What is the importance of pipe insulation?

By "Apollo" Valves
August 21, 2018

If you live in a cold climate, you know the importance of having insulation in your home’s attics and walls. What you may not know is how beneficial pipe insulation can be to your piping and valve systems. Adding a layer of insulation to valve and piping assemblies - whether in your house or a commercial facility - offers plenty of benefits.

Preventing the freezing of water in pipes

The freezing of water in pipes in icy, cold environments is one of the most serious threats to un-insulated pipes. When temperatures drop below the freezing point of water, any standstill water in the piping system could freeze. This results in the water expanding, leading to the formation of tiny cracks that can break open or burst.

Pipe insulation increases the time required for freezing to occur, which reduces the risk of water in pipes turning into ice and causing damage to the system. Plus, the cost of insulating piping and valve systems is minute compared to the cost of repairing damage from burst pipes.

Controlling condensation on the pipe surface

If your home or commercial property is in a region with below-ambient temperatures, it is possible for water vapor to condense on your pipe’s surface. This condensation can lead to corrosion and rust, causing serious damage to your piping and valve systems over time. Insulation can help prevent condensation by acting as a barrier that prevents it from forming on the pipe surface and reacting with metal.

Reducing your energy costs

When there are huge temperature differences between the pipe (and its contents) and the surrounding environment, considerable heat gain and loss can occur. In cold climates, hot water in the piping system will tend to lose heat to the surrounding atmosphere; in hot climates, cold water in the pipe system tends to heat up. This results in extra energy costs to make up for gained or lost energy.

Pipe insulation helps minimize heat gain and heat loss in such areas, thus reducing the energy costs needed to maintain the required piping system temperatures.

Acting as a safety barrier

In industrial applications where most piping systems operate at extremely low or high temperatures, there is potential danger in touching the piping when it’s too hot or too cold. Adding a layer of insulation to the piping system helps protect workers and anyone else against burns or freezing when they come into contact with the piping. It acts as a safety barrier.

Reducing noise in piping systems

Noise in piping systems that are un-insulated is rampant. When noise travels through pipework, it is transferred to the surrounding structures such as walls and can cause significant disturbances. This is particularly problematic in areas such as commercial buildings that require a quiet environment. Pipe insulation acts as a dampener that prevents this sound transfer and also reduces the noise of the substance moving through the piping system.

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