It’s official: UK temperatures continue to drop, resulting in much brisker conditions for everyone. This impacts not just heating bills and wardrobe choices but also various aspects of property maintenance, as the cold weather can wreak havoc in places you would least expect. If you have noticed that your outdoor tap is not working, it could result from this very issue, as damage to pipes is one of the main risks when temperatures drop.

As plumbing experts, we often face this common occurrence as more people don’t realise how quickly damage can occur when facing chilly temperatures. If you have been a victim of damage or want to take back control with a preventative measure, we have the solution for you.

In this article, we will explore how you can insulate an outside tap, why it’s important to do so, and the various benefits of planning this measure. Keep reading to learn more!

Why Should You Insulate an Outside Tap?

Protecting an outside tap from frost and freezing conditions is essential. If an outside tap is left exposed to freezing temperatures, it could lead to burst pipes and water damage. This is because the water inside expands in volume when it becomes frozen, which leads to pressure being placed on the pipes and fittings. If you think about how much larger ice cubes end up in a tray once you freeze them, you can understand why it is a problem. Adding insulation is vital to prevent water from entering the tap when it’s not in use, which could lead to this issue.

Furthermore, insulating an outside tap can help save energy and reduce your utility bills, as the insulation will help maintain the temperature of the water inside the pipes. This means less energy is needed to heat water, and also, systems are not battling with frozen water when trying to provide warm or hot water upon request.

In summary, if you don’t want your tap and wider water system to experience damage when cold weather sets in, insulation is essential.

How to Insulate an Outside Tap

Now that you know why insulating any outside tap is important, let’s share some methods. You will be relieved that the process is quick and affordable, offering a way for anyone, no matter their budget, to prevent damage that would result in a much higher bill to settle.

To successfully insulate an outdoor step, no matter how skilled you may be, you can follow these steps:

  1. Usually, taps are insulated at times of the year when they are not likely to be used as much, so it’s important to ensure the water supply has been turned off and any water has been allowed to drain away. You can still cover a more active tap point, but you will need to pay extra attention to the robustness of the cover, as there is a chance that water droplets would have been left behind.
  2. You can then purchase a cover based on the size of the tap that you have. These come in many forms, from fabric options to plastic fittings attached to a property’s side. Some also have elements inside the tap, whereas others just insulate around them.
  3. Once the tap is dry, you can cover the external elements of the tap. If you don’t have a fit-for-purpose cover, use other household items such as towels or thick plastic such as bubble wrap or foam. For both options, you can use weather-resistant tape to go around the edge of the tap to ensure no spots are left exposed to the elements.
  4. It’s a good idea to turn the water supply back on and test for leaks.

Even after insulating a tap, you should always give it a check if particularly cold conditions have happened. By looking for any signs of damage to the tap, you can understand whether the internal system is harbouring some issues. Also, always use the cover itself to ensure it still offers a weather-resistant finish.

Do All Forms of Outside Taps Need to Be Insulated?

Yes, no matter what material a tap is made from or how it is fitted, it’s still susceptible to damage when cold weather arrives. You should also pay close attention to hoses as they can burst due to cold weather, which is the same water expansion issue that taps struggle with. However, in milder climates, insulation may not be necessary. It is important to consult with a professional plumber or local hardware store to determine if insulation is necessary for your specific situation.

Our advice is to always have a tap insulation method available as it means that no matter how unpredictable the weather can be, you are always covered with a great way to reduce the chance of damage.

What Are the Benefits of Insulating an Outside Tap?

As we have already explained, insulating an outdoor tap is important to consider. There are many reasons why this is the case which are as follows:

Preventative Measure for Damage

Outdoor taps can range in price to install but still set you back a good amount of money. The last thing you then want is to deal with damage when something seemingly outside of your control becomes an issue. As well as ensuring damage doesn’t happen to the taps and pipes, as we have covered, insulating always reduces the chance of other damage from occurring, such as to brickwork and building materials. This can also reduce interior damage to heating sources and pipes, which can result in costly issues to resolve. All of this can be prevented by using an insulation device to keep the temperature of taps and their pipes consistent.

Ensures a Consistent Supply of Outdoor Water

In the UK, many homes have the luxury of having a constant water source which means we can always rely on both internal and external taps to supply us. Damage to an outside tap can put a massive spanner in the works by getting in the way of a consistent water source. This can lead to a lack of water on the outside of a property but also inside.

Furthermore, damage to automated water sources such as sprinklers, can cause the water to become backed up leading to the chance of flooding as well as lack of water for some sources around the home.

Simple to Do

Who doesn’t love an easy to do home maintenance chore? Not all preventative home maintenance duties end up taking lots of time and costing a pretty penny. Insulating a tap is simple to do, requiring no plumbing experience or creative skills to achieve a robust result. You can also easily remove the insulation depending on the season making it a brilliantly versatile way of protecting your home’s integrity.

How Can NJT Plumbing and Heating Help With Outside Tap Insulation?

NJT Plumbing offers various services that keep water running properly throughout your property. We offer plumbing services for all needs, from small homes to large commercial buildings. Regarding tap insulation, our team can help you find a robust source of protection that can withstand any weather conditions, no matter how low the temperatures drop.

You can see first-hand how we have helped many clients by exploring our testimonials. Also, why not check out a couple of our other articles to learn more about our expertise when it comes to plumbing and heating services:

How Much Does Underfloor Heating Cost?

How Do You Choose the Right Underfloor Heating System for Your Home?

We are a small business with lots of experience, which you can also find out by clicking the link to read about us. Finally, if you think that our services are a great fit for your needs, whether you need support with tap insulation or other plumbing needs, please do contact us.