Saturday, June 2, 2012

Insulating Hot Water Pipes

Hot water flows from our hot water heaters to our faucets and shower heads.  Each inch of uninsulated pipe is a slight loss of heat.  Insulating your hot water pipes could raise your hot water temp as much as 4 degrees, allowing you to lower the temperature setting on your hot water heater.  In addition, this can reduce the amount of water that you let flow as you wait for it to heat up.

You can buy a number of types of insulation including tape strips, fiberglass insulation, or styrofoam.  Measure the amount of exposed pipe (pipe you can get at), and the diameter of each section.  Go to a place like Lowes or Home Depot, or buy online HERE.

Insulating your hot water pipes reduces heat loss and can raise water temperature 2ºF–4ºF hotter than uninsulated pipes can deliver, allowing for a lower water temperature setting. You also won't have to wait as long for hot water when you turn on a faucet or showerhead, which helps conserve water.

Insulate all accessible hot water pipes, especially within 3 feet of the water heater. It's also a good idea to insulate the cold water inlet pipes for the first 3 feet. Use quality pipe insulation wrap, or neatly tape strips of fiberglass insulation around the pipes. Pipe sleeves made with polyethylene or neoprene foam are the most common.  Match the pipe size to the inner diameter size of the foam.  Use tie straps to close the foam over the pipe.

On gas water heaters, keep insulation at least 6 inches from the flue. If pipes are within 8 inches of the flue, your safest choice is to use fiberglass pipe-wrap (at least 1-inch thick) without a facing. You can use either wire or aluminum foil tape to secure it to the pipe.

More info can be found at:

They say that every 10 degree water temperature drop saves up to 5 percent of your energy bill.  By this math, a 4 degree reduction could equate to a 2% reduction in energy cost.  This may not seem like much, but a household with the following heating bills
would save some money:

In this example, you save $48 per year.


The Frugal Maestro



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