Insulate those pipes before it gets cold!
When temperatures are at or below freezing, running a steady drop of hot and cold water from your faucets may keep your pipes from freezing. Smaller water pipes present a greater risk of freezing so it’s important to insulate. If your pipes are not insulated, they can freeze even with a small flow of water.
All accessible hot water pipes should be insulated, particularly any pipes within three feet of your water heater. Cold water inlet pipes should also be insulated, three feet will do. Fiberglass insulation can be wrapped around the pipes but good quality pipe insulation is recommended. When using tape, you may want to choose an acrylic tape rather than duct tap.
There are several materials available for insulating your pipes. Here are some of the categories:
Polyethylene: Also called polythene a semi-flexible plastic formed insulating. Most often used to prevent freezing of water supply pipes.
Mineral Wool: Mineral Fibers or man-made mineral fibers creating offering good thermal insulation but can irritate the skin and eyes.
Glass Wool: Is a thermal insulation, also known as fiberglass insulation. This insulation can also cause skin and eye irritation.
Flexible Elastomeric Foams: (FEF) Closed cell elastomeric foam insulation is fiber free, made of synthetic rubber, prevents condensation, and resists mold without a separate, fragile vapor retarder. Used predominantly on refrigeration, A/C pipework , heating and hot water systems.
Rigid foam: (PIR or PUR) Offers minimal acoustic performance. This is a polystyrene insulation more often used quite often sold in sheets.
Aerogel: Offers the lowest thermal conductivity of insulation. Aerogel is currently limited in its use.
So, insulate those pipes! But beware; insulated pipes can freeze when there is no water movement to keep the pipes warm.