How To Insulate Your Hot Water Pipes Against Cold Weather

With winter in gear and cold in the air, a hot shower is more of a luxury than ever. However, with the cold weather outside, it can take forever for the shower to heat up, and this not only raises your frustration but your energy bill as well.

Heating water in your home is one of the largest parts of the average homeowner’s energy bill, and uninsulated hot water pipes can cause hot water to lose several degrees as it travels between your hot water heater and the shower or faucet. This can quickly add up, particularly during the winter, as your pipes face the brutal cold.

Fortunately, there is a simple solution, insulating your hot water pipes. This protects the water in your pipes from shedding heat as it travels through your pipes and means your shower will take less time to heat up, particularly if your shower is not near the hot water heater. Here is how to get started.

How To Insulate Your Pipes

Insulating your homes exposed hot water pipes is easy, straightforward, and can generally be accomplished in only a few hours. This can be more difficult if your pipes are behind walls or otherwise difficult to access. In these cases, you may want to leave the job to a professional. Here is how you can insulate your pipes.

Step 1: Measure

Before buying a load of insulation, you will want to take measurements of all the pipes you intend to insulate. Take down measurements of the outside diameter of the pipes so you know what inside diameter of insulation is required to fit snugly around each pipe.

Next, take down the length of each pipe to determine how much insulation will be required to insulate your pipes. It is easiest to start from the water heater and work your way out to each faucet and shower.

Step 2: Purchase Materials

With your measurements down, it is time to pick up the materials you will need. First of all, this includes the insulation for your pipes which can be acquired at just about any home improvement store.

For electric water heaters, inexpensive neoprene and polyethylene foam are great options that can get the job done quite effectively. For gas water heaters, you will want to ensure that you choose non-flammable insulation such as fiberglass pipe wrap. For pipes within eight inches of the flue, you will want to choose fiberglass pipe wrap without a facing material.

You will also need to pick up material to secure the insulation in place, and for electric water heaters, duct tape, cable ties, or acrylic tape will work just fine. For gas water heaters, non-flammable options such as wire or aluminum foil tape are good options.

Cut and Install

Before cutting, check the pipes that you will be insulating and ensure they are clean. If not, give them a quick wipe-down. Then measure everything one more time to ensure you avoid wasting materials.

Once you are ready, start cutting your insulation to size. A good pair of scissors or a utility knife can get the job done. If you are going to be cutting fiberglass insulation, make sure to wear long sleeves, pants, gloves, and eye protection.

Once cut, simply slip the insulation over the pipes and then affix it in place with your chosen fastener, whether it is tape, wire, or a cable tie every few feet. Continue until each pipe is thoroughly insulated.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to your hot water pipes, a little bit of insulation goes a long way to keeping your showers warm and your energy bills low. Adding insulation around your home’s exposed hot water pipes is easy for the average homeowner to do and relatively inexpensive. For less accessible pipes, you can always hire an expert to install additional insulation to further help your energy efficiency.

Contact Us

For help with all of your home or business’s plumbing and heating needs, contact J Griffin Heating & Plumbing. Our plumbing and heating professionals have over thirty years of experience with plumbing and heating services and are ready to help you today. Call us at 781-520-1212 and connect with us on Facebook.