Anyone who lives in a cold climate knows the benefits of insulation in attics and walls. What many people might not know about is that pipe insulation is a beneficial addition to protect and improve piping of solar water heating systems.
Before You Start
Determine the type of insulation material you want to use, how much you will need (length of the pipes), and the size of the pipe (match the pipe sleeve's inside diameter to the pipe's outside diameter for a snug fit).
SUS304 corrugated pipe, insulation layer from your hardware store
Brass nut and spacer
Tape measure, PE Anti-ultraviolet tape
Stainless steel shear and compactors
Copper connectors for pipelines like three way connectors, direct connection and hot ball valves
Headlamp or light if working in crawl space or dark area
Step by Step Instructions
1. Measure the pipes.
Starting at the solar water heater, measure lengths of insulation needed to cover all accessible hot water pipes.
2. Cut the corrugated pipe and insulation to the lengths needed, burrs at the end surface of corrugated pipe should be cleared.
3. Corrugated pipe making, please must beat out three circles. Beat out three circles is for strong connection, to prevent leakage from pipeline high pressure.
4. All pipes can be raised to a height of 20cm to prevent rain from getting wet.
5. Do not do the insulation at the joints. When the system test is successful, then finish the insulation at the connecting part. But you can put on insulation layer to non joints of pipes.
6. When the system test is completed, please add EPDM on the insulation layer.
Advantages of pipe insulation
Condensation on the pipe surface can lead to corrosion or rust, a very damaging problem. In humid and wet environments, pipe insulation can act as a barrier preventing the condensation from forming on the piping and reacting with the metal.
When the temperature differential between the pipe (and the pipe’s contents) and the ambient air is significant, the heat loss and gain from the piping can be considerable. In cold spaces, hot water in the piping system will lose heat and in hot air, cold water in the pipe heats up. Adding a layer of insulation will minimize the heat loss, gain cycle and prevent wasting energy to make up for lost or gained energy.
In industrial applications piping can be operating at extremely low or high temperatures. There is potential danger in touching the piping if it is too hot or too cold. Insulation protects workers against burns from inadvertently coming in contact with the piping. Insulation brings a piping and valve system into a safe range for workers.
Insulating your hot water pipes reduces heat loss and can raise water temperature hotter than uninsulated pipes can deliver, allowing you to lower your water temperature setting. You also won't have to wait as long for hot water when you turn on a faucet or showerhead, which helps conserve water.
Paying for someone to insulate your pipes—as a project on its own—may not make economic sense. But having the insulation done during new construction of a home, during other work on your solar water heater or pipes, or insulating the pipes yourself, is well worth the effort. In special cases, the distance traveled by the pipes is far (solar collectors to water storage tank, then water storage tank to user side), the pipes are exposed to very cold air (in which case they should be insulated anyway to prevent freezing), and if the household uses a lot of water, much higher energy savings can be obtained. In these cases, cost savings may offset paying for someone to do the job for you.