When there is a place to live in a country house, the issues of thermal insulation for pipes of all types of water supply are of particular relevance. After all, running water makes life in a cottage more comfortable. To get water, the consumer just needs to open the tap and does not need to go anywhere. In order for the water supply system to work properly, the pipes do not freeze with the formation of condensate in the future, they must be insulated.
The need for pipe insulation
Probably, the owner himself will understand the expediency of warming for water pipes, when, having opened a tap on a frosty morning, he will not find water in it. But it is not necessary to insulate them in every case. If the residence is seasonal, then the pipes can not be insulated. It is enough to carry out the necessary measures for their conservation for the winter. The influence on this is the climatic region in which the country house is located.
There is no need to insulate the pipe even if it is laid at a sufficient depth, determined by the current standards. According to the rules, the pipeline is laid at a depth of 0.5 m + the amount of freezing, which is determined by a specific region. This condition is mandatory, otherwise the system will need to be shifted again immediately after the first winter.
The greatest importance of warming exists for residents of the northern regions. The depth of soil freezing here is significant, it can even exceed 2.5 m. Such work is costly, associated with certain difficulties, but it is impossible to do without them.
In practice, it may happen that it is not possible to make a trench in the ground for laying pipes. In this case, insulation is carried out without fail. The need for insulation is connected with another important point. We are talking about the entrance of the water pipe into the house. In severe frost, this will be the most vulnerable spot, and it is necessary to take care of sufficiently reliable thermal insulation.
Another weak point is the system element entering the well (well). It is necessary to take care of the insulation of the pipe in this place, while choosing the right material.
What are the goals of thermal insulation of pipes?
The reasons depend on the temperature of the water that is inside the water supply, the nature of the material used to make the pipes.
For hot water pipes, the tasks for thermal insulation are as follows:
A cold water system has just as many reasons for thermal insulation as a hot water system. For this, modern materials are used. The basis for their manufacture is foamed rubber, stone wool, staple fiberglass.
- Thermal insulation will not allow the pipe to freeze and prevent a possible accident.
- The surface of the metal structure will not be covered with condensate, and will also protect it from corrosion.
- In hot weather, the liquid in the water supply will not heat up, which will exclude comfortable conditions for the development of pathogenic microflora. In this case, it acts as a defense against an epidemic threat.
Material requirements for thermal insulation
For these purposes, a material that meets the following requirements can be used:
- The heat insulator must have a low coefficient of thermal conductivity. If this indicator is in the range of 0.037-0.042, then a decrease in heat losses by 60-80% can be observed. In turn, this will lead to significant savings in energy costs.
- High rates of durability. Manufacturers claim a different service life, and the longer it is, the better. Modern materials are able to properly serve up to 50 years without losing their properties.
- Materials must not support combustion. Fire safety rules require the use of materials of class NG or G1. In case of fire, such materials should not emit toxic and poisonous substances.
- Good vapor barrier properties. Modern materials have high diffuse resistance. This makes it possible to ensure that they do not get wet, which makes it possible not to lose their thermal insulation properties.
- The materials used must be heat resistant in nature. Modern thermal insulators withstand exposure to extreme temperatures. This allows them to be used in a fairly wide area.
- Materials for thermal insulation must be absolutely safe in environmental terms. The material for their manufacture should be natural raw materials. They should not contain freon, formaldehyde, and other toxic substances. Sometimes heat insulators are made by recycling materials that have expired.
- Installation work using such materials should not be difficult to perform. Today, heat insulators are sold to the consumer in mats, rolls, comfortable cylinders, which have a certain convenience, which makes it possible to speed up installation work.
- The material must stably retain its original parameters. It should not be subject to deformation and shrinkage during use. They must be provided with the necessary tightness.
Insulation of a water pipe in various ways
You can protect the plumbing system from frost by insulating it. It is worth considering in advance what exactly the pipe will be insulated with. This must be done already at the stage of laying water pipes. Competent and timely insulation will minimize possible costs.
The most effective ways are:
- The laying of the pipeline is carried out 0.5 m lower than the level of soil freezing.
- Using a heating cable.
- Insulation with heat insulator.
- Air gap device.
- Acquisition of a factory product with ready-made insulation.
- The use of the above methods in combination.
