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Steam insulation

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Michaelynn
Michaelynn Member Posts: 13
<span style="font-size:16pt">I understand the benefits and requirements for insulating any exposed steam "main" but is there an advantage or recommendation to also insulate the condensate returns or is this a waste of $?</span>

<span style="font-size:16pt">Thanx, Mike C.</span>

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  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
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    Insulating the returns

    Aside from the benefits of reducing unwanted heat loss from the system (200F condensate in a 60F basement still has 140 BTU's per pound), not to mention unwanted heating of spaces you do not live in, there are good reasons.



    Insulating the piping and keeping the condensate hotter lessens the absorption of carbon dioxide and formation of carbonic acid. While not a strong bugger, it can erode and groove your condensate lines. (Which leads me to ask why it does not dissolve the crud! Aha!).



    It also lessens your chance of burning yourself if you are the kind of person who would keep touching a scalding hot pipe and not learn from it. But let's just say that is not an issue with you!
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"



    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • JJ_4
    JJ_4 Member Posts: 146
    edited October 2010
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    Not to disagree with a pro...but...

    My 1923 system, which never had insulation on the 36 ft return through the basement, just had to have the line replaced.  I think I am good for another 87 years.  It also provides some "free" heat to the now finished basement.  Just another perspective. 
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
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    I cannot disagree

    with your success. The corrosion aspect is dependent on water quality too and some systems seem to keep going. Others, not so much. It is one factor, not the be-all. But yes, you got your money's worth out of that piping.

    For my money, to heat my basement, I like some control but if it is comfortable in the bargain, I cannot disagree with that!
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"



    -Ernie White, my Dad
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