I’m hoping the lagging I did yesterday will make a difference for us. Upon seeing what we had it certainly couldn’t hurt. Lagging is insulating the outside of a pipe.
Our winter problem is that the best and most modernised bathroom is situated on our back balcony which is on the south side of the house. Unlike every other side of the house it is the side that never gets any direct sunlight. So in winter it can get very cold. As water was a new service, which was added to the house after it was originally constructed, we have the water pipes running up the outside of the house before plunging into the house to the taps on a sink, shower, or toilet. The kitchen we are using has water piped from the same wall as the best bathroom.
Most of the time we don’t have a problem. However when the outside temperature reaches -6C or less we find that the pipes freeze and so we don’t have water to either the kitchen or bathroom. This doesn’t happen very often. Maybe three or four times a winter. At least that is what happened last winter. This occurs during the night. The pipes warm up during the morning and by about 11am the water flows as normal.
Looking at the pipes we can see that there wasn’t a lot of insulation on them. A bit at the bottom and a strip wound around the top pipe that was unravelling. I measured the pipe diameter. A quick trip to Bunnings (a local hardware chain) and I returned with 11 lengths of insulation foam pipe. It is coated on the inside with what I think is chalk dust so they can slide onto new pipes as they are being installed. As I was not going to dismantle a water pipe in order to thread the insulation on I cut down the side of the insulation pipe so I could fit them over the water pipes like a skin onto a banana.
The whole lagging process went quite well. Once I reached the horizontal pipe I had to climb up onto the low roof as I couldn’t reach it from the ladder. I felt safer there too.
Details of the after
So the water pipes are now lagged. All we have to do is wait until the next really cold day and see if it makes a difference.