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Old 01-04-2009, 07:12 PM   #1
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Insulating Steam Pipes


I have a steam boiler in my basement and none of the steam pipes are insulated. As a result the basement is the warmest place in the house. I am going to insulate the pipes. Any recommendations on what material to use? I am familar with the fiberglass, but also have heard it is not the best because of fibers in the air. Thought about PE foam but I do not know if it can withstand the heat. Also it seems hard to find wide circumference PE foam sleeves.

Also does anyone know what temperature steam pipes rise to?

Thanks in advance for any feedback.

Dennis
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Old 01-04-2009, 07:42 PM   #2
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Insulating Steam Pipes


Good luck with this worthy project. I did my single pipe steam system last winter good insulation is expensive. I dropped about 800$ to do the whole system - HOWEVER - I expect to recoup my costs within the next two years based on the savings I have seen since I stopped passively heating my basement.

Head over to http://www.heatinghelp.com and start reading. Dan's books are worth ordering and reading. We dropped another chunk of change this fall to replace all our supply valves, vents, and to have our boiler tuned up by a pro recommended by Dan. We are now consuming HALF as much oil as similarly cold months last year!!!

Fiberglass insulation wrap available at the big box stores will not get you good results.
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:26 PM   #3
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Insulating Steam Pipes


Leah done got it very very right:}:} DAN IS DA MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The insulation you need is carried in heating supply houses NOT box stores. Not cheap. Get the sizes of the piping, it is made for each different size. Most likely your mains are 2" and branches usually 1 1/4. Headers 3"
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Old 01-04-2009, 08:59 PM   #4
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Insulating Steam Pipes


Thanks for the feedback, very helpful!!

Question about pipe sizes. I have a lot that has a circumference of
5-1/4" which I computed the diameter to be 1.67"...what would you call that pipe a 1.5" or 2" etc...

Thanks again!
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:13 PM   #5
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Insulating Steam Pipes


Pipe sizes are ID ( inside diameter ) therefore an 1 1/2 Pipe should have an Outside Diameter of approx 1 3/4. Formula basically is id plus 1/4 ish; reason is the wall thickness is approx 1/8" to 3/16.
Just noticed we is jerzey brudders where u at? LOL LOL.

Last edited by skymaster; 01-04-2009 at 09:15 PM. Reason: added comment
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Old 01-04-2009, 09:14 PM   #6
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Insulating Steam Pipes


You have hit on the very same problem I had - in my basement I had five different pipe sizes. You need to know the Nominal Pipe Size - NPS.
While wikipedia is no reference, this link http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nominal_Pipe_Size does have a handy chart for determining the size of insulation you'll need.

Measure every pipe; write everything down; and DO NOT assume anything.
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