DIY: Water Pipe Insulation

Installing water pipe insulation increase the effectiveness and performance of your pipes, while saving a lot of money on heating bills. Ensure that you aren’t creating a fire hazard by installing flammable insulation near a high heat source, or by insulating a pipe that mustn’t be insulated.

Here are the Materials & tools you’ll need:

  • Duct Tape or Wire
  • Measuring Tape
  • Insulation Material
  • Utility Knife

 

Step 1: Choose Your Insulation

Measure the length and diameter of the pipes you want to insulate. Based on that, you can choose your insulation. Base your choice on the standard R-value for homes, which states the higher the R-value, the better it is. Quality insulation pipe sleeves which are made of fiberglass or foam are easy to install and are very effective, thus making them great options.  Hard Fiberglass insulation is made for high temperature pipes and is more expensive, while Foam insulation is flexible, mold resistant, CFC-Free, but can be damaged by high temperatures.

Step 2: Prepare The Pipe

Carefully check all pipes and give special attention to checking pipe joints for any leakages. Whatever you do, do not install water pipe insulation over leaking pipes.  If you notice any grease or dirt in or around the pipes, remove it and wash out immediately. Ensure that the pipes are completely dry before continuing with your installation. Even a slow leak can damage your insulation and also cause pipe corrosion.

Step 3: Insulate, Insulate, Insulate

Cut the tube sleeves along the sides, then open and slide over the existing pipes. Wrap up all pipe bends and corners while using pipe insulation wherever you can. While insulating over 90 degree elbows, T-joints and corners of the pipe, cut the insulation at a 45-degree angle from one direction to the next and fit together. Some pipe insulations come with a sticky strip on the cut which allows you to effectively press the attached tape and seal it.

Step 4: Extra Precautions

After you’ve successfully insulated your pipes, you need to take a few extra precautions. Follow any extra instructions in the manual that came with your insulation. Seal all the cuts with a high quality duct tape; ensure that you properly seal all seams between the sleeves.  Pay extra care to seal the corners, as they tend to open up over time. If you have used fiberglass insulation, seal it with duct tape and then secure it with clamps or wires.

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