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How To Insulate Pipes With Tubular Insulation Sleeves

Randy R. of Indianapolis, IN wrote:

Hey Itchy,

I need to insulate my water pipes. I got lucky when they froze last winter and they didn't break. How do you install the tubular sleeve insulation on water pipes? I need to prevent them from freezing.

You can buy the sleeve insulation at any home improvement store. Measure your pipes first. You'll need to know the diameter of the water pipes to be insulated. You'll also need to measure the total length of the pipes. Make sure you buy your preformed pipe insulation with a value of at least

Clean any dirt and rust from the pipes and allow to dry. You don't have to get too carried away with this cleaning business but make sure you get most of the debris off so the sleeves will insulate your pipes better.

Start at one end of the water pipe and work your way down. These insulating sleeves have slits in them. Simply open it and attach to the pipes.



If you measured you diameter correctly it will have a snug fit. Continue measuring to the desired length, cutting the sleeves and wrapping the insulation around the pipes. You most likely will encounter some bends or corners in the plumbing and you will have to make adjustments by cutting angles into the pipe wrap.

Once you have all of the pipes insulated with the sleeves, break out a roll of duct tape. Apply the tape to all of the slits and areas where cuts were made. Make sure every cut or slit is completely covered with duct tape. You'll also need tape each area where the insulated sleeves join each other. This is important as it will give it a good seal.

Photo Courtesy of U.S. DOE


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