I have a gas-heated water tank and a heated, but unfinished basement, so I have complete access to all of the copper pipes that come out from the hot water heater and span out to the rest of the house. The house is a few years old and these are completely uninsulated, which now that I think about it sounds like a bad idea. I've read conflicting opinions on insulating the cold pipes in a heated basement, but I'm leaning away from that as it seems pointless and could hurt. 1) Now, if I insulate these pipes should I use an insulation tape or those long noodles, held on with plastic ties? 2) Should I deliberately not insulate around the joints? I was thinking that if there is ever a leak it may be nice to have these uncovered for easier access and I doubt it would impact insulation much.