Water pipe insulation is a must-have for your home plumbing. It helps maximize the efficiency of hot-water pipes and protect your cold-water pipes against freezing during harsh winter weather. Mr. Rooter® Plumbing has the expertise to install all kinds of insulation inside and outside your home. Add protection to your pipes so you can rest easy.
Indoor and Outdoor Pipe Insulation to Prevent Freezing
Cold water pipes run the risk of freezing in cold weather. While water starts freezing at 0°C, problems from condensation and frost can appear even at higher temperatures. Choose the insulation that best fits your home, or let Mr. Rooter Plumbing’s experienced service providers recommend the type that matches your plumbing layout the best:
- Rigid foam pipe insulation. Rigid foam is ideal in tight spaces since it insulates even in thin layers. It doesn’t provide as much insulation as other materials, so it performs best in milder climates. It resists moisture and corrosion from the environment.
- Flexible elastomeric foam or rubber pipe insulation. These flexible materials have a longer lifespan because they won’t crack, shatter, or break. Their high initial cost pays off in heavy-duty insulation, acoustic dampening, and mould resistance.
- Polyethylene. This is the most common type of pipe insulation. It’s a lightweight, flexible foam widely used on residential plumbing and durable enough to last. In addition to temperature control, polyethylene also controls condensation.
Most importantly, pipe insulation is only protection; it cannot completely prevent freezing, especially in harsher climates. Protect your pipes further by allowing faucets to drip in frigid weather and heating the areas of your home with exposed piping.
Efficiency-Boosting Heating and Hot Water Pipe Insulation
Hot water pipes mainly need insulation to prevent heat loss as water travels from your water heater to a faucet. It lets you lower your water heater temperature and helps the hot water reach the sinks and showers farthest from the source with minimal heat loss. Typical heat protectors include:
- Glass wool/fibreglass pipe insulation. Rated for extremely high temperatures, fibreglass and glass wool are lightweight and mould resistant. However, they can also irritate your skin, eyes, nose, and lungs, especially if touched. Use fibrous insulation away from living areas and interact with it as little as possible.
- Mineral wool insulation. Mineral wool is similar to glass wool and fibreglass but resists even higher temperatures. It’s best used only on extremely hot pipes and away from commonly used areas of your home.
- Flexible elastomeric foam/rubber pipe insulation. Many thermal regulators prevent heat loss in addition to freezing. Elastomeric foam and rubber provide some thermal regulation and are safer to use around living areas.
- Polyethylene. As with cold-water pipes, polyethylene is one of the most common heat insulation materials. It’s lightweight, durable, and mould-resistant, perfect for insulating a whole system at once.
Additional Benefits of Plumbing Insulation
Temperature control isn’t the only benefit of insulating your pipes. Hot water pipes can pose a safety hazard; the scalding water makes metal hot enough to burn. Fire-resistant pipe insulation like fibreglass is perfect for pipes in enclosed spaces, where uncovered, hot metal is more likely to catch something nearby on fire. Condensation control on cold pipes helps prevent frost. It also lowers the risk of mould by eliminating damp spaces around your plumbing. All pipes can be noisy, so temperature-controlling materials double as acoustic insulation to muffle sounds coming from the pipes.
Find Professionally Installed Pipe Insulation Near Me
Insulating pipes can be a long, exhausting job that involves poking through your basement or crawl space for plumbing you might have missed. Instead, trust the experts at Mr. Rooter Plumbing to handle insulating all your pipes, indoors and out. When you’re ready to get started, call or request an estimate online.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does pipe insulation work?
Yes! Insulation can raise the temperature of hot water out of the faucet by about 1-2°C, which means you can lower the temperature of your water heater to save energy. It also controls condensation and reduces the risk of cold pipes freezing.
Should cold water pipes be insulated if they’re indoors?
Yes. Even indoors, pipes run the risk of freezing in unheated areas like a garage or attic, or even an exterior wall of the home. If a winter storm knocks out your power, all areas of your home will be unheated. It increases the likelihood that your pipes with freeze and burst exactly where you don’t want them to: inside your home.
What is the best pipe insulation for outside pipes?
Foam pipe sleeves and pipe wrap insulation are the most common types of insulation to prevent outdoor freezing. They can be applied yourself or by a professional and work to keep water running and unfrozen.