Insulating pipes

Old 11-30-05, 11:21 AM
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Insulating pipes


While poking around under our new house (new to us anyway, built 1900), I noticed that our water pipes are not insulated, save for a few feet of a couple pipes directly under the bathroom that are wrapped in newspaper (dated 1937, I believe it was).

Should I be worried about freezing pipes? It doesn't appear that the previous owner(s) were. We live in Oregon, about 65 miles in from the coast. We have several nights of sub-freezing temps but nothing too extreme - our overnight low so far this year was 27 degrees.

If I need to insulate the pipes, what do I need to know before doing so? Does it matter what the pipe is made of? What about types of insulation.

These questions seem incredibly basic, but I appreciate whatever assistance anyone can provide.

Old 11-30-05, 02:30 PM
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Insulating is usually a good idea in the colder climates.
Any type of Home Depot/Lowes has what you need.
It's in the plumbing section and is essentially dark gray foam tubing, with a split lengthwise.
Get the corresponding size (for 1/2", 3/4" or 1" pipe), and just pop it over your water pipes and your good to go.
Old 12-01-05, 10:03 AM
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That's really all there is to it? Everything else I've tried to tackle so far has turned into a massive research & learning crusade, so I figured this was no different!


Old 12-01-05, 01:58 PM
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Insulation is a safety net. If you keep the vents closed, in MOST areas the pipes will not freeze. You will find different brands of insulation also. I prefer Armaflex brand. There are other brands of foam insulation. One advantage of insulating, besides preventing freezing, is your hot water doesn't cool down in the lines as much. This saves energy. It also helps with the prevention of condensation in the summer. This way you do not have dripping pipes that could cause/lead to the growth of mold.
Should you purchase foam insulation, measure the outside diameter of the pipes. Some insulation is made for copper pipes but galvanized pipe of the same nominal size is larger. Easy way to know when you buy it that it will fit over the pipe. Some brands of insulation also have adhesive strips to seal the seams. Others have to have a glue applied. Duct tape also works. Good luck with your project.
Old 12-01-05, 11:34 PM
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My crawlspace vents look like this. Can't 'close' them per se, but I'm not sure if I need to (?).

Given our climate, it's probably not a huge concern - but I will go ahead and insulate if only to help the efficiency of our WH.


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