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Silicone wrap - my experience

I've gotten a lot of good advice on The Wall and wanted to "give back" by sharing my experience with silicone wrap.

I work for a large industrial distributor and this leads me to being influenced by vendors and trying new products, silicone wrap from Loctite being one. I have had success temporarily repairing my steam main with this wrap. I've had it in place for 2 weeks while waiting for a contractor to come in and re-do some piping (HSA warranty repair).

I had this pipe repaired once by a plumber (learning all the time about right trade for the job...) and he put one of those 2-part epoxy patches on the leaky nipple. It leaks from a hole in the body, not at the joint. He took off my silicone wrap repair to install this patch early Spring last year. The patch started leaking -- during Summer when I wasn't even firing the boiler anymore.

I repaired the epoxy patch with more wrap (generic brand this time) and I'm good to go once again. I saw one drop eek out once, but nothing ever again. The system is in active use and I believe the elastic and self-adhering properties of the silicone wrap make it a natural fit for this type of fix. Again, this is the steam MAIN, not a condensate line.

I'm a home owner, but not a duck tape fixes everything homeowner. I like to do repairs correctly, thus waiting for the re-piping to happen, but I would recommend this as a temporary fix for homeowner or contractor alike if you get in a pinch.

I hope my experience can help someone else out of a jam (at least temporarily!).

Doug

Comments

  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,183
    Loctite makes some great stuff, at my old job they bailed us out more than once.

    Silicone is amazing stuff, it has great elasticity and a wide temperature range. I'll make a note of this fix, ya never know when it might come in handy.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,337
    Thanks for sharing. I'd seen it on display at one of my suppliers, but haven't tried it yet. Think I'll get one and keep it on the truck for the right occasion.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    I always worry that the truly thrifty DIY'er will consider this a permanent fix and never get it addressed.

    Then, someone in a suit comes along looking for someone who recommended or suggested a product that caused harm.

    There's enough time to do it right. But always time for someone else to paid to do it over. Like my old High School Auto Shop teacher always used to tell us: "You can't buy a mechanic in a can".
  • vaporvac
    vaporvac Member Posts: 1,520
    edited November 2014
    That is true, icesailor, but until I get my leaks welded, this is looking good. (They can't be tightened without dismantling the entire install and we no longer have the equipment to carry the heavy pipes). Some of them "self_healed" with rust, but three remain. I had been wondering about this myself as a temporary fix, so I'm glad to know it works.
    Question: the Loctite i google is white. Is that blue tape the generic one? do you have a link so I am sure i'm getting the right stuff?
    Two-pipe Trane vaporvacuum system; 1466 edr
    Twinned, staged Slantfin TR50s piped into 4" header with Riello G400 burners; 240K lead, 200K lag Btus. Controlled by Taco Relay and Honeywell RTH6580WF
  • R2.0
    R2.0 Member Posts: 99
    Look up F4 tape. Pretty amazing stuff.
  • Abracadabra
    Abracadabra Member Posts: 1,948
    I have several rolls of Blue Monster silicone tape for emergencies in the truck. Great stuff.

    http://cleanfit.com/blue-monster-compression-seal-tape.shtml
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,593
    A wonderful feature of steam is very low pressure so emergency fixes can work indefinitely.There's epoxy and there's epoxy.The really good stuff costs more than welding.And epoxy doesn't like to move with the steel during repetitive thermal expansion contraction cycles.Silicone on the other hand can stretch and relax.Try applying it when metal is hot and then more when it's not.
  • DuggieFresh5
    DuggieFresh5 Member Posts: 48
    I've seen Loctite in black and red. The blue in the picture is made by ER Tape.

    Performance is similar. The ER Tape is thicker and a little tougher to stretch than the Loctite. I like the stretchiness of the Loctite, but the ER Tape is so thick, there is more substance to it.

    Both did the same job in my case.
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