What is pipe lagging?
Pipe lagging is another (more commonly used) name for pipe insulation. It's generally used to help conserve heat in pipes, to prevent condensation, or to reduce the noise that comes out of pipes. Pipe lagging is made from many different types of materials, including some used for insulation in other parts of the home. Pipe lagging may be made from any of the following:
- Flexible elastometric foams
- Rigid foam
- Glass wool
- Mineral wool
When should your plumber use pipe lagging?
There are two main uses of lagging, and the material chosen will depend on what the main application of the lagging is for:
The Building Code of Australia contains regulations determining how much noise can be made in living areas by things like pipes. As such, lagging is designed to contain the intrusive noise generated by the turbulent flow of waste-water through piping and fittings.
This lagging comprises a noise barrier to contain pipe-wall vibrating noise. There are several types of materials used for this purpose, including loaded vinyl and convoluted foam. Each material will have a U-Factor, which is a performance rating measuring how well a given material prevents heat from escaping.
This pipe lagging is normally a highly flexible elastometric material fitted around metal pipes to reduce the movement due to thermal changes in the pipe.
More sophisticated insulation is available that can control both heat and noise transmission. The insulation minimises the disturbance of noisy kitchen, laundry and bathroom pipes, and maintains the temperature in hot/cold water services, chilled water lines, refrigeration pipework and air-conditioning ducts.
Your plumber will be able to tell you what sort of lagging needs to be installed where, based on where in Australia you're building.