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Lots of elbows on the main. Recos on insulation wrap?

I got lots and lots of elbows on my single pipe steam system. Anything from 1" to 2.25". Lost count how many I got. There are also bunch of gaps in the fiberglass insulation of the pipes. I looked at those Owens-Corning sections and those special elbow fit things would cost fortune (at least what I saw at Home Depot).

Any recommendations how I could tackle this without blowing my budgets?


  • Fiberglass batts would be better than nothing. Make sure the thickness is more than the preformed stuff, and that there is some sort of paper, or foil on the outside.--NBC
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 12,611Member
    You can get pre-formed ell covers, two piece. Or when you buy the PVC ell covers they give you a triangle shaped piece of plain fiberglass to wrap the ell.

    If you use fiberglass you still need a cover, or and plaster.

    If you "google" around there are some good You Tube videos from manufacturers showing how to insulate pipe and fittings.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • agurkasagurkas Posts: 238Member
    Is Home Depot the best place to het the pre-slit fiberglass sleeves and elbows, or as regular mortal I can buy those for better price? Most plumbing supply companies aren't open to public, at least ones I know around Boston like Johnston Supply.
  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,962Member
    Why not just miter the joints like this. Then coat with childers mastic, and if really classy wrap in cheesecloth.

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,962Member
    here is a job we just did with mitered corners and wrapped in chessecloth skrim and coated with childers mastic. (you have to take a knife and carve out some of the fiberglass where the fittings go of course). Thats one of my guys , Paul, doing the work.

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • agurkasagurkas Posts: 238Member
    edited September 2014
    That looks really nice and clean. Where can a mere mortal (non-pro) get that mastic? Any alternatives I can buy in Home Depots of the world?

    Also, how did you deal with elbows adding at least half to whole inch of diameter? Did you use 3" pipe insulation for say 2" pipe, so when you miter the elbow, you don't have to compress the insulation?

    And I currently have old fiberglass 1/2" thick insulation. For about ~200-300 feet of pipe I have access to, is it worth the savings to rip out the 1/2" stuff and spend the $$$ in materials to redo? It would be almost a grand... so I am little squeamish about spending that much.
  • gerry gillgerry gill Posts: 2,962Member
    edited September 2014
    you can get the mastic at the before mentioned and in my opinion yes, i would put on thicker insulation. The energy codes call for 2'' thick which unless you are doing new work, is hardly ever achievable. I use alot of 1'' thich but we have recently started used 1 1/2'' thick just so that when we carve out some of the insulation, there is a decent amount left over the fittings. But even carving out the 1'' still leaves a half inch over the fitting. The cheesecloth i just by online, last time at

    Serving Cleveland's eastern suburbs from Cleveland Heights down to Cuyahoga Falls.

  • agurkasagurkas Posts: 238Member
    Your pictures make my basement look like post WW2 boiler room. It will take me some serious weekends to get mine looking that good. I may skip re-doing the full basement side of pipes and focus on this year on just redoing the main going around perimeter of the crawlspace. 2" main there has all exposed elbows and old 1/2" fiberglass sleeves.
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