How to insulate pipes?

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How to insulate pipes?

In our country with a rather harsh climate, accidents in water and sewage systems are becoming more frequent in the winter. Most of these problems result from the banal freezing of water in the pipes, which could easily have been prevented by warming the pipes in advance in some way. Therefore, in order for the pipes in your new home not to freeze in winter with the arrival of the first serious frosts, you need to take care of their proper insulation in the summer. Let's talk about how to insulate water and sewer pipes

How to insulate pipes in the ground?

The best way to protect the pipes in the ground from freezing is to lay them at a depth where the soil does not freeze even in the most severe frosts. However, given the fact that in the northern regions of the country the thickness of the freezing layer of soil reaches two meters, it is often technically impossible to lay pipes to such great depth. Therefore, pipes that are not deeply buried (or not buried at all) have to be protected from frost by other means, namely, to insulate them with some material or to heat pipes from the outside or from the inside.

How to insulate the pipe?

To protect water pipes from frost, these types of insulation are usually used:

  • glass wool;
  • detachable sheaths of polyurethane foam;
  • split foam casing;
  • cylindrical insulation made from basalt fiber;
  • A special cable, which is also classified as an insulant, but it would be more correct to call it a “heater” and isolate a separate type of protective materials.

In order to facilitate your final choice of a specific heater, we will tell about the features of using each of the above types of heaters, consider their main advantages and disadvantages.

Glass wool

This inexpensive heater is sold in thick sheets of large size,pipeswhich are first cut with a knife into strips of the desired length, and then they wrap a plumbing or sewer pipe with these strips. The main advantage of glass wool is its low density, which causes a very high thermal insulation properties of this heater. But at the same time, low density is also the main drawback of glass wool: due to the fact that wool has a very loose structure, the pipes warmed by it need to be additionally wrapped with roofing felt or fiberglass on top.Most often, glass wool is used for insulating metal-plastic pipes.

Polyurethane Covers

Made of polyurethane foam split shell builders are usually called shells. They are thick-walled hollow cylinders of meter length. Each shell is divided into two half-cylinders. On the side edges of these semi-cylinders there are protrusions and grooves, thanks to which they are interconnected. Manufacturers produce shells with different internal diameter. The inner diameter of the shell you need should correspond to the outer diameter of yourpipespipes.

The stores sell shells with different wall thicknesses. It is quite clear that the thicker the walls of the shell, the higher its insulating properties (and the more expensive it is). For heat insulation of pipe bends, figured shells are used, which are selected in accordance with the configuration of pipes. On pipes of a cover from polyurethane foam are fixed by means of special couplers. Such shells have almost no flaws - they are very strong, durable, moisture-proof, do not cause corrosion of pipes and they are very easy to mount.In addition, in case of damage to a pipe section, such a shell can be easily removed, and after repair it can be installed in its original place. Polyurethane shells can warm all types of pipes located in the ground and in rooms.

Polystyrene casing

Polystyrene shells have the same design as the shells frompipespolyurethane foam, so they are installed on the same principle. Polystyrene shells are also suitable for insulating all types of pipes, both in the ground and in the open air. The only difference in foam shells from shells made of polyurethane foam is in their somewhat lower strength. On the other hand, they are cheaper than polyurethane foam and for their installation no special screeds are needed - the foam shells are easily fixed with ordinary adhesive tape, and if desired, for greater strength such shells can be additionally covered with a special protective material on top.

Basalt Fiber Insulation

Cylinders made of basalt fiber are good in all respects - they are almost eternal, suitable for all types of pipes, they are very easy to install, they have high heat-shielding properties.The only drawback of basalt cylinders is their high cost.

Heating cable

Such a special cable consisting of two wires (conductive and heated) is wrapped around the pipe or laid inside it. After being plugged in, the cable heats up and prevents the water in the pipe from freezing. Heating cablepipescontrols the thermostat built into the heating system. This cable can be used for heating pipes located both in the open air and underground. Thanks to reliable insulation, it is absolutely safe, and its shell is made of materials harmless to humans.

If you are currently busy repairing or insulating water pipes, it may be useful for you to find out how plastic pipes are soldered.