Insulation provides many known benefits when it comes to your home, but all too often homeowners aren't aware that their pipes may require insulation as well.
What Is Pipe Insulation?
Pipe insulation is a foam product that wraps around water pipes in your home. It is only used on the water supply lines, not on drain pipes. Hot water lines are the type that are most commonly insulated, but there are sometimes reasons to insulate cold water lines as well.
The insulation is typically only placed on exposed water lines, such as those that run under a crawlspace, in the basement, or in the attic. It may also be used on lines that run through garages or unheated outbuildings, as well as any lines that have to pass through open air outside.
How Is Insulation Beneficial?
Insulation provides two major benefits. The first is freeze protection. In areas where temperatures often drop and stay well below freezing, insulation can be one of the things that stands between you and a burst pipe. When freezing is a concern, your plumber will likely recommend insulating both the hot water and cold water supply lines. It's a good idea to insulate any pipes that are exposed, as well as those that run through the walls in unheated rooms or in a wall with an exterior face.
The second benefit is energy savings. When hot water lines are insulated, they lose less heat. Heat loss from water pipes leads to more energy use to heat the water, as well as more energy use in summer to cool the home. This is because the heat loss radiating from a pipe can lead to higher AC needs.
What Is the General Process?
Applying pipe insulation is usually a straightforward process. Your plumber begins with an inspection of the piping in your home. This allows them to identify the pipes most at risk for freezing and heat loss. Your plumber will also make sure there are no developing issues, such as small leaks or signs of corrosion, as these will need to be repaired before the pipe insulation is installed.
Once the inspection and any repairs are complete, your plumber will wrap each pipe in a piece of pipe foam that is cut to fit. The insulation is secured in place, usually with plastic ties that can be removed easily in the event the pipe needs any future repairs.
Contact a plumbing contractor at a company like Easy Rooter Plumbing if you would like more information on insulating your pipes.