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insulation for hot water baseboard heat

Kathy_4
Kathy_4 Member Posts: 1
What type of insulation should we use for hot water baseboard heat supply and return lines? It is a loop system, 17 years old. We just purchased this house.

Comments

  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    For hot water

    Armacell "Armaflex" is good and easy to apply. For that matter, so is fiberglass.

    Personally, I use 3/4" thick Armaflex for convenience but frankly, the R value per inch is about the same as fiberglass. Thus 3/4" Armaflex is less effective, academically speaking, than fiberglass. (Armaflex does not come in 1" thickness that I can find.)

    Your hot water system will be the hardest working most beneficial 17 year old you will have at home. :)

    While you are thinking of insulating the piping, take some time to assess your thermal envelope too. That pays bigger dividends, not that you asked :)
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"



    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
    Perhaps none?

    The heat losses from exposed, bare, copper tubing is not insignificant, but rarely impact system performance; unlike steam - where un-insulated pipes is a system "killer."

    The real issue then becomes, where does the heat lost from bare tubing go? If it stays in areas that benefit from that heat - don't insulate it! If the bare pipe passs thru area(s) that are overheated already - or rarely occupied, insulation is warranted, especially if you're doing it yourself!

    Stay away from the black rubber foams. They are relatively expensive, more designed to prevent condensation and or simplicity of installation, but have a poorer R-value than white fiberglass covering. Knauf makes the one I'd choose. Many boiler and pipe-selling wholesalers carry both types. One (Yorkflex-like and black rubberized foam)used for A/C and anti-condensing purposes, the white stuff with fiberglass is specifically made for insulating hot pipes.

    You could go either way. The real cheap stuff made of plastic (not rubber-like) foam - is junk IMO.

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  • ALH_4
    ALH_4 Member Posts: 1,790
    Armaflex

    I have used 1" thickness Armaflex self sealing tube on 1" pipes. Not sure if 1" wall thickness is available in smaller pipe sizes.
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    Andrew

    Where did you get 1"? I was told even a week ago that it was not available. Shame on me for taking their word for it...

    Thanks

    Brad
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"



    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • ALH_4
    ALH_4 Member Posts: 1,790
    Armaflex

    It was a couple years ago that I last used it, but the Armacell website still says 1" thickness. We got it from the MacArthur Company in Billings.
  • Wilson_2
    Wilson_2 Member Posts: 1
    Insulation

    The guy in the Xtreme Mechanicals post on The Wall looks llike he used both fiberglass and foam. I don't know if it's cost effective, but maybe ask him why?
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