Outside Pipe Insulation-? Ready Made


The main water inlet for our old house is in the open courtyard that is currently being prepared for calcaire.

The metal pipe has an off valve before the water meter that then has a ground-level looks-like-rubber pipe through the covered barn & into the house. The metal pipe also has has a vertical pipe & a tap.

The valve & meter was covered by a wooden box with insulation material & the exposed pipe covered with insulating plastic piping that I've replaced.

Not sure how it 'should' be & wonder if we really need a plumber? Is it possible to buy some sort of ready-made insulated box? I understand the insulation is my responsibility rather than that of the water company.

Thanks for any advice.


Hi Roger, Trace heating is a low power heat tape you strap around pipe work to stop it freezing. Normally self regulating and automatically switching on at low temperature.


Other companies are available

Thanks John.

Maybe personal info, might help me understand!!!! In the UK I worked for myself after retirement as a Doctor of Psychotherapy Practice. My philosophy was to supplement my pensions by being a self-employed psychotherapist that that I loved & was effective. I used the cash to have a 'fix it' contract & by paying local people I knew to do the things I didn't fancy!

So France has meant a shock to my system & a need for a new philosopy. So what is 'trace-heating'? The pipe is from outside the property & there is currently no power to the courtyard although there is a power socket in the old barn next door.


Thanks Tony,

I've contacted a plumber we've used before. When someone came to read the meter he was very concerned about the dial moving slowly. Proved to a tiny dribble on an upstairs cistern that the plumber soon fixed.

I love this topic when it shows up. If the insulation is black it will get a tiny bit of warmth as black absorbs solar radiation. Bearing in mind the coldest part of the whole day is around 2-5am with no sun then insulation on it's own does very little as everything drops to the same temperature. If there is no heat in the pipe then there is nothing to insulate, it goes down to the same temperature. If you put trace heating around the pipe like they do on farms and condensing boilers then the low level of heat is kept in by the insulation and all is well.

As it sounds as if from the 'Ground Supply' onwards that all your supply pipework is 'exposed', then especially at this time of year, get some insulation ASAP, because if you have a hard frost it can/will freeze.

Obviously the amount open to the elements is limited to what those elements are, but as you are 'not sure' I would recommend getting a Plumber immediately.