Are you residing in a cold region, or do you have crawl spaces, attics or other cold places in your house? Did you know how to insulate PEX pipe in crawl space?
PEX pipes are flexible hollow tubes used for water piping, radiant heating and cooling, insulating electric cables, snow and ice melting systems and many other purposes.
Today PEX pipes are often chosen over other traditional types of pipes like PVC, copper and others due to their extensive properties like durability, flexibility, chemical resistance, corrosion resistant and many more. If you own a house with crawl spaces, learning to insulate PEX pipes in crawl spaces may pay off one day, especially during winter.
Many people believe PEX pipes are safe, especially those with houses, including crawl spaces since they are installed outside. Unfortunately, this is not true. It is better and safer to take a precautionary step like insulation of PEX pipes irrespective of the place they are installed.
This article will cover some of your important questions, from learning the importance of insulating PEX pipes in crawl spaces to the best ways to insulate PEX pipes and many more.
Keep scrolling your pages down to find answers to all those questions!
Why Is Insulation Important For PEX Pipes In A Crawl Space?
Crawl spaces receive less heat as they are underground, which could worsen, especially during winter. Insulating PEX pipes will keep your house safe from any potential damage and is less expensive than repairing the pipes when damaged.
If PEX pipes freeze due to less heat inside and the temperature outside decreases to 20 degrees Fahrenheit ( -6 degrees Celsius) or below, they can explode and cause extensive damage, costing you a lot to repair.
The International Plumbing Code also recommends insulating PEX pipes in crawl spaces for two reasons, one is for safety and to prolong their durability.
How Does Insulation Help Prevent The Freezing Of PEX Pipes In A Crawl Space?
PEX pipes in crawl spaces will freeze unless heat remains inside. One way to prevent PEX pipes from freezing is by insulating them.
Insulation is a process that prevents the conduction of heat or sound from one place to another. It is also one of the best ways to conserve energy as it prevents heat from entering outside during summer; in winter, it helps reduce heat from being released.
A crawl space traps less heat as they are vented, allowing air to flow from out. During winter, cold air flows into the space lowering the indoor temperature. Therefore, if you have PEX pipes installed here, they can easily freeze and trap the material inside the pipe.
Insulating the PEX pipes can prevent heat loss and trap the heat inside the space, eventually protecting the pipes from freezing.
How To Insulate PEX Pipes In A Crawl Space?
The first thing you need to know is that PEX pipes can be insulated on your own since obtaining the services of an electrician or a maintenance specialist can be expensive.
Now that you have understood the importance of insulating PEX pipes in a crawl space, Let’s learn how to do it yourself.
It is recommended to use foam pipe sleeves to insulate the PEX pipes. Foam pipe sleeves can prevent the freezing of water supply pipes and minimize heat loss from heating systems.
By following eight simple steps, you will be done with the insulation of PEX pipes in your house’s crawl spaces.
First, clean the pipes, removing all traces of dirt, oil and moist condensation from the surface. Avoid using the same cloth for recurrent wipes.
Next, carefully note the side the foam sleeve can be opened and use that side to place the sleeves on the PEX pipes.
In the third step, you must turn the foam sleeve so that the slit or open side faces upwards.
An adhesive tape inside the sleeve sticks the sleeve firmly onto the pipe. Locate the adhesive tape and take it off.
Once the adhesive tape is removed, push the sleeve’s seams to seal the insulation.
You can apply the same procedure until you reach the end of the pipe and have covered the entire surface.
Remember to cement the two ends of the sleeve using contact cement. Once the contact cement is put in, press the two ends for at least 30 seconds to ensure it is plastered tightly.
Following these eight simple steps will save you money, time and the hassle of repairing a cracked or a burst pipe. After all, insulation is the best way to save energy and prevent pipes from freezing during winter.
What Is The Best Way To Insulate PEX Pipes?
The recommended way to insulate PEX pipes is the radiant barrier insulation method. There are many ways to insulate PEX pipes, including the foam sleeve insulation method; however, the radiant barrier insulation method is cost-effective, flexible, durable and reduces heat loss.
The radiant barrier insulation works two ways. During extremely hot conditions, the radiant barrier insulation method will prevent heat from outside from entering the house by reflecting the heat. Similarly, when the weather is cooler during winter, the radiant barrier will prevent heat from leaving the inside of the house so that the house stays warmer due to the trapped heat.
Though the radiant barrier insulation method is the best way to insulate PEX pipes, foam sleeve insulation is popular today as it can be done independently following eight simple steps. This method is better when it comes to energy efficiency and smaller homes.
However, you can choose which method suits you best or get the expertise of a professional who offers free consultations and services to suit your budget and preferences.
How Long Does The Insulation On PEX Pipes In A Crawl Space Last?
This question does not have an inaccurate answer. However, we already know that insulation will enable PEX pipes to last longer as it prevents freezing and water condensation on pipes.
Generally, PEX pipes can be used for 25 to 40 years, and if insulated, they should last longer. The longevity of insulation differs according to the type of insulation used on the PEX pipes.
Foam or spray foam insulation is durable and can last for decades. Similarly, radiant barrier insulation can last 80 to 100 years, provided it is installed correctly. Additionally, other types of insulation, including fiberglass and cellulose, last around 15 to 20 years depending on how they are maintained.
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