How to Fix Sweating Pipes

A simple way to prevent condensation on cold water pipes in humid weather.

Cover cold water pipes with inexpensive foam pipe insulation to prevent condensation and dripping in humid weather.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

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Cure for dripping pipes

If your cold water pipes are sweating more than you are on these hot summer days, here’s the simple cure. Run down to the local home center, lumberyard or hardware store and pick up some foam pipe insulation. The deluxe version we purchased has a peel-and-stick seam along its length and costs about $3 for 6 ft. Less expensive insulation lacks this feature, but you can tape the seam to seal it. We also bought a roll of peel-and-stick seam sealer to wrap around the joints between tubes. The insulation is available in different sizes, so you’ll need to measure the diameter and total length of the pipes you intend to insulate.

The insulated tubing keeps the warm humid air from condensing on the cold pipes. Insulating hot water pipes offers little advantage beyond the possibility of getting hot water sooner at faucets far from the water heater.

Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure

You'll also need a serrated bread knife.

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Foam pipe insulation
  • Seam sealing tape

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