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Outdoor pipe wrap

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Fortunat
Fortunat Member Posts: 103
Hey Wall,



I'm curious what other installers are using to protect outdoor insulation from UV. Though Armaflex and others claim to be UV rated, I think pretty much everyone agrees that they won't last uncovered on the roof and so something has to be done.



On commercial projects where we often sub the insulation, the piping is usually wrapped in a metal jacket. but we tend not to do that for residential as it looks a little industrial for most people's tastes.



For Residential we've always just covered all exposed insulation in PV wrap like this: <a href="http://store03.prostores.com/servlet/buyinsulationproducts/the-PVC-Fittings/Categories">http://store03.prostores.com/servlet/buyinsulationproducts/the-PVC-Fittings/Categories</a>



And that works well when properly installed. The only complaint is that people want colors other than white, and as far as I can tell, only the White is actually UV rated. We used black for about a year (a couple years ago) and it does curl and fade and looks bad after a few years.



The tape wrap or the pre-covered line sets tend to look pretty crummy too.



Anyone have a better product or solution they use?



thanks



~Fortunat

<a href="http://www.revisionenergy.com/">www.revisionenergy.com</a>

Comments

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,505
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    a local insulation supplier

    will roll that aluminum cover for me. He stocks the plain, embossed mill finish aluminum but will roll whatever color I bring in. Most roofing and home centers have a few colors of aluminum flashing material on the shelves. White, bronze, black and aluminum are common stock colors for flashing stock up to 24" wide. Some have one color on the front and a different on the back side.



    Another thought is a sign supply company. They sell colored aluminum sheets in just about any color imaginable. Shear it to size and send it through a basic hand roller to get the diameter you need. Fitting covers would be a bit tricky, but plain aluminum ones could be spray painted.



    Here are the colors my local sign supply keeps in stock. He sells me the scratch and dents at a reasonable price. I used these for my pre-fab radiant control boards, yellow or orange typically. I used the yellow and green on a job for a customer that owned a John Deere dealership.



    Some suppliers offer more architectural colors for building facades. Google around for colored aluminum sheets.



    hr
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Fortunat
    Fortunat Member Posts: 103
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    roofer

    Thanks Rod,



    That's interesting. Thanks.



    Coincidentally in the couple days since I posted this question I've had two customers ask for a custom 'better looking' solution. In each case we're dealing with a standing seam metal roof so I think I'm going to ask the roofer if they want to try bending some roofing material for pipe wrap.



    Not sure how we're going to deal with the elbows, but I'll snap some photos when they are done.



    ~Fortunat



    www.revisionenergy.com
  • Interceptor
    Interceptor Member Posts: 46
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    Why not..

    ..box it in. I don't think it's the color of the piping/insulation that makes it ugly, piping on a roof is just ugly. The roof is kinda square and boxy, and so are the collectors. So why not just insulate the pipes with armaflex or whatever, then have the roof or gutter guys box them in with aluminum. No need for fancy elbows. You could totally conceal the piping, it would just look like an extension of the collectors. It would keep 100% of the sun and rain off of the insulation with very few joints. This would also give you some room for extra low cost insulation, like foam board cut into strips to fit inside the aluminum panels, or even fiberglass batts. That's how I plan to do mine.
  • Kevin_in_Denver_2
    Kevin_in_Denver_2 Member Posts: 588
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    Downspouts

    Downspouts from Home Depot look great and are cheap.

    Just slit them down the back, then pop them on, friction holds them in place. Elbows are only a couple bucks each, If you need to change the color, a coat of Krylon should last at least 15 years, then the housepainters will take over.



    If you use the next larger size (5") then you can inject the final product with Great Stuff for added R value. I just can't believe they can charge $10/ft for that preinsulated wrinkly black stuff. Ugly.

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  • Simply Rad
    Simply Rad Member Posts: 190
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    PVC jacketed insulation

    I have used Techlite products for awhile now and they work well and have lots of color options. 



    http://www.techlite.net/



    good luck



    Jeffrey
    Jeffrey Campbell
  • Simply Rad
    Simply Rad Member Posts: 190
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    PVC jacketed insulation

    I have used Techlite products for awhile now and they work well and have lots of color options. 



    http://www.techlite.net/



    good luck



    Jeffrey
    Jeffrey Campbell
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
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    ViCryl CP 10 adhesive...

