Saving Water

Recommended Pipe Insulation R Values

February 21, 2020

Insulating your water pipes helps reduce heat loss and may raise the water temperature by two to four degrees, and in addition, it can help prevent freezing. Insulation varies in R-value, but there are recommendations that are designed to ensure you’ll find energy savings.

Minimum Recommended R-Value

The U.S. Department of Energy recommends insulating hot water pipes with a minimum R-value of 3. But, as stated by the Bonneville Power Administration, in case you are insulating with fiberglass batt insulation, a minimum R-value of 7 is suggested. For the energy savings, pay for. The first 3 feet of water pipe out of water inlet valve should also be insulated to prevent damage brought on by frozen pipes if temperatures fall below freezing.

Best Alternatives

So the sleeves or tubes fit easily across the pipes, preformed foam tubes or sleeves are suggested for heating hot water pipes, since regular foam insulation has a slit on both sides. These are taped into fasten them to your pipes. Thick foam pipe insulation, which can be 5/8 inch thick, has an R-value of 4, although foam pipe insulation is 3/8 inch thick using an R-value of two. Self-sealing foam insulation sleeves with R-values of 2 and 3 are also available. These have an adhesive strip along the slit so you can seal the sliced after installation without the use of tape.

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