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Installing Foam Insulation on Water Pipe

Updated July 20, 2017

Insulating your water pipes is important. Insulate the hot water pipes with foam pipe insulation to keep the water within the pipes warm This can keep your water warmer and save money, as it will allow you to lower the temperature on your water heater. Cold water pipes that run through uninsulated attics, basements and outside should be insulated in cold climates to keep them from freezing.

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  1. Measure the length of pipe to be insulated, using a measuring tape. Do not include in the length bends or fittings, as those must be insulated separately.

  2. Measure the length of foam pipe insulation you need and cut the foam with the knife. Lay the foam on the cutting surface and slice across the foam insulation with the knife until it's cut through.

  3. Open the foam pipe insulation at the break enough to push the insulation over the pipe. Squeeze the foam with your hands gently until it joins the break in the foam back together.

  4. Twist the pipe insulation downward so that the break in the foam is on the bottom of the pipe.

  5. Seal the break in the foam insulation with duct tape.

  6. Repeat steps 1 through 5 for each straight length of pipe to be insulated.

  7. Cut smaller sections of pipe insulation for bends, joints and fittings. Instead of using one piece of pipe insulation on a fitting, use two smaller pieces or more if necessary. Bend them around the area to be insulated, twist until the break in the insulation is facing downward and close the break with duct tape.

  8. Cover all hot water piping that you can access with the foam insulation and tape all seams. Cover all cold water piping in areas that are not heated and in danger of freezing. Tape all of these seams as well.

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Things You'll Need

  • Foam pipe insulation
  • Measuring tape
  • Utility knife or bread knife
  • Cardboard or plywood cutting surface
  • Duct tape

About the Author

Rebecca Dyes-Hopping began writing as a professional in 2010. Dyes-Hopping's writing expertise include home improvement projects as well as family and animals. Dyes-Hopping currently writes for eHow. Dyes-Hopping graduated from Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School with a certification in data processing in 1994.

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