Are you worried about freezing in the next winter? Every one of us know that winter visits us annually and there is nothing much we can do to stop it. We can enjoy the fun activities like creating a snow man and other sporting activities. We also get some negative effects too! The weather gets extremely cold and it freezes in some states. The cold freezes the pex pipes buried outside and those installed inside in uninsulated spaces in the attic, claw space and the basement.
It is imperative to insulate all your pex pipes as it gets you free from issues like frozen lines, heat losses which translates to lost money. Insulation gives best results on energy efficiency and it keeps many problems caused by moisture and condensation at bay.
Though extremely flexible when compared to other rigid pipes made of copper or PVC and highly resistant to temperature fluctuations, PEX is not freeze proof. With temperatures going below 20 degrees, PEX is prone to freezing when left uninsulated. One positive thing to note is that PEX is flexible and it allows some room for expansion under the damaging pressure that comes with ice formation. Rarely will the PEX pipe break when the water freezes inside, it simply stretches. Pex has very slim chances of Rupturing as a result of freezing.
The best insulating material for PEX pipes is the radiant barrier Insulation when compared with the foamy filled insulation.
Radiant Barrier Insulation versus Foam-Filled Insulation
There are several reasons why the radiant barrier insulation is considered better than the foam-filled insulation. Here are the reasons why you should consider radiant barrier insulation compared with the foam filled insulation.
- The foam-filled insulation has a chance of 25% more heat loss to the ground.
- The foamy filled insulated pipes become rigid and hard to work with. This increases the time and the overall cost of installation.
- The foam-filled insulation costs more when compared to the radiant barrier insulation.
How To Insulate a PEX Pipe at Home
You can insulate your PEX pipes at home without involving an expert by following the steps and techniques listed below.
Find Out Where The Pipes Are
You will first need to identify the areas where the pex pipes run through. This is not complicated if you know your home. In most cases the hot water pipes run through the interior walls of the piping. If the pipes were installed inside the house, make a point of ensuring that the interior temperatures of your house are warm to avoid freezing.
Manage all Outside Pipes
There are hot water pipes that you will find running outside. There are other purposes like the outside spigot that will require the running of cold water pipes outside.
You will need R3 pipe insulations for PEX pipes running outside the house and R4 pipes in extremely cold areas.
Open an Interior Faucet
Always leave a cold water faucet inside during a hard freeze which happens during negative temperatures to allow a trickle of water to come out.
This results in a better speed of freezing in the flowing water which eases the pressure on the piping walls.
Consider all Basements, Attics and Claw Spaces
There are areas that are very tricky to work in and it is important that you consider them during installation as this can cause possible weak areas. Areas that can easily be forgotten like the Jacuzzi PEX pipes need to be insulated too as they easily get damaged.
When possible consider installing PEX pipes that are already pre insulated as this will make it easier to manage.
Things To Consider Before Insulating Pipes
Before starting off the insulation projects, you will need to consider the following;
- The Sizing of the pipes
- The Insulation materials to be used
- Type of fitting such as continuous length type or foam pipe insulation.
- Remember to clean the pipes before you start of the process. Dirt will prevent effective glue sticking.
Insulating your PEX pipes should be a priority during installation. This will not only save you costs that come with water damage repairs but also ensure high levels of efficiency and energy conservation in your household.
Though the insulation project can be done easily at home, it is important to use the right materials and follow all the recommended steps for best results.