How to Insulate Copper Plumbing Pipes

What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Soft Cloth
Pipe insulation

Insulating copper plumbing pipes has a great number of advantages. Firstly, the water running through the pipes shall remain up to four degrees warmer with such insulation. Moreover, such insulating will prevent the pipes from freezing in colder temperatures. Frozen pipes shall completely cut off your water supply; hence it is essential that they be insulated. This is an extremely simple task which can be carried out at home. Follow the detailed instructions below to insulate your copper plumbing pipes yourself.

Step 1 – Precautionary Measures

A small, but extremely important number of precautions must be undertaken before carrying out this task. Firstly, do ensure you have on hand a pair of rubber gloves as contact with the pipes can prove to be slightly messy. Moreover, take care when purchasing the pipe insulation, and make sure to buy the best quality available in the market. It is best to buy the R-3 rating insulation as these are known to have the most effective insulation. Pipe insulation is normally available in six-foot lengths which should be more than enough for your pipes at home. Also, choose strong adhesive duct tape from the hardware store which will not come off easily.  

Step 2 – Measure Diameter of Pipes

Before even starting this activity, it is essential that you measure the diameter of your pipes. Use a measuring tape to make your measurements. This is necessary so that your copper pipes fit into the insulation well, and do not come loose. Also, ascertain the amount of piping insulation that shall be required. Measure the length of the pipes using a piece of string, and finally measure that string with the measuring tape.

Step 3 – Clean Pipes

Obviously the pipes will have collected dust and debris over time. To remove this dust, use a soft cloth and warm water to clean off the pipes. Ensure that no mold has appeared on the pipes. If there is any mold, get rid of it first. Also, ensure that they have dried off fully before moving onto the next step.

Step 4 – Wrap Pipes with Insulation

The most important step of this activity is to wrap the pipes with the purchased insulation. Cut open the insulation sleeves using a knife. Once the insulation has been opened, start wrapping the insulation around the pipes carefully. However, do ensure that the insulation fits the pipes snugly.

Step 5 – Cover Insulation with Tape

With the insulation covering the copper plumbing pipes now, the next step is make sure it sticks properly to the pipes. Cut out large pieces of the duct tape, and wrap it all around the insulation which should be covering the pipes at this stage. This shall ensure that the insulation stays in place. By now, your pipes should be properly insulated and ready to provide you with warm water in an instant.