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What exactly needs to be insulated?

Hey all, happy start of the season!

I’ve got an old boiler that supplies a single pipe system. Some of the near-boiler piping isn’t as well insulated as the mains, so I am getting a vacuum at one radiator when the boiler shuts off. 

My question is, what needs to be insulated, and what does not? Obviously headers, risers, mains. But what about the equalizer, Hartford loop, dry returns, wet returns?

Also, I have some lengths of split fiberglass insulation with white tape. I want to do miter joints for the bends, etc. Where can I find white tape for the seams? HD/Lowes doesn’t seem to have it. 

Thank you!

Comments

  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 471
    Regarding the tape, I use UL rate aluminum duct tape.  Works great. 


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 17,049
    Anything which can get steam to it needs to be insulated, if possible.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Hap_Hazzard
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,941
    There are a couple of insulation web sites that will sell to you.
    Sizing and ordering info. Be sure you specify iron pipe size, which is most likely what you have. You can buy kits for fittings if you want.
    They include one white tape strip per length you buy.
    Also sell a roll of the tape you cut as needed.

    All depends upon how tidy you want the job to look.
  • ForcedWhaaat
    ForcedWhaaat Member Posts: 9
    Thank you. Yes iron pipe. Which sites do you recommend in particular?
  • delcrossv
    delcrossv Member Posts: 145
    I had good luck with buyinsulationproductstore.com. They were helpful on the phone as well.
    Trying to squeeze the best out of a Weil-McLain JB-5 running a 1912 1 pipe system.
    ethicalpaulHap_Hazzard
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 3,123
    edited November 22
    Some of the near-boiler piping isn’t as well insulated as the mains, so I am getting a vacuum at one radiator when the boiler shuts off.


    PS: You're going to get a vacuum throughout your system at shutoff no matter how well you insulate
    1 pipe Peerless 63-03L in Cedar Grove, NJ, coal > oil > NG
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,389
    You can get ductape in black and white now, in addition to the traditional gray/silver. I picked up a roll of white tape a few weeks ago for just this purpose, but I can't remember if I got it at Lowes or Homer's.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24
    Mosherd1
  • Hap_Hazzard
    Hap_Hazzard Member Posts: 2,389

    Anything which can get steam to it needs to be insulated, if possible.

    If you want to prioritize, you can walk around while your heat is on with a non-contact IR thermometer (or, better yet, an IR camera, if you can get your hands on one) and see where the most heat is coming from.
    Just another DIYer | King of Prussia, PA
    1983(?) Peerless G-561-W-S | 3" drop header, CG400-1090, VXT-24