There are some simple steps you can take to protect your pipes through the residual cold weather of the winter season. The cost of these fixes will be well seen in the event that your currently unprotected pipes burst! Preventative measures always make the most sense, so read on below to find how you can keep the cold from causing more costly breakages in your pipes.
Not only does insulating and wrapping pipes help your water heater function more efficiently by keeping your hot-water pipes warm, but it also prevents the water inside of them from freezing if you experience below freezing temperatures. These are some tips and ways you can get your pipes insulated on a budget (or close to it)! If these options don’t work for you, feel free to give your local plumbing professionals a call.
Important to Know Before Getting Started
Make sure that dirty pipes are cleaned thoroughly with dish soap and water so as to dissolve and remove any grease and dirt. Usually, the dirty pipes are the ones found in compartmentalized, isolated, dirty areas like a crawlspace or basement. Cleaning these pipes can seem like a waste of time, but to get the most out of your insulation, you need the best coverage and a very effective seal. Be sure to give a lot of time to dry before adding insulation.
Spiral wrap Insulation comes in a roll, like tape, except not sticky. It is usually made of fiberglass and covered with a reflective wrap. So what you do with this is: wrap the insulation around the pipe, overlapping the edges of the tape by at least ½ inch. Now you will have to get that duct tape out to hold the ends of the insulation in place in order to keep it tight around corners and joints. Add a second layer of tape over the first layer.
Another inexpensive way to insulate your pipes is to use fiberglass insulation, and even though it can sometimes be as bulky as 2 or 3 inches thick, it reduces costs down the road. In order to prevent condensation from accumulating on your cold pipes, wrap the insulation in plastic before covering them. Cut the insulation to fit around the pipes with a utility knife and, like mentioned earlier, seal the seams with duct tape to hold the insulation in place. Your pipes will be kept warm and that’s all that matters. Whoever said your pipes need to be pretty? It is important to note that you should always wear eye protection, use gloves, and sport a dust mask when working with fiberglass insulation as this insulation can penetrate your skin, eyes, and/or lungs.
Foam is exactly as it sounds: foam. These pipe covers come in several shapes and sizes as well as simple to install. Usually they have a slit right down the middle, so you can just wrap it around the pipe. If there is no slit, simply cut down the middle yourself. Use duct tape to hold it in place, as well as to seal the slit. Important note: this insulation should be slightly larger than your pipe. An air pocket inside the foam gives more insulation. Of course you can wrap a larger, second layer of foam around the first layer for more protection.
Once the fixes are in place, there is no more need to worry! You can take even further measures, such as running your water on very low for a prolonged period of time, but the chances any of these insulating steps will do the trick for your home. If you need new plumbing installation after such an accident, or need help with the repairs of a broken line, give Jack Ward & Sons Plumbing a call today at (615) 227-2811.