HOW TO INSULATE PIPES – Plumbing Tips
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This video will tell you how to install pipe insulation neatly and successfully. No more frozen pipes and inefficient heating systems!
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Holler and welcome to today’s Plumberparts.co.uk video. Today we’re gonna have a look at insulating pipes, specifically outside pipes. Cuz if you can insulate successfully an outdoor pipe then you can pretty much do all the ones in your loft or under your floor that go to the radiators. Let’s first have a quick think about why you insulate pipes.
Firstly if they’re outside it’s to prevent them from freezing and also it’s to create efficiency in the system. So you’ve got some radiator pipes going under the floor or through the loft, you don’t want those pipes to be emitting heat into that area before they get to the radiator which is your heat emitter. So you insulate those pipes to make the system a lot more efficient. Let’s have a look at one of the worst insulating jobs I’ve ever come across. Shocking, huh? Dreadful, heinous, disgusting, tepid. Possibly some of the worst insulating I’ve ever seen. Right so we’ve established that the insulating that’s there at the moment is really not very good. It’s pretty bad, there’s pipes that are bare, all of the gaffer tape that they’ve used to put on the insulation has come away. Also the insulation they’ve used itself, called Climaflex which is a silvery-gray kind of substance, is not really suitable for being outside. It will survive for a year or two but then it gets to the point where if you touch it it just falls apart. What you actually have to use is another type which in the UK we call Armaflex which is black, looks like this. This is Armaflex here. As you see it’s a lot more rubbery, a lot more spring, and also very importantly it’s completely waterproof. To be honest this is a very very good insulation. I recommend you use this for indoor and outdoor applications it is slightly more expensive though. Also when you’re doing any kind of insulating there’s got to be a great way of actually fitting the insulation together. We use a special type of sellotape, it’s insulating sellotape, it’s water resistant, it can go outside and it doesn’t come off like gaffer tape does after a few years. But you could also use tie wraps if you don’t tighten them up too far, cuz if you do tighten them up too much it will just cut into the insulation. So there’s many ways of attaching some insulation together. Let’s have a look at doing say an L-join and a T-join nice and neatly and effectively so you don’t lose heat and your pipes don’t freeze. So first up, safely with a knife, just cut away all the old insulation and basically clear up the pipe. So let’s firstly have a look at this special joint here called a mitre joint. That is when you have a piece of pipe coming up here and a piece of pipe coming across and you want to insulate those but have a nice neat mitre joint on there that you can tape up and look good and it will still insulate the pipe successfully. First thing we do is get yourself a small hacksaw or a small fine-bladed saw like we’ve got here and cut your insulation. Now I always cut just a small piece that acts as a guide piece for how big you’re gonna be. Now you know, because this guide piece sticks out that far, you know exactly how much to cut off that width there. So we’re gonna cut off so it’s nice and tight to about here. And just cut that nice and easy like that. Now what I do is marry these up together like that. Make sure you’ve got the slit on the side where you want it. Using this width here, you’ll know that now you can cut diagonal down there like so. So now we have our diagonal. So now we’ve got this in place, get ourselves some of this sellotape and just run that around here just to hold that in place nicely. Now we’re gonna join this piece that comes up here. Remember we’ve got our guide piece here for a width so we know exactly where to cut our mitre. Just remember if you’ve got any joints further down the pipe you need to take into consideration the length that you cut your insulation at, okay? So I’m just gonna cut another mitre on this, we’ll put this bit on there and then I’ll show you how to tape up the mitre joint. So this piece just goes on here like so. Now before I show you exactly how to tape up this particular mitre joint, get yourself all your tape and just like you’re wrapping Christmas presents, cut a load of lengths off all about five or six inches long so they’re all ready for you to use.