    Put on some good rubber gloves, and have at it. Comes in white, grey, black and other custom colors upon request.



    http://lowcountryinsulation.com/images/pdfs/Childers_CP10_11.pdf



    Durable, UV resistant, bird/pest resistant, fairly inexpensive (considering labor required for other methods).



    Don't get it on anything you DON'T want to get it on.



    ME

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  • solradman
    solradman Member Posts: 58
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    where do you get it

    Hey Mark, where do you get this stuff at.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
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    Plateau Insulation Supply...

    is where we USE to buy it. If they don't have it, I am sure they know where to get it from.



    Or you can order it on line from the link on the page.



    Oooey goooey gobs of fun :-)



    ME

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  • Royboy
    Royboy Member Posts: 223
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    Aerocel?

    is one of the closed-cell elastomeric type insulations, but unlike others I'm aware of (Armaflex, K-flex) it is EPDM based. manufacturer (AeroflexUSA) says it will handle UV and can be installed outside without jacketing or painting.



    from what I can find out, the product hasn't been out there long enough to give real-life testing credibility to that claim, but the fact that EPDM is widely used as a sheet roofing leaves me thinking it may be legit



    I've used Aerocel recently for solar installs because it has a high enough temp rating that it meets WI's state requirement for solar pipe insulation (250° F) - with Armaflex you have to go to their high-temp line to meet that requirement and the the price on Aerocel is considerably less than Armaflex HT. to date I've been jacketing Aerocel with the white PVC but I can't say that I feel great about the PVC - even in white - over long-term UV exposure.



    I've got a project now to replace pipe insulation on a system that originally had fiberglass & brown PVC on its external piping. the PVC failed early on - warped, buckled, and faded. my plan was to pull off the fiberglass, replace with Aerocel, and then do aluminum jacketing (the collectors have mill-finish frames so the aluminum would at least match that). a call to my insulation supplier led me to reconsider that (price/availability of aluminum) and they suggested the Aerocel unjacketed.



    so I'm thinking unjacketed Aerocel might be a legit exterior option and, in a "time-will-tell" situation like this, I'd sure prefer to have more than manufacturer/distributor promotion to go on. EPDM as roofing is encouraging.



    any thoughts/opinions/experience with Aerocel unjacketed?
  • Kevin_in_Denver_2
    Kevin_in_Denver_2 Member Posts: 588
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    Paint?

    Well if you're worried about aerocel, a coat of a really good latex paint will easily last 10 years.



    But if there's no metal jacket, you still may have trouble with birds and squirrels chewing on it.

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  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,505
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    what about bird protection

    I thought Wisconsin had a requirement for a cover that could not be damaged by birds pecking away?



    hr
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Royboy
    Royboy Member Posts: 223
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    not exactly, as far as I know ...

    current WI requirement: "Exterior insulation must be covered with jacketing capable of withstanding moisture, ultraviolet radiation, and environmental exposure."



    my guess is Aerocel would say their insulation is capable of withstanding this stuff without jacketing. not sure how the state folks would respond to that and the whole program is being reviewed (our current state gov't a bit less renewable friendly than previously) so who knows what's down the pike ...
  • matt_sunwaysolar
    matt_sunwaysolar Member Posts: 61
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    UV-Rated Insulation Wrap

    We have had really good luck using a CPVC wrap over our armaflex/ k-flex rubber insulation. It's made by Proto and the product line is called Exod. I'll attach the specs here too. For a while, we used the standard PVC wrap, selecting the color most appropriate with the installation. We found out the hard way that most of them are not UV-rated. The wrap started warping and melting. The Exod product is. It is also heavier in gauge than the most other wraps and will last longer outside. I thought that this was a fairly mute point until we had a huge hail storm and went to inspect a system after. AET Collectors were in great shape, but the old, thinner PVC Wrap had cracks in it. We now use Exod on anything outdoor.
  • Fortunat
    Fortunat Member Posts: 103
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    does it come in other colors

    Matt,



    Does it come in other colors? I only see white and gray?



    ~Fortunat
This discussion has been closed.