Step by Step Instructions For Insulating Pipes

Step by Step Instructions For Insulating Pipes

If you are concerned about pipes freezing, you’ll want to follow these step by step instructions for insulating pipes. This isn’t a hard winterizing project, and it doesn’t take long, either. However, it can save you big time – especially if you are at risk for frozen pipes.

Step One – Evaluate Your Pipes

Pipes that are at risk for freezing are:

  • Pipes that are exposed to the outside
  • Pipes in garages, crawl spaces, and basements
  • Pipes in wells
  • Pipes in homes that are not heated well through the winter (i.e. your second home, cabin, beach house)

Step Two – Measure How Much Insulation Material You’ll Need

Once you’ve determined which pipes are at risk, you’ll need to measure them to determine how much insulation material you’ll need. Keep good records as you measure, and buy more insulation material than you think you’ll need. Keep the receipt; you can always return the extra (which is less of a pain than having to return to the hardware store mid-project).

Step Three – Purchase Your Insulation Material

You have several options. Ask your local hardware store employee what kind of insulation he or she recommends for your specific situation. Consider the following:

  • Tubular sleeve insulation
  • Fiberglass insulation
  • Duct tape
  • Foil insulation tape
  • Heating blanket tape (which will need to be plugged in to an electrical source, but works great for exposed pipes and wells)

Step Four – Clean The Pipes

Use a mild cleanser and water to remove all grime (so the insulation will stay put). Dry pipes well.

Step Five – Wrap The Pipes

No matter what type of insulation you choose, you’ll need to wrap the pipes completely, covering all the surface area. Secure edges of insulation with duct tape, and be sure to wrap corners with extra tape (which you can surround with more duct tape). If you choose to use fiberglass insulation, you’ll want to cover the insulation with plastic or duct tape.

Step Six – Pat Yourself On The Back

You’ve just saved yourself money in energy-savings and from the cost of dealing with frozen pipes. Congratulations!

If you’re not sure if you need a winterization plan, contact us here at ER Services. We’ll check out your pipes and advise you on the best energy savings and winterization strategy. While we’re out there, we can check your water heater and advise you on any other plumbing questions you may have. You’ll be surprised at how many energy savings tips we can provide!

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Are you interested in more information about plumbing services? Feel like you haven't learned enough about insulating pipes to do it on your own? Worried about how to insulate pipes in hard to reach places like your crawl space?


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Article Summary

Quick question & answer: How do I insulate pipes?

To insulate pipes, evaluate your pipes for risk of freezing. Pipes exposed to the outside, in garages, crawlspaces, and basements, in wells, or in unheated homes in winter are at risk. Measure how much insulation material you’ll need. Purchase your insulation material. Clean the pipes. Wrap them with insulation.

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2 comments on “Step by Step Instructions For Insulating Pipes

  1. Toyin on

    If I wrap the pipes in my crawl space with tubular foam sleeve, will that be effective in preventing my pipes from freezing during the winter. I use electric space heater for most of the house and the crawl space has no heat. It is an old house. Will the tubular sleeve be enough? Thanks for your help!

    • Charlotte Plumber on

      It should be effective, but it depends on where you live. If temps dip and stay below zero for long periods of time, you may still have trouble. However, insulation will definitely help!

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