We do not take into consideration the amount of energy wasted when pipes are not working fine. Most households would not worry about pipes until there’s no water in the faucet. Looking to save on energy? Get your pipes properly insulated! The weather can greatly affect how pipes function and if you have hot pipes that are not hot enough on a cold weather, chances are your cold pipes are going to freeze as well. You may also want to consider rerouting and insulating hot water pipes due to a couple of benefits such as – less time to get hot water in the tap, higher temperature at the tap, the water doesn’t cool down that easily, it’s good for the environment and more savings!
These are few things you need to keep in mind in order to keep those pipes working:
1. Are you a DIY kind of guy?
If you feel that you’re able to do the job, then that’s perfect. Watching an overview of how it’s done could be a great first step in order to understand what’s going to be done with those pipes and perhaps help you identify the right course to take should you decide to do it on your own. Make sure that you are familiar with the process to avoid any further damage (thus added cost) instead of having an expert take charge of the repair. Improper repair or insulation will not just need more repairs but may also lead to full replacement.
And when the pipes are damaged during a DIY act, the cost could be very large – prevention is better than cure. So you’re first step? Knowledge check! If you’re not as confident or if you haven’t done much pipe work, better get an expert!
If you really want to help out in the process, the best step to take is to actually clean the pipes with any dirt or grease by using a mild cleanser then let it dry. Getting in touch with a plumber when you see any leaks or damages would also be a great idea!
2. Which is the right Pipe for your home?
There are different ways to do it and several materials that may be considered but it all falls under the following category:
a. Mineral Wool – capable of operating on high temperature.
b. Glass Wool – can be used for thermal and acoustic applications.
c. Flexible elastomeric foams – has high resistance to passage of water vapour.
d. Rigid foam – allows energy saving legislation while using reduced insulation thickness.
e. Polyethylene – used to prevent freezing of domestic water supply.
f. Cellular glass – made from sand, limestone and soda ash.
g. Aerogel – lowest thermal conductivity but can be used by wrapping around the pipework to function as pipe insulation.
3. Now for the actual process
After cleaning the pipe and choosing the insulation material – for the purpose of this example we choose Foil or Fiberglass insulation – wrap the pipe and secure the end with duct tape. Wrap the fiberglass with plastic. Make sure to take the extra steps with the corners – i.e. seal joints, cut slits when necessary and the most important thing is to secure all areas with duct tape.
Make sure that you have the right cutting tool and masking tapes as well! Your safety should be a top priority. Do not and never attempt to do this if you’re unsure of the process. It could also create a fire hazard putting you and your family at risk! If your ultimate goal is to save, it is not just on insulation but perhaps also consider that after this process, find a way to actually economize your use of hot water.