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Best way to insulate near boiler piping

BobbyC Member Posts: 96

What's the best way or type of insulation to use for near boiler piping that is exposed.  Should every piece of pipe be insulated.  Most of the mains have absestos insulation but the piping at the beginning of the mains and the near boiler piping doesn't have any.  


  • Unknown
    edited October 2009

    Insulating your risers and header makes a BIG difference in the operation of your system. You want to use fiberglass pipe insulation. This is already preformed to fit the piping. Here is the McMasters Carr site. [url=http://www.mcmaster.com/#]http://www.mcmaster.com/#

    Look on Page 3459 in their catalog.  It has specs and information on this type of insulation. I referred you to this site so you know what you are looking for. I would  look around for a local source near you.  

    For the headers/risers -The best insulation is 2 inch thick. However the "best bang for the buck" (cost/benefit) is  1 inch insulation. I attached a good  chart by Brad White that compares insulation thickness benefit. From personal experience there is a BIG gain insulating your risers and header. Probably doing the returns too might  be a good idea though I haven't done mine as yet . I figure that keeps the basement warm.

    - Rod
  • Big-Al_2
    Big-Al_2 Member Posts: 263
    edited October 2009
    Duct Wrap

    When I bought my house, the boiler had recently been replaced.  The main was still asbestos insulated, but the near-boiler piping was bare.  The local plumbing supply only sells to the trades and the home centers don't carry anything suitable.  I needed a couple of sizes, and I certainly didn't need enough insulation to justify ordering two full boxes from an industrial supply place.

    I wound up using duct wrap.  It's a roll of 24" wide, 1/2" thick fiberglass blanket insulation with a reinforced foil facing.  It's meant for insulating heating ducts.  I bought mine at Menards, but I'm sure most home centers have it.   I wrapped it around the pipes at least two layers thick, and secured it with a wrap of duct tape about every foot.  I was able to get creative and cover the fittings with it too.  I tried to do the job neatly, and it doesn't look terribly hacked.  It's all silver so it looks different than the rest of the insulation, but the shiny silver outer wrap does cut down on radiant heat loss.  I may eventually decide to pant it white anyway.  I insulated maybe ten feet of pipe total . . . and it cost me well under $20.

    Just an idea.
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