Insulate your hot water pipes

I mentioned in our post "Drain your water heater, increase efficiency" how I noticed that the copper pipe delivering hot water from the tank to my house was exposed.  My solution follows:

1. Went to the hardware store (Home Depot) and spent $2.46 on some 3/4" copper pipe insulation

2. Spent 2 minutes installing it.

3. Gave some to my neighbor so he could do the same

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Is there a reason for just wrapping the copper pipe part, and leaving the brass joints at the top exposed?
You should also insulate the cold pipe. In humid environments water will condense on that pipe and then cause corrosion. We have a lot of exposed horizontal pipes in our half finished basement and before we insulated BOTH hot and cold pipes we had water dripping off the cold pipe in the hot/humid part of the summer. That water was pooling on the floor and damaging the carpet and wood flooring.
Yep! Also, heat escapes up the cold pipe as well, unless you have heat traps on the unit. Unfortunately heat will keep traveling up the hot pipe past your insulation... but it looks like you can't reach further. Heat traps would help, as would an "s-shaped" bend in the hot pipe (really just another heat trap). Newer units often come with the overpressure valve insulated as well. I have heard that you shouldn't put the foam insulation too close to the draft hood; on mine I used fiberglass wrap and aluminum tape in that area, but *shrug* I've seen it done both ways....
ckmapawatt's picture
I never even thought about that Guy, good feedback!
ckmapawatt's picture
My own laziness....
I would be concerned about the flammability of the insulation. It is close to the exhaust. You really are not gaining much since the pipe travels much further un-insulated through your house walls and loses heat. That is why you need to run the hot water for awhile to get hot in the shower. Tankless water heaters located in the bathrooms are much more efficient since they do not heat and reheat unused water all day and night. Plus the heated water distance is much less.
ckmapawatt's picture
Great points. I wrote about<a href="" rel="nofollow"> tankless water heaters</a> awhile back. Since we already had a fairly efficient water heater, I don't think I could justify the cost of a demand water heater, and I'm not sure I'd see the ROI.
There are more standby losses eared the tank though, unless you have good heat traps. And when it is running you lose heat fastest where the water is hottest... Near the tank. Heat-safe insulation would be good right up to the tank I think...

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