How To Insulate Swimming Pool Pipes

How To Insulate Swimming Pool Pipes

Charlie Hardcastle

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Although we usually don’t go swimming in our outdoor pools during cold weather of the winter season, it’s important that you don’t just ignore your outdoor pool during this time.

Both cold weather and the winter season are two of the biggest reasons why a lot of us end up with problems with our outdoor pools in the summer. 

If temperatures drop past or near freezing, then this can cause some serious damage to your swimming pool and its pipe system.

So, how can you avoid this damage? By properly insulating your swimming pool’s pipes! 

If you want to know all the tricks and methods when it comes to insulating your swimming pool’s pipes so you can enjoy a stress-free summer, then this is the place for you.

We are going to be answering every question there is about swimming pool pipe insulation so you can head into the winter season confident that you have taken every precaution against cold temperatures and frozen water from damaging your swimming pool. 

So, let’s get started! 

Why You Need To Insulate Your Swimming Pool Pipes

A lot of people think that they don’t need to insulate their swimming pools at all, especially not the pipes! 

What’s the point? 

The truth is that insulating your swimming pool pipes has a lot of benefits that can help you out in the long run, meaning that you can use your swimming pool when you want to and you don’t have to spend lots of money covering repairs. 

Insulating your swimming pool’s pipes (both hot and cold water lines) means that you can prevent them from freezing during the winter.

Pipes that contain frozen water usually expand, which can lead to breakages, splits and leaks. 

Of course, no one wants this for their swimming pool as this usually means your pool won’t function properly when you want to use it and you will have to pay a lot of money to repair those pipes.

So, insulating them will help prevent this and save you more money in the long run. 

Not only that but by insulating your swimming pool pipes, you can also avoid spending more money on heating or cooling your pool.

This is because heat from the hot water in the pipes can be lost, meaning that you have spent a lot of money on wasted heat.

By keeping your swimming pool’s pipes insulated, you can save more on your energy bills because your swimming pool will stay water for longer with less water! 

Insulating your swimming pool pipes also means you don’t have to use antifreeze in your pool lines to unfreeze them after winter.

Antifreeze is a dangerous chemical that many pool owners add to their swimming pool pipes every year to unfreeze them and safely defrost them for use.

Without it, pipes can burst but  there are risks with using antifreeze in your swimming pool lines as well. 

Like we said earlier, antifreeze is a dangerous chemical when exposed to people, so no one wants to use it in their pool!

Before you can then use your pool, you will have to completely clean it out so your pool is safe to use.

Not to mention, using antifreeze like this once every year is bad for the environment and takes up a lot of time and money. Save yourself the hassle of cleaning your pool of antifreeze every year by simply insulating your swimming pool’s pipes.

It’s a one-time application that you can do at any time of the year. 

So, as you can see, there’s plenty of reasons why you should insulate your swimming pool’s pipes.

Although it may be a hassle to get done, it could seriously help out when it comes to saving money and keeping your swimming pool functioning. 

How To Get Started Insulating Your Pool Pipes

So, you know that you need to insulate your swimming pool’s pipes – but how do you do it? 

First off, it’s worth mentioning that there may be services in your area that offer to do this for you. If you want to save time and effort, you can just ring them up and pay someone else to do it for you.

However, it is possible to insulate your swimming pool’s pipes on your own.

Here we are going to go through each important step you need to take when it’s time to insulate your pool pipes.

This way, you can plan ahead and make sure you have everything you need to insulate your swimming pool pipes.

You may need some tools like a flathead screwdriver and insulation tape, along with your chosen insulation material (don’t worry, we will go into more detail about the materials you can choose later). 

So, let’s get started. 

The first thing you need to do is turn off your water on the pressure vacuum breaker. This is the device that prevents backflow, stopping contaminated water from entering your water supply.

This will mean that you may have to shut off the water to your home as well as most of the time, the pressure vacuum breaker is also the main irrigation supply to your home. 

