Insulate Hot Water Pipes and Save Energy
You could be losing money every minute because your pipes aren't insulated! Find out how to insulate your water pipes in this article.
As the world moves deeper into recession, people are looking for ways to cut their everyday living expenses. One of the major expenses in every household is that of energy consumption. With all the appliances and gadgets men have made, we tend to use, misuse and waste a good deal of energy. One easy way to save energy and to cut some of your bills is by keeping water hot inside the pipes for longer durations in winter. Insulating water pipes is the easiest way to achieve this cut in energy.
First of all, measure the dimensions of the water pipes you want to insulate. You should note the measurements somewhere so that you won't forget them, especially the outer diameter associated with each pipe. Make sure that there are no leakages in the pipes. If you find any leakage point, get that fixed before continuing with the insulation.
Once you have checked all pipes and taken measurements, you need to decide which type of insulation you should use. Whatever insulation that you select, ensure you cover as much area as you can so that the heat that escapes is kept to a minimum. The most common material used in this regard is pre-formed molded insulation foam. Because of being common, you can easily get it for most sizes and lengths, and separate small pieces are available for spigots. In order to get the best installation, ensure that the inner diameter of the foam is about equal or only slightly larger than the outer diameter of the pipes. This would make a close fit and cold air won't get trapped in between the pipe and the insulation.
Upon acquiring the necessary materials, use a mild cleaning agent to remove any soot from the pipes. Also make sure there isn't any oil or other dampness on the outer surface as this hinders with the installment of insulation material. After the pipes become dry, wrap the foam around it carefully without leaving any part of the pipe uncovered. Additionally, when attaching 2 molded foams at bends, it is a good idea to sever the foam at forty-five degree angles, such that they enclose the whole bend and don't leave any space uncovered. Once you have successfully put it on the pipes, wrap some acrylic tape around it to ensure greater efficiency. You could also try using duct tape, though some plumbing experts prefer to employ acrylic tape. You can also use a wire or clamp rather than tape.
If you are living in a place where pipe freezing occurs frequently, it's highly recommended to insulate you water pipes even if you have to hire a plumber for this. That's because water expands when it freezes, and this can cause even durable pipes to break. The pipes that break easiest are the ones located outside the house, such as a a pipe to a swimming pool. In the cold months, it is beneficial to empty water from the line and turn off the valve to halt additional water flow. If you find a pipe that is frozen, do not use naked fire to try to heat it up. The best thing would be to call a licensed plumber to be on the safe side.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Do you have plumbing problems other than your pipes needing insulation? Check out other plumbing articles by plumbing expert Scott Roger, a master plumber who is currently writing articles for both a plumbing and non-plumbing audience. For these, check out http://eLocalPlumbers.com