Circulating efficiency: Insulating the pipes helps retain heat and can protect the plumbing from wear. Here, a spray-on material is used.
Clean lines: This plumbing is wrapped with black insulating sleeves to help retain heat.
When insulating pools, spas and waterfeatures, builders should not only think about the shell, but include plumbing into the equation, too.
Insulating the pipe not only helps maintain heat throughout the
circulation system, but also protects it from frost damage, or the
punctures and abrasions that can occur from rocks and other
There are different methods available. Gene Brown, president of
Valley Pool & Spa in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, uses
the same materials he does on his shells, placing rigid SM panels
in the floor of the plumbing trenches.
He then encases the plumbing by applying a spray-on material,
because it conforms to the varying bends and elevations of the
There is also a wrap-around insulation available for pipe. The
black material comes in sleeves with a slit down one side, and
allows builders to insulate exposed piping, which protects it from
the ultraviolet damage that occurs over time with sun
Builders place the sleeves around the pipes, cutting and taping at
the joints to create a seal.
However, when wrapping the material around sweep elbows,
don’t attempt to follow the curve.
“The sleeves are square, so when you put one around a radius
corner, you can just miter it at 45 degrees and it looks really
neat and trim,” says Barry Justus, president of Poolscape
Inc. in Burlington, Ontario, Canada.
“When we first started doing it, we tried to miter all around
it and make it curve, and it was just a nightmare. You can never
get it to look nice, and it takes forever. So we just did a