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Rav 01-01-2012 02:02 PM

Insulation for copper pipes exiting boiler
 
I have a natural gas heating boiler (Weil-McLain series 8 CGM-5) with black pipes running through the unfinished basement and up to the radiators. But in just the first few feet coming directly off the boiler, both supply and return, are 1-3/8" copper pipes (which then connect to the black pipes). I'm planning on insulating the black pipes with something like Armaflex elastomeric tubes. But the copper pipes run very near the boiler itself, especially the vent pipe coming out of the boiler and the draft hood. My understanding is that to safely insulate those copper pipes near those high temperatures I should use fiberglass, specifically unfaced, sealed with HVAC foil tape. I'd like to use unfaced fiberglass tubes, but I'm having trouble finding where to buy them. I've looked at Home Depot, Lowes, and Grainger, and they only seem to have the faced kind. I'd prefer to buy from a local store (I live in the Washington, DC area), but will order online if I have to. Anyone know who supplies that? And how thick should the insulation be? Thanks.

joecaption 01-01-2012 02:29 PM

There's special insulation for high heat applications. Any real plumbing supply or place that sells boilers will have it. It's got a slot in it and it just slips on. It would melt foam insulation.

harleyrider 01-01-2012 02:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rav (Post 809224)
I have a natural gas heating boiler (Weil-McLain series 8 CGM-5) with black pipes running through the unfinished basement and up to the radiators. But in just the first few feet coming directly off the boiler, both supply and return, are 1-3/8" copper pipes (which then connect to the black pipes). I'm planning on insulating the black pipes with something like Armaflex elastomeric tubes. But the copper pipes run very near the boiler itself, especially the vent pipe coming out of the boiler and the draft hood. My understanding is that to safely insulate those copper pipes near those high temperatures I should use fiberglass, specifically unfaced, sealed with HVAC foil tape. I'd like to use unfaced fiberglass tubes, but I'm having trouble finding where to buy them. I've looked at Home Depot, Lowes, and Grainger, and they only seem to have the faced kind. I'd prefer to buy from a local store (I live in the Washington, DC area), but will order online if I have to. Anyone know who supplies that? And how thick should the insulation be? Thanks.

to answer your questions, check this link


http://www.famous-supply.com/line-ca..._plumbing.html

TarheelTerp 01-01-2012 03:17 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I remember the house I grew up in.
We had great insulation on our boiler and FHW pipes.

coldupnorth 01-07-2012 08:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by joecaption (Post 809254)
There's special insulation for high heat applications. Any real plumbing supply or place that sells boilers will have it. It's got a slot in it and it just slips on. It would melt foam insulation.

Just to clarify, you have to purchase a special insulation for your boiler pipes? You can't just use any of the types they list on

http://www.pipewrapinsulation.com

or sell at Depot? I just bought an old house with a boiler heating system that I'm trying to get semi-energy efficient. It's my first boiler heated house, so the whole thing is new to me.

yuri 01-07-2012 08:45 AM

lots of homes in the great white north don't have insulated boiler pipes. you will get better bang for your buck adding insulation to the attic and the fed gov't has rebates for that. better door stripping etc is the way to go. insulate the basement walls too. check the fed gov't ecoenergy program.

TarheelTerp 01-07-2012 08:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by coldupnorth (Post 815227)
Just to clarify, you have to purchase a special insulation for your boiler pipes?

Yes. Special meaning designed for the purpose.

Quote:

I just bought an old house with a boiler heating system that I'm trying to get semi-energy efficient. It's my first boiler heated house, so the whole thing is new to me.
Retailers around the country (like HD) will have different inventories. The one near you may have exactly the best and right product. More likely though, you'll need to go to a specialty supplier for that. Find them.

In addition to the insulation products you need now... that specialty supplier should prove to be a reliable source of both information and parts as you need them in the future. Far more reliable than any online vendor will be.

hth

Rav 01-07-2012 08:56 AM

Since I'm going with 1" thick wall, faced fiberglass tubes (from Grainger) to insulate the black iron pipe that carry the heating water through my unfinished, unconditioned basement, I will use the same thing, but unfaced, for the copper pipes right at the boiler. If I can't buy unfaced directly (Grainger doesn't seem to have it, but I'm still looking), I'll peel the paper jacket off a tube or two for those small areas of copper tubing.

dougp23 01-07-2012 03:46 PM

Do most agree that the pipes leaving your boiler should be insulated? I can't imagine you would lose that much heat, and I have never seen a boiler with pipes insulated (doesn't mean it shouldn't be done, that's why I'm asking)!

how 01-07-2012 03:57 PM

Yuri's exerience matches mine in choosing to insulate the perimeter walls of the house instead of the the boiler pipes. It allows the radiant heat from all parts of the boiler to be a heat gain for the home instead of a heat loss.

TarheelTerp 01-07-2012 03:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dougp23 (Post 815549)
Do most agree that the pipes leaving your boiler should be insulated?

Generally... I would say yes.

The issue is whether you want to heat the area where the pipes are running before they get to the living space... and/or whether that area (crawl space? basement?) has other provision to be heated like it's own radiator.

Quote:

I can't imagine you would lose that much heat, and I have never seen a boiler with pipes insulated...
I'm sure there are studies on the exact numbers...

beenthere 01-07-2012 05:50 PM

here is a link to what you use.

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/OWE...sulation-4LFD1

matt151617 01-08-2012 09:53 AM

You can use the standard tubular foam insulation on boiler pipes. I've had those on mine and they're working great, basement has a noticeable temperature change (cooler), no problems with them melting.

Even with those being pretty cheap, it still cost me about $50 to insulate all my boiler and DHW pipes.


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