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#4636142 - 01/15/18 08:05 PM Does wrapping pipes do any good?
motor_oil_madman Offline


Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 4838
Loc: Houston, Texas
I've never understood this. Keeping it out of the wind isn't going to keep it warmer. This goes back to that engineering 101 thing where wind chill wont cool something cooler than ambient air temp.
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#4636146 - 01/15/18 08:11 PM Re: Does wrapping pipes do any good? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
Papa Bear Offline


Registered: 08/11/05
Posts: 7046
Loc: Leamington, ON, Canada ..... r...
Does putting on a blanket on a cool evening keep you warm?
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#4636147 - 01/15/18 08:11 PM Re: Does wrapping pipes do any good? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
Chris142 Online   content


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16809
Loc: Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Works here where it does not get that cold. Mid 20s or so. Once into the teens they freeze anyway.
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#4636148 - 01/15/18 08:12 PM Re: Does wrapping pipes do any good? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
motor_oil_madman Offline


Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 4838
Loc: Houston, Texas
Yes but I'm a human. A pipe isn't going to create it's own heat.


Edited by motor_oil_madman (01/15/18 08:13 PM)
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#4636154 - 01/15/18 08:19 PM Re: Does wrapping pipes do any good? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
walterjay Offline


Registered: 04/12/09
Posts: 234
Loc: Maryland
Just remember that if the pipe freezes with insulation on it, the icey pipe is insulated and will take longer to thaw. Pipe insulation may slow down freezing but just try to keep the area above 32. And seal areas where wind can get in.

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#4636156 - 01/15/18 08:21 PM Re: Does wrapping pipes do any good? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
madRiver Offline


Registered: 07/11/15
Posts: 3531
Loc: New England
Wrapping pipes is typically done for insulation from freezing or in my basement helps with heat loss,

I wil flip the question back, does insulation in your home help?

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#4636157 - 01/15/18 08:21 PM Re: Does wrapping pipes do any good? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
mrsilv04 Offline


Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 8262
Loc: Illinois
I was required to cover the exposed plumbing in my garage, by the local building inspector. Apparently there's something to it.
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#4636158 - 01/15/18 08:22 PM Re: Does wrapping pipes do any good? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
ammolab Offline


Registered: 01/16/06
Posts: 995
Loc: Ruidoso, NM USA
The pipe and its contents are connected to warmer areas: the ground, your house, the water heater etc. the insulation keeps the heat loss down within the pipe from these areas and yes, can prevent freezing.
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#4636160 - 01/15/18 08:23 PM Re: Does wrapping pipes do any good? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
tig1 Offline


Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 13655
Loc: Illinois
If you have a problem with freezing pipes, then wrap the pipe with heat tape and then cover that with pipe insulation. That will protect the pipe down to below zero.
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#4636165 - 01/15/18 08:26 PM Re: Does wrapping pipes do any good? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
Dyusik Offline


Registered: 09/26/14
Posts: 1978
Loc: US-WA
Wind chill refers to loss of heat over time, not final temperature. So, yes, insulation will lower the chilling factor, wind or not.
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#4636192 - 01/15/18 09:05 PM Re: Does wrapping pipes do any good? [Re: madRiver]
earlyre Offline


Registered: 11/22/11
Posts: 3857
Loc: Lima, Ohio, USA
Originally Posted By: madRiver
Wrapping pipes is typically done for insulation from freezing or in my basement helps with heat loss,

I wil flip the question back, does insulation in your home help?


yes, before we wrapped the hot waterlines in the basement, it would take what felt like minutes to get hot water to the kitchen sink, or the master bath(opposite ends of the house, heater in the middle)
now, it can still take 30 seconds, but... it's much... faster....
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#4636198 - 01/15/18 09:13 PM Re: Does wrapping pipes do any good? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
eyeofthetiger Offline


Registered: 11/18/17
Posts: 683
Loc: South Carolina
I love my insulated pipes. I just did all of them two weeks ago.
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#4636199 - 01/15/18 09:13 PM Re: Does wrapping pipes do any good? [Re: tig1]
blupupher Offline


Registered: 08/27/04
Posts: 4414
Loc: Katy, Republic of Texas
Originally Posted By: tig1
If you have a problem with freezing pipes, then wrap the pipe with heat tape and then cover that with pipe insulation. That will protect the pipe down to below zero.

It is a "problem" here once every 2-3 years.
Houston will be below freezing for almost 36 hours starting tomorrow morning, which is a long time here.
Most homes here have water service coming up out of the ground and entering the house on the outside of the house.
There is usually a 2-3 foot section of pipe that has no insulation at all, just a bare metal pipe.

Insulating the pipe allows the pipe to hold the heat within it better, increasing the amount of time it takes it to freeze.
Same reason some leave a faucet dripping, keeps "warmer" water flowing through the pipe, reducing the chance of freezing.

Me personally, I have foam insulation around outside exposed pipes for most cold nights, then when it is really cold (like the next 2 days) I take a shop light (an old school incandescent, not LED) and hang it from the spigot, wrap a towel around it, and cover it with a box. Temp stays in the mid 50's in there (have a remote thermometer I stuck in it last time) even in the mid 20's.

When I was a kid, my dad would turn the water off then drain all the pipes that run in the attic.

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#4636206 - 01/15/18 09:20 PM Re: Does wrapping pipes do any good? [Re: blupupher]
tig1 Offline


Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 13655
Loc: Illinois
I know someone that protects their incoming water line in their 32 ft camper they live in year round here in Illinois. The heat tape-pipe insulation deal works great for them. We have had several nights this winter well below 0 F with no problems with pipe freeze up.

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#4636214 - 01/15/18 09:37 PM Re: Does wrapping pipes do any good? [Re: motor_oil_madman]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20444
Loc: Upstate NY
If for example its a baseboard heating pipe going through an unheated crawl space, then wrapping the pipe will prevent heat loss and the hot water will arrive hotter at the baseboard.
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