In practice, several methods are used simultaneously. Even if the plumbing structure is located at a sufficient depth, the area where it enters the house still needs to be insulated. The heating cable can be internal and external. Judging by the name, the location of the cable becomes clear. In one case, it is inside the structure, and in the other outside.
The cable has a reliable insulation, and the basis for its manufacture are safe materials. The connection method is a heat shrink sleeve. The choice of the type of heat insulator is determined by the specific situation.
Of particular interest is the method in which an air gap is created. The bottom line is that the system of plastic pipes is placed in the same, but with a larger diameter. Warm air circulates between the pipes. Its supplier is a warm basement or it is heated in some other way.
The best solution is to purchase a factory pipe with ready-made insulation. They do not require additional insulation, and they are completely ready for installation. This version of insulation is represented by two pipes with different diameters. One pipe is placed inside the other. A layer of insulation is laid between their surfaces. This option is called pre-isolation.
The need to use several methods is dictated by the fact that any of them is imperfect. The choice of a particular method is determined by the specific conditions under which the insulation of water supply systems is carried out.
An alternative to insulation
There are certain ways to help avoid a water accident. They can be summarized in the following positions:
- All fluid is completely removed from the pipeline. If there is no water in the system, then this problem will not arise. This method can be used if living in a house is seasonal. In the absence of water, the structure will not freeze.
- Ensuring constant circulation of water. This situation can be ensured by slightly opening the tap. This is especially necessary if, due to the prevailing circumstances, you have to leave somewhere for 1-2 days.
- Receiver use. It is installed on the network immediately after the pump. This will ensure constant pressure and protect against freezing.
Materials for insulation
The most common is the use of the following materials for thermal insulation:
- The use of glass wool. It is mainly used in the form of a material insulating against condensate for wrapping metal structural elements. But the pipes must be additionally waterproofed. That way they won’t get wet. In this case, it is possible to achieve the absence of formation of moisture collection on the surface.
- The use of basalt insulation. Its rolls have the required diameter and are soldered to each other. Because of this, installation work is carried out more easily. When using it, additional waterproofing is also required.
- Styrofoam. A special foam shell is used. Installation work is easy and reusable.
- Warming with heat-insulating paint. It looks like a thick mass containing acrylic. In addition, the composition includes water, varnish and particles that retain heat. The amount of thermal insulation is determined by the thickness of the layer of its application.
- Energoflex. To date, there is no more effective heat insulator. The basis for its manufacture is polyethylene foam. It can be used both indoors and outdoors. Installation work with such material is easy.
- Shell insulators. Two types are classified: rigid, made of polyurethane foam and soft, made of polymeric materials.
All materials retain heat well, so their choice depends on the method of laying the pipeline.
Street thermal insulation
An underground method of laying a water supply system is often used. But this does not protect 100% from the possibility of water freezing, since it is rather difficult to accurately determine the depth of soil freezing. The cold can easily get to them. If pipes laid underground are insulated with a thermoflex, this will solve the problem and avoid freezing. Such material shows good results in the summer. Cooler water flows through the thermoflex insulated system.
When laying the wiring of the plumbing structure in the apartment, close attention is paid to taps, couplings, fittings and other connecting devices. This is especially true for those rooms that are not heated. Such places must be insulated without fail. When installing warm water floors, thermoflex, as a heater, has no equal. In addition, high-quality sound insulation is achieved.
Criteria for choosing a heat insulator
Giving preference to one of the types of insulation, the following nuances are taken into account:
- Way of laying the water supply system. It is important to understand here that, depending on the place of laying: underground or on the surface, different methods of insulation and materials used are used.
- Permanent or seasonal use of plumbing construction. If the water supply is made in the country, then it will require a heater to prevent pipe rupture or install a receiver. For a permanent residence, serious thermal insulation of the entire pipeline system will be required.
- The coefficient of thermal conductivity of the material from which the pipes are made. Plastic retains heat longer, metal is stronger and heats up faster.
- Material resistance to UV rays, heat, moisture, burning. These technical indicators are taken into account when understanding what kind of protection the pipeline requires.
- Durability. This criterion affects the frequency with which the insulation material will have to be changed.
In conclusion, it must be said that there are no trifles when working on the insulation of water pipes. Every nuance matters here. The quality of operation of the water supply system as a whole will depend on this.