Announcement

Announcement Module
Collapse
No announcement yet.

Insulation for Exterior Pipe

Page Title Module
Move Remove Collapse
X
Conversation Detail Module
Collapse
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Insulation for Exterior Pipe

    I'm in a generally warm climate but we are getting some very cold nights here and local news reports of frozen pipes and leaks, even in nearby Napa wine valley. Any suggestions on the best product for insulating the exterior pipe which contains the main shutoff valve and PRV valve (photo attached)? Should I use the standard foam insulation I see in all the hardware stores, or the insulating wrap-around tape I've heard of, or something else like a blanket?
    Attached Files

  • #2
    Re: Insulation for Exterior Pipe

    A blanket with a trash bag over it

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Insulation for Exterior Pipe

      Nice propress install.

      Even something as simple as a light bulb/ spot light, running next to it will help.

      Heat tape will be a simple fix too around those regulators.

      All else fails, leave the water running a little overnight.

      Rick.
      phoebe it is

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Insulation for Exterior Pipe

        Again, We're in the same hood . You want 3/4" iner foam and 3/4" wall thickness ,not 1/2" Use Allum.heat Tape to secure. Go to Rubinsteens Plumbing in San Rafael. Home Depot won't have the thicker wall. Tell Them Kevin sent You ! On 2nd look, Copper might be 1" , better measure
        Last edited by toolaholic; 12-06-2013, 01:23 PM.
        I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Insulation for Exterior Pipe

          Thanks for suggestions, which got me thinking. The challenge with this short length of pipe is that it has irregular surfaces (ball valve, PRV valve) and multiple widths.

          So I'm going to try one of the less common solutions and use bubble wrap (the kind used for packaging items for shipping) along with plastic zip ties. I can wrap it multiple times around the irregular surfaces, it's weatherproof, and I don't have to buy anything since I already have a bunch. Doesn't provide the same thermal protection as some other insulating materials, but it's so easy and cheap to apply, and should protect against cold wind.

          Tell me if you think I'm really going off the rails.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Insulation for Exterior Pipe

            Originally posted by AverageHomeowner View Post
            Thanks for suggestions, which got me thinking. The challenge with this short length of pipe is that it has irregular surfaces (ball valve, PRV valve) and multiple widths.

            So I'm going to try one of the less common solutions and use bubble wrap (the kind used for packaging items for shipping) along with plastic zip ties. I can wrap it multiple times around the irregular surfaces, it's weatherproof, and I don't have to buy anything since I already have a bunch. Doesn't provide the same thermal protection as some other insulating materials, but it's so easy and cheap to apply, and should protect against cold wind.

            Tell me if you think I'm really going off the rails.
            that will work fine, in My opinion
            I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Insulation for Exterior Pipe

              leave he water dripping or running and cover the pipe up with a blanket will probably work. a heat tape is good,

              In a deal like that build a small ply wood box and a light bulb will most likely work in your area,

              keep any wind off and keep what heat you have there in,

              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

              we have been at -10 at nights here for the last few days and I have let the faucets drip, and have not had any problems, (yes my pipes are inside but the crawl space is not heated, also leaving cupboard door open under the sinks in colder areas.
              Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
              attributed to Samuel Johnson
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Insulation for Exterior Pipe

                After checking more on the bubble wrap solution, I learned that bubble wrap is used as a temporary DIY solution to insulate single-pane windows during the winter. But bubble wrap is not considered a proper insulation product with an R value that gives you an indication of how well it prevents heat transfer. Although I've found rough estimates/guesses that one sheet of bubble wrap has an R value of approx 1. A couple wraps around the pipe and this sure beats nothing.

                But I decided to use a proper insulating product and create a "poor mans" thermal pouch. I purchased a small roll of fiberglass insulation (R value = 3) and cut pieces to fit in a large plastic bag. I sealed the end of the bag with plastic tape (Gorilla tape) to make it weatherproof. I made a couple of these and simply wrapped them around the pipe and secured with plastic zip ties.

                It's ugly, but functional. I live in a condo where the HOA is responsible for exterior plumbing, so I asked the property manager for permission before applying the insulation.

                This winter will be an interesting test to see if they remain watertight so I can reuse them next year. If they don't hold up to the weather, it's back to the bubble wrap for next season.

                Thanks for the replies to my question which got me thinking about various solutions. In particular, Tool made me realize that foam has different R values based on the wall thickness. And suggestions to let the water drip on extremely cold nights is a good idea to resist freezing.
                Attached Files

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Insulation for Exterior Pipe

                  Hey Neighbor, I see 2 old Gate valve shut offs on Your 2 neighbors , And none on Yours ? Do You have a newer full port ball valve inside , Maybe Garage ? Opps that's the pretty blond in #13 ! I can fix Hers, You're on Your own !
                  I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Insulation for Exterior Pipe

                    Tool, you have a good eye! My PRV valve failed a few years ago. When it was replaced, the plumber educated me about the difference between gate valves and ball valves, and he recommended to replace my fragile old gate valve with a new durable ball valve while he was working on it. I agreed, so there's a ball valve hiding under that insulation.

                    One of my neighbors had their replacement done sometime later. My other two neighbors still have the original gate valves that were installed when the complex was built in the mid-80's.

                    Comment

                    Working...
                    X