Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.
Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.

Basement pipe insulation for Steam Boiler

Options
Hi,

I am a new home owner in NJ and the pipes in the basement doesn't have any kind of insulation. With that,
my basement keeps very warm. I have a steam boiler. Someone told me to insulate the pipes with fiberglass, as my basement is finished. Should I do that? If yes, what is should be the Insulation Thickness?

The same question applies to the utility where the steam boiler is located. It is very hot and they said to also insulate the pipes that come out of the boiler. Does it also apply to these pipes? Should I also use fiberglass? Or foam pipe should be good ?

Any kind of brand that you guys recommend?



Comments

  • nicholas bonham-carter
    Options
    Do a search here for pipe insulation, and you will find someone’s recommendations for an online supplier, who will be cheaper than the big box store.
    Before you cover those pipes with 1 inch fiberglass pipe insulation, check the pitch of any pipes which may have sagged, causing water hammer. The insulation should cover the length of the pipes from boiler to the last radiator at least.
    In addition, you have a non factory approved riser and header piping configuration coming out of the boiler, which may shoot excessive amounts of water up into the supplies with the steam. Has it been functioning properly?
    The two risers should enter the header at one end, with the equalizer at the other end. The steam supplies to the mains should be in the middle. This sends the excess water back to the boiler, instead of into the pipes, as may be the case now.—NBC
    rikmonteiro
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,113
    Options
    If whoever installed that boiler should get outta the business plain and simple .Insulation will not fix any issues aside from a hot basement . Sorry for that but could not help it you need to open the installation manual and look at the picture . That boiler piping is not even close I would suggest to get it re piped properly before wasting one penny on insulation or spend on insulation and wait and live w it and pay again when one one will want to try to repipe it and u replace it Call that trunk slammer tool bag back and have him re pipe if not get a pro it won’t be cheap but it will be correct . The guy did t even put a skim tee fire him and get it fixed piped properly then insulate then balance in that order otherwise just open ur window to cool down ur basement and also throw some money out it to as for insulation chk out metro supply in Clifton great place friendly and will have all you need Sorry for the rant but I get pissed when I realize my taxes are getting wasted cause nobody can read at least instruction but twitter and Facebook there good peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
    rikmonteiro
  • Dave0176
    Dave0176 Member Posts: 1,177
    Options
    Agreed, that boiler should be piped properly.
    DL Mechanical LLC Heating, Cooling and Plumbing 732-266-5386
    NJ Master HVACR Lic# 4630
    Specializing in Steam Heating, Serving the residents of New Jersey
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/dl-mechanical-llc

    https://m.facebook.com/DL-Mechanical-LLC-315309995326627/?ref=content_filter

    I cannot force people to spend money, I can only suggest how to spend it wisely.......
    rikmonteiro
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,741
    Options
    I'd look at correcting the piping before I even thought about insulation.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15
    clammy
  • rikmonteiro
    rikmonteiro Member Posts: 20
    Options
    Thanks for the comments. I am not a specialist in boiler, but checking the manual installation and taking some measures (specially the 24' and Equalizer) the pipes seems to be ok, or not?
  • nicholas bonham-carter
    Options
    I can’t see what would be an equalizer in the photo of your boiler. It looks to me as if the supplies are connected to the mains, and the return is coming back to the boiler.
    Proper piping with an equalizer, after the take-offs to the mains, causes the excess water to be returned directly to the return of the boiler, and leave the steam dry to go up and warm the radiators.
    That model of boiler with its side takeoffs, throws out lots of water with the steam, and needs perfect piping to function properly, and efficiently.
    You can probably do the piping yourself this summer with advice and encouragement from here.—NBC
  • rikmonteiro
    rikmonteiro Member Posts: 20
    Options
    Thanks again @nicholas%20bonham-carter, @KC_Jones and @clammy and for their advice and comments. I spent the last few days reading more about steam boiler, specially this forum that have very good insights about that. After reading all the comments, I am trying to summarize it to make sure I understand the extent of the problem and how we should go about asking the plumber to fix it.

    *** ) The piping above the boiler may be improper, with the system risers (also known as takeoffs).in between the boiler risers. This is a big No-No" as the two steam streams collide with each other and the result is very wet steam.

    In the boiler installation manual, it is clear to not have this

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/Z5mn9t1tPSACB2sdA

    Also, in the same manual, has a picture for reference.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/nbt1GmGUHVbvvT526

    *** ) The equalizer size is not correct. It should be 1 ½", not 2".

    Is there anything else that I am missing.

    I am adding more pictures that show better how it is piped.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/tzfLuimcA8PsU6Yt5

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/hbQsMGJNCA5yH8Cx8

    In my return, I have two a wet return and a dry return. They "intersect" with the fresh water pipe and run to the Hartford Loop.

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/JAnqYjdTVrN8jo1j6

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/JuToeYFhuQVY1Qvg6

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/E71LtdBhJ4HNtqMc6

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/r8tHwFVYqHppBZRB6

    @clammy , it is not clear for me what is the "skim tee fire" that you mentioned.

    I also have a question if the equalizer connected directly to the one system riser (takeoff) is correct.
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,113
    Options
    There s nothing wrong w a 2 inch equilizer . That boiler should have both 2 inch tapping rising a mimiun of 24 inch theres should be a tee installed directly on the outlet before the vertical pipe in installed ,both of those riser should go into a 3 inch header ,they should be tied together using a swing joint your existing srteam mains should tie in after your boiler risers after which it should drop and tie directly into your boilers return opening also using a tee so u can flush out . I really can’t understand what’s wrong w these installers . This is really basic stuff ,I do sub for plumbers and hvac companies I come in cold never seeing the job and by 3 or 4 o clock it s done better then the book say s I go home done . There’s seems there must be a huge lack of oxygen these days to installers brains or the price is so cheap that that’s what u get . I just dont know but what I do know is that it is always way cheaper doing it right the first time no matter what case then to pay have it redone . I generally charge much more on a re do why cause it’s usually a totally bb . Do your self a favor get it repipe exceading the manafactures specs insulated skimed re vented and done peace and good luck clammy usually the only thing that stops it from happening is $
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,113
    Options
    Where u located in jersey there’s pro listed here that can help
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating