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Water Pipe Insulation: Is It Worth It in Your Home?

Wednesday, November 25th, 2015

Today’s green movement has many homeowners asking, “Is water pipe insulation worth the trouble?” The short answer is yes. Insulated water pipes increase energy efficiency, lowering your energy use and reducing energy bills. Reducing your carbon footprint by using less energy is a step in the right direction for green living. In fact, according to the folks over at energy.gov, insulated water pipes delivers water to your fixtures between 2 and 4 degrees hotter than uninsulated pipes.

The obvious benefits are hotter water and reduced energy use and costs. Benefits that are less obvious include shorter periods waiting for the hot water to reach your shower, which results in less water being washed down the drain. Therefore, not only does water pipe insulation conserve energy but also helps to conserve one of our most precious natural resources: water.

Another hidden benefit of water pipe insulation involves the cold water supply lines. People living in regions subjected to freezing temperatures can probably figure this one out on their own. Insulating both your hot and cold water pipes is paramount to avoid burst pipes during the winter months, especially pipes that are exposed to the freezing temperatures. A burst water pipe can cause untold water damage to your home — damage that will have you kicking yourself if you could have avoided it by simply protecting your pipes from the freezing temperatures.

The cost of water pipe insulation materials is, for the most part, inexpensive. Neoprene and polyethylene foam pipe sleeves are the easiest and most common material used for water pipe insulation. The materials are sold at most home improvement centers as well as local hardware stores and plumbing supply houses. While the materials may be inexpensive, installing them can be quite labor intensive, so it’s recommended that you call a professional plumber. Accessing your water pipes usually requires entering confined areas of your home such as crawl spaces, basements and attics. Unless you are building a new house, you will not have access to all of the applicable water supply lines as some of them are sure to be enclosed in walls. For these, a good rule of thumb to follow is that whenever you open up a wall and have access to your water supply lines such as during a bathroom or kitchen renovation, you insist that your plumbing contractor insulate the water supply pipes, both hot and cold, while they are exposed.

For answers to your questions, contact The Pink Plumber today.