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Insulations Questions

Hi. I'm the proud owner of a new Weil McLain PEG-50 boiler that was lovingly installed by Charles Garrity ("Charlie from wmass"). He spent two weeks banging around my basement, including a couple-day stint in my miserable crawlspace running a gas line to my kitchen. I figure I owe it to him to insulate my pipes so that the boiler runs as well as it possibly can for years to come. So, I bought a bunch of 1" thick sections from a local supplier and have already wrapped up all the easy sections. Before I keep going, I have a couple questions.

On the sections I've wrapped so far, I can still feel heat coming off the pipe. When I put my hand on the insulation, it feels pretty warm. It's obviously not burning hot like an exposed pipe, but it's definitely warm. Is that normal for 1" thick insulation? I just wanted to check before I put up the rest of it.

I thought I read somewhere that you can buy pre-insulated hangers, but the plumbing supply house near me had never heard of them. Am I crazy or do they actually exist? What are they called? I only need five or so, so I can order online if necessary.

Finally, do I need to prep the pipes at all before I wrap them up? Most of my pipes are probably a hundred years old, so they're covered in rust. I was wondering if I should sand them down and paint them before I tucked them in. (Charles, I know I asked you this question when you were here, but I forget what your answer was.)



  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 6,653
    If you have Charles banging around

    you are doing just fine!

    No, you don't need to  prep the pipes before wrapping them up.  Just wrap them up and forget them.

    And yes, it is quite normal for the pipes to feel warm -- the insulation reduces the heat loss, but can't eliminate it completely.

    Generally you can fudge around such things as hangars and elbows and whatnot.  I'd use regular pink fiberglass insulation (wear gloves and a respirator) and wrap it nicely (how nicely depends on how fussy you are) with white duct tape or something of the sort...

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-McClain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • saikosissaikosis Member Posts: 57

    Thanks, Jamie. I'm glad I don't need to prep the pipes because I really wasn't looking forward to sanding and painting. I'll wrap them up and forget about them.
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