As summer ends and fall turns into winter, extreme temperature fluctuations can cause your outdoor pipes to freeze. When the water inside your pipes freezes, the ice can expand and ultimately cause your pipes to burst. Frozen pipes are a significant problem, especially when you try to fix them in the colder weather. Therefore, the best way to handle them is to avoid incidents from happening in the first place.
The best way to handle burst pipes is to insulate your outdoor water pipes to avoid a problem altogether. Let’s discuss!
How to Insulate Your Outdoor Water Pipes
There are different types of pipes that need insulation. They can be found in your:
- Exterior walls
Here are some practical ways to insulate these pipes:
1. Polyethylene Insulation
Purchase polyethylene pipes that have the same diameter as your outdoor plumbing pipes. Polyethylene looks like a black foam with a cut on one side through the entire length of the pipe. It is the most common and most straightforward way to insulate your outdoor pipes. You can easily cut polyethylene with scissors after measuring the length you need. Once you’ve measured them to fit your outdoor pipes, you can quickly and easily fit the insulation around your pipes without tools or the need to drill any holes. You can insulate almost any size and type of pipe using this method.
2. Pipe Wrap Insulation
Another simple way to insulate your outdoor pipes is to use pipe wrap insulation. This comes in various materials, including flexible foam with rubber tape, foam and foil pipe tape, rubber pipe insulation tape, etc. You’ll attach the insulated wrap to one end of a wire and move it in a spiral manner over the whole pipe without leaving any gaps. Cut off the other end after successfully rolling the wrap over your entire outdoor pipe.
3. Faucet Covers
As surprising as it sounds, installing faucet covers on your pipes is also a good idea to prevent them from bursting. These are readily available at your local hardware store or online. Their purpose is not to insulate the pipes, rather to prevent them from rupturing in colder temperatures.
4. Heat Tape
Another excellent method to insulate your pipes is to use heat tapes. These tapes release a small amount of heat and prevent the pipes from freezing over. They regulate the water temperature inside your outdoor pipes, keeping them at a temperature range that won’t freeze. While this is a great way to insulate your pipes, it is one of the more expensive methods of pipe insulation.
5. Rubber Insulation
Rubber pipes expand and contract in response to temperature variations, preventing the issue of bursting. They are easy to install and durable.
6. Glass Wool
Commonly used in commercial buildings to distribute hot water and to control noise, glass wool is made of fibers in the form of glass filaments that prevent freezing.
7. Foam and Foil
There is also a flexible foam you can use that is lined with aluminum foil. It is placed over the pipes, securing them in place and protecting them from extreme temperature changes. Because it can withstand these temperature fluctuations, it’s a great way to avoid frozen pipes.
8. Mineral Wool
This type of insulation uses minerals to create an insulating cord. These mineral fibers are joined together to prevent freezing. They can also withstand hot temperatures since they are fire-resistant.
Contact a Professional for All Your Plumbing Needs
If you need help insulating your outdoor pipes as the colder temperatures set in, contact a reliable local Apple Valley plumber immediately for assistance!