Pipe insulation, commonly referred to as lagging, is an efficient way of keeping heat inside your pipes and stopping cold air from invading. It’s a straightforward DIY project that could save you considerable money in the long run.
To start, measure the length of each pipe that needs lagged and purchase the appropriate size lagging. After that, it’s just a matter of fitting the laging onto each pipe.
Measure Your Pipes
Measurement is a vital step in any plumbing project, as inaccurate readings can lead to costly mistakes and wasted time. Whether measuring for a new water line or purchasing pipe fittings, accuracy in measurements ensures your work runs smoothly and precisely.
When measuring pipe size, there are several methods to choose from; each has its own advantages and drawbacks. For instance, the string method works great for finding your pipe’s diameter; however, it cannot accurately determine how long of a piece you require.
Another method is the caliper method. This requires using a caliper that’s slightly wider than your pipe’s outside diameter. Place it around your pipe and turn it until its jaws are touching either side of it.
Once you have measured the circumference of your pipe, divide it by pi (usually given as 3.1415). This gives you its diameter.
When measuring pipe diameter with a caliper, inches can be used; however, for use of a tape measure it’s better to convert the measurement to centimeters so you can round it off to the closest manufactured size.
In addition to the pipe’s diameter, you must also consider its schedule and pitch. These factors will determine how thickly clad your wall will be.
Schedules and pitches for your pipes can usually be found printed on their sides. However, if you’re uncertain, try searching for a pipe chart that will assist you in determining these values.
Once you have these measurements, you can determine the appropriate size of lagging. This will prevent your pipes from freezing and potentially causing major damage to your home. Furthermore, it helps reduce noise produced when water flows through them.
Buy Your Lagging
Finding the correct type of lagging to fit your pipes is essential for a successful insulation project. Ideally, purchase it from a DIY store or plumbing merchant who can assist you in selecting an appropriate type based on your home’s age and other factors.
Once you have your lagging, it’s time to cut it up and fit around the pipes. Doing this will keep the pipes warm, avoiding them from freezing and potentially bursting during cold weather.
Foam lagging can easily be cut with a sharp knife and some insulating tape. The foam should already be split along its length, so all that’s left for you to do is cut it to your desired length, open up the split, slot over pipe, and use tape to seal joint.
Foam lagging can also be fitted to pipes with a T-joint. Simply cut two pieces for each arm of the T into mitres and the upright into a point; these should fit together neatly at your pipes’ T-junction.
When installing lagging to your home’s hot water pipes, be sure to get the correct size lagging for each pipe. Doing so will prevent heat loss and help save on energy bills.
Similarly, if you’re installing hot water cylinders in your loft, laging the pipes that feed it will help prevent them from freezing and bursting during cold weather. Not only does this save money on installation costs, but it can also extend the life of your cylinder itself. Alternatively, laging outdoor taps also works to keep them from freezing in winter; though more expensive to purchase, the peace of mind it provides is worth every penny spent.
Cut Your Lagging
DIY enthusiasts will find laging your own pipes to be relatively straightforward, and it can help save money on utility bills by reducing heat loss from pipes in colder areas of your home. Furthermore, any unheated pipes located in garages, lofts or outside should also be lagged to avoid freezing which could cause pipe bursts.
When buying lagging, there are various lengths available. Match the length of your pipes to the lagging you purchase – most come in 1m or 2m lengths – but it’s wise to get some extra just in case any pipes don’t quite match perfectly.
Once you’ve selected the lagging that best fits your pipes, it’s time to cut it to size. Most lagging comes pre-split along its length, making fitting it around pipes a breeze. If not, open up the split using a craft knife and slot it over each pipe’s length. Finally, seal any joints with duct tape for an airtight fit and prevent air entering your insulation.
You can lag bends in your pipes using foam lagging, which is usually pre-split along its length. If you come across a pipe that requires fitting with a T-joint, simply cut two pieces of foam lagging for the arms into mitres and the upright piece into a point to form a mitre joint.
Prior to beginning your installation, double check that the lagging has been cut at an appropriate angle. Doing this can minimize gaps in insulation between sections and ensure a successful outcome.
Fit Your Lagging
Lagging your pipes is an essential step in keeping them from freezing and cutting back on energy costs. Additionally, it reduces noise and vibrations caused by freezing.
Pipes can be insulated in several ways, but the most popular way is with foam-based tubing which you cut and wrap around them. This cost-effective and straightforward option for insulate your pipes should be available from any good DIY shop.
When fitting pipe lagging, the most critical factor to remember is to match its length to that of the pipes you wish to insulate. Use a tape measure to accurately measure each pipe’s length and note this down; this will enable you to ensure the lagging fits perfectly on both bore size, length and wall thickness requirements.
Most lagging is sold in single, 1m or 2m lengths – more than enough to cover most piping. However, it’s wise to purchase a few extra lengths just in case.
As with any pipe insulation, you must ensure the lagging covers both the bore and wall of the pipe. This may be difficult when working with thin or curved pipes, so you may have to cut some lagging to fit around them.
It’s wise to select a lagging that can withstand cold temperatures and has a fire-resistant surface. Rockwool is your best bet if you’re concerned about fire safety, as it has the capacity to withstand temperatures of up to 700degC.
Once you’ve measured your pipes, purchase the appropriate lagging from any DIY store. Make sure to select one with a 25mm wall thickness – this is the standard thickness for water pipes and will offer maximum protection for most household water pipes.
Seal Your Lagging
Lagging is an affordable, straightforward way to keep your pipes insulated and protected from freezing. All you need to do is purchase some inexpensive foam-based tubing and wrap it around your pipes for protection.
Insulating your pipes not only keeps them warmer, but it makes them much quieter than without it. Uninsulated pipes are more vulnerable to frost damage and burst when frozen, leading to expensive repairs and potential flooding in your home.
Insulating hot water pipe runs can also help you save on energy costs. By decreasing temperature loss between your tank and tap, you won’t have to run your heater as long and conserve fuel consumption and money.
Furthermore, if your attic or garage contains central heating pipes, insulation may be necessary to protect them from freezing. This is especially crucial in areas of the home where temperatures tend to drop low – like loft spaces and unheated attic spaces.
It is wise to insulate any exposed pipes outside your house, since they are more vulnerable to freezing when temperatures drop. Doing so will prevent them from bursting and reduce energy costs in the long run.
Lagging comes in a range of materials and it is recommended that you visit your local DIY store or plumbing merchant to find the correct one for you. They will be able to advise on which type of lagging works best for your property’s age and needs.