Once this is shut off, then you need to gather your supplies and head down to the pool. Turn off the valve so you can drain your pipes clear of any water. 

Then, you need to open up the bleeder valve. Where the bleeder valve tends to be on your pool depends heavily on its set up but most swimming pools will have their bleeder valves underneath the valve connected to the main pipe pools.

However, if you are struggling to find the bleeder valve for your pool, you can check out your swimming pool’s model online to see where it is located. 

Once you have the bleeder valve, you will need to turn the cap counterclockwise to unscrew it. Use a flat head to turn the valve itself counterclockwise until you can feel the pressure relieve itself on the vacuum breaker. 

This action alone is great for helping to prevent your pipes becoming damaged during cold weather and winter climates.

This is because it helps prevent water from building up in your pipes, just they cannot burst from the pressure caused by ice within the pipes. 

Secure the valves (see also ‘Hydrostatic Valves For Swimming Pools‘) and then it’s time to insulate your swimming pools pipes. You will need to take your insulation material of choice and start to measure it against the pipes.

How To Insulate Swimming Pool Pipes

Using little marks with a pen, you can work out where to make any cuts to ensure that your insulation is a snug fit.

A snug fit is vital for proper insulation and leaving the insulation too loose can result in temperature control issues that can then lead to temperature damage to your swimming pool’s pipes. So – make sure that your insulation (whichever material you choose) fits your pipes perfectly. 

Wrap or add the insulation material to the exposed areas of your swimming pool’s pipes and help secure them by using insulation tape.

This tape should be at least 10 millimetres thick and if you live in an area that has particularly cold winters, you may even want to upgrade that thickness for further protection against some intense temperatures and weather.  

Once your pipes are snugly wrapped up, you are all good to go! 

What To Use When Insulating Swimming Pool Pipes

One of the biggest questions that crop up when it comes to insulating your swimming pool’s pipes is what material you should use for the insulation.

Most pool owners insulate their pool pipes by wrapping a warm, insulating material around them and taping it into place – this does not damage or affect your pool’s performance at all, although it can be a bit of a hassle to remove and reapply the insulation whenever you want to take a look at your pool’s pipes. 

You have a few choices but two of the most popular materials are foam insulation or pool noodles. 

Yes, you heard us – those long stringy things you use in a swimming pool to teach kids how to swim. Those noodles are actually great insulators and easy to fit around pipes so many people use them for insulation purposes.

Pool noodles are also super cheap, and can be purchased for a lower price than foam insulation. If you already have some for your pool, then you can use the more damaged ones to insulate your pool pipes – it’s a win win! 

There are some drawbacks when it comes to using foam. Foam insulation or pool noodles are made of two main materials – polyethylene and neoprene.

These are both combustible materials so they will burn and can be a fire hazard, so it’s important to keep them away from flammable or hot objects.

Although the hot water in your pool pipes should not be enough to set them aflame, it is something to keep in mind and watch over whenever the weather is hot. 

Although pool noodles and foam insulation are the two more common materials used when it comes to insulating pool pipes, there are a few alternatives you can check out too.

Glass wool insulation works great but you will need to use gloves when handling this material. Some people use rubber insulation as it’s affordable and can support your pipes when they expand when it’s hot. 

Some people just wrap loads of insulation tape around their pipes.

This is a better alternative if you can’t get your hand on any insulation materials other than the tape and it’s perfectly safe to wrap a whole layer of insulation tape around your swimming pool pipes.

However, it will be difficult to remove or fix if there is ever an issue so keep that in mind too. 

Conclusion

And that is everything you need to know about insulating your swimming pool pipes.

We have gone through the reasons why you should seriously consider insulating your swimming pool pipes, the steps you need to take to do so, and even looked at some recommended materials you can use. 

Check over the information above and again and start looking into insulating your pool pipes. It could save you a fortune in both money and time!

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