note the size of each individual pipe (if not all pipes are the same length) and also add up the total length. You’ll want to measure both hot and cold water lines. While many people only worry about covering their hot water lines, cold water lines can also freeze, and they can cause condensation issues if they’re not insulated.
You should be able to find most of the materials you need in the plumbing section of the hardware store. However, if you’re insulating pipes for the first time, it’s a good idea to get assistance from a sales person to make sure you’re getting the right stuff. To ensure that you have enough insulation, you may want to purchasea few extra feet of material, and later return whatever you don’t use.
Although the project isn’t a particularly dangerous one, for safety’s sake, graba friend to help you with the insulation part. Take the material – an insultube, which is usually split sideways and has a protective plastic cover protecting the adhesive side – and spread it over the pipe, then cutting the length to fit. Once the wrap is on the pipe, pull off the plastic strips from the adhesive and push the wrap together to make a bond.
Use foam insulation tape wherever the pipe curves or turns. Also tape wherevertwo pieces of the wrap meet up. This helps keep it sealed and from coming apart. As you cover the pipes, check for any signs of leaks at the pipe connections and also check the water lines for any unsealed holes through your home’s floors or walls.
Tada! Now you’re ready to take on the upcoming winter without having to worry about frozen pipes or sky-high water heater costs.
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Pipe Gripes is written by published by Thompson Plumbing Heating & Cooling. Visit our website at http://www.333Help.com.
(Flickr Photo by iyoupapa)