Winter is coming - time to insulate
The shops are playing Christmas songs and the festive lights are going up. Yes it’s that time again. Early autumn.
While some people make preparations for Christmas day too soon in the year there are some preparations that everyone should be making for the winter time that get left far too late. Making sure that your water supply is secure by insulating to prevent pipe freezing should be the very top of your list and is something that you should definitely check twice.
Snow is falling, all around us
The cold, freezing winter weather takes its toll on everything but water pipes are particularly vulnerable. As water freezes it expands and the pressure increase inside confined pipes can cause fittings and fixtures to burst.
Some pipes are far more prone to experience freezing than others. Smaller pipes hold a much smaller volume of water – so freezing takes place more quickly. Pipes with many tight bends or ‘dead legs’ often feature slower flow rates and also allow freezing to take place far more quickly.
When you’re sleeping…
Contrary to what you may initially assume – the colder temperatures occurring overnight are only part of the reason why cold water pipes freeze. One of the most devastating things about pipe freezing is that it most often happens overnight. Many homeowners wake up in the morning after a good night’s sleep only to find their carpets soaked wet and damaged beyond repair.
Stationary water freezes much more quickly than flowing water. This is why ponds and lakes in the UK can freeze in the winter but it’s almost unheard of for major rivers to ice up.
With less demand for water, whatever the purpose, during the long winter nights the risks that domestic water pipes will freeze increases dramatically.
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
The best way to prevent domestic pipework from freezing is to insulate the pipework using Kaifoam PE, high performance polyethylene insulation from Kaimann.
If you have pipes that you suspect might be vulnerable to a sudden and severe cold snap then our advice is simple – don’t delay. Insulate extensively and insulate early – before the weather gets truly cold and demand for domestic pipe insulation sky rockets.
The water supply regulations recommend insulating to prevent freezing for a minimum of 12 hours at a temperature of -6°C. For Kaifoam PE this translates into the following minimum thicknesses of insulation:
|Pipe O.D||Kaifoam PE|
|15 mm||25 mm|
|22 mm||20 mm|
|28 mm||9 mm|
|35 mm||9 mm|
*Providing a full 12 hours of protection against freezing at -6°C for a 15 mm pipe is likely to prove impractical using insulation alone. 25 mm is the greatest commercially available thickness and should be used – even though it won’t provide a full 12 hours of protection.