Foam Pipe insulation

Old 10-13-09, 07:03 PM
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Question Foam Pipe insulation

Does anyone use those foam insulators than slip over the pipe? Would it be hazardous using them on the inlet/outlet and all other piping runs associated with my hot water boiler? Would it help reduce cycling time because of captured heat loss? or would it be a waste of time & money?
Old 10-13-09, 08:40 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
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The foam is rather poor but it is better than nothing. Don't use it anywhere near the "smoke" pipe. I really prefer using rigid preformed fiberglass pipe insulation. I understand that some big box mega homecenters stock this but not in my area. You would probably need to check the yellow pages for industrial insulation products.

One thing, if all your piping runs in a fairly well insulated and weather sealed area (a basement well sealed from wind and outside temperatures) the heat lost from naked pipes will tend to keep the area warm and may help to heat the floor above. Any piping that runs through an area that IS exposed to wind or outside temperatures (crawl spaces mostly) does need to be insulated.

If you use your basement for other purposes using the foam insulation as protection from a person being burned by accidentally brushing against a hot pipe is an excellent idea.
Old 10-14-09, 03:42 PM
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Last year I put the foam on the hot water pipe from my hot water heater to my shower. That made a noticeable difference with my showers. I had very drafty doors into my basement and they were chilling the pipe. I have a new tank and it further way than the old one. I think I might add more foam to the new stretch and insulate the pipes coming from the boiler to the water tank.

I also put fiberglass wrap on some of my heating pipes down there thinking that would help my problem of not enough heat on my 2nd floor. Turns out my problem was air in my radiators. I've noticed no benefit from them. I may remove it in the future.
Old 10-14-09, 04:06 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
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I noticed two different foam insulators at the big box. One was a rubber compound and the other was a plastic foam. The stated difference was temperature. The helper seemed to have handled some complaints that the plastic would melt and stick to the pipes, thus the higher temp rubber was recommended.

I also prefer the fiberglass as furd suggested, but it is a price issue with most of my customers.


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