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Okay to insulate only some mains in basement?

Thanks for all the help so far. Looks like I'll be getting a new boiler in the next few months. In the meantime I'm trying to go through and take care of the stuff I can handle on my own to bring the cost of the project down a little, and insulating mains is one of the things that keeps popping up in what I read. My question is this...

I have one horizontal main in the basement that I have complete access to, and another horizontal main that's behind walls or surrounded by a drywall channel in the ceiling. I'm thinking that it'd be a bad idea to insulate only the exposed main. Seems like it would create an imbalance between the two mains. Is that correct? If so I think I'll wait a few months to when I can take on a project like insulating that hidden main.


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,947
    Yes and no. What would happen is that you would find that steam makes it to the end of the insulated main somewhat faster than to the end of the other one. Depending on which spaces the two mains serve this might -- or might not -- be a problem.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,801
    edited November 2020
    ^^^^^^what @Jamie Hall says above. ^^^^^^
    I have always been a big advocate of insulating. Insulating everything to the last exposed metal.
    @SlowYourRoll if the ceiling and walls are insulated where the pipes are installed then you should be good.
    If you find that you need to insulate more, maybe considered blown in insulation.