Copper pipe insulation is a critical part of a home’s plumbing system. Even if you do not have copper pipes in your home, pipe insulation remains essential because it protects pipes from freezing, cuts down on energy costs and decreases the chance of water damage from condensation. Since it's simple to install, you can install insulation without plumbing experience.
Benefits of Using Pipe Insulation
Copper pipe insulation can save you from disaster during the cold winter months by protecting the pipes from freezing. Standing water in pipes can freeze as the temperature drops, causing the pipes to expand and form cracks. In severe cases, pipes can even burst. This danger is why it’s critical to protect exposed pipes in the winter by insulating them.
Pipe insulation can also cut down on energy costs. Insulation limits the heat transfer from the pipes and will ultimately decrease the energy spent to maintain temperatures.
If this condensation is left to build, it can cause the pipes and fittings to corrode. Insulation will also protect yourself and others from injury if someone accidentally makes contact with a hot or freezing pipe.
Several types of pipe insulation are available, and they are designed for different applications. For example, some pipe insulation is made with materials that make it best suited for hot water pipes, while others are designed with decreasing condensation in mind. One common type of pipe insulation is conventional foam insulation. This type of insulation is especially popular because it is easy to install and remove. Resembling a small pool noodle, conventional foam insulation features a cut along the length where the pipe should fit.
Self-sealing foam insulation is very similar to the conventional type; however, it has an adhesive along the slit. This type of insulation is best used when conventional insulation cannot fit between the pipes and the wall. The last type of insulation, the fiberglass pipe cover, is usually reserved for pipes that experience high temperatures since fiberglass is heat-resistant.
Installing Copper Pipe Insulation
When purchasing copper pipe insulation, it’s imperative that the insulation fits the pipe; otherwise, it will not serve its purpose. For this reason, before you go to the store or place an order, measure the pipe’s diameter and select the same-size insulation.
Most copper pipe insulation will have a slit that runs down the length of the insulation, which makes for easy installation. However, if there is no insulation opening, consult the manufacturer’s instructions for installation procedures. You may need to manually make an opening in the insulation for the pipe.
Copper pipe wrap insulation is more simple than you’d think. At the top of the insulation, pry the opening wide enough to fit the copper pipe. Then, align the pipe and feed it through the opening. Once inserted, you can slide the insulation to the desired position and then add some insulation tape to the seam to keep it from falling off the pipe over time. If the insulation needs to cover a joint, slide it over the joint to cover it completely.
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