1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Before you sit down and eat turkey chew on this a minute

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by elkimmeg, Nov 24, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    The past forum post discussed the benefits of adding insulation to your attic ceiling area. All agree that is a great place to start, but not discussed are two other areas of your home that should be considered.
    Exposed Heating pipes and hot water pipes in your cellar. Usually easy to get at and cost effective. These exposed pipes loose a lot of heat before they make it to the living space. One can have a very efficient boiler but what good is it if the delivery system is poor. The longer the run the more heat loss. The same goes with exposed galvanized Hot air ducts. Even if one can only wrap 3 sides you will be saving heat loss. The one side you may not be able to get at is the top against the Joist. One might be able to lay insulation pieces on the top in between areas.

    Discussed was the benefits of insulating your Hot water tank. What about the pipes?. Want to cut down water waste, waiting for hot water to make it to the faucet? Pipe wrap insulation comes in different thickness and r- values Usually the greater the thickness the greater the r-value and cost.
    The armorflex rubber 3/8” is much better product than the Styrofoam cheaper type. Actually the only use of Styrofoam is on the domestic hot water where temps do not exceed 160 degrees. When your FHW system is on peak demand temps in the pipes exceed 180 degrees and could push 200+. The Styrofoam has a melting point of 180. The rubber Armorflex is 210. In this case thicker Styrofoam melts and looses insulating properties, actually stick and bonds to the pipes as it melts.
    End result not money well spent even if rated R5.0. 3/8” Armorflex has an r-value of about 3.0 even thought it may not be stamped on the product. R 5.0 ¾ to 1” that will withstand the heat, tends to be a lot more expensive that one will be willing to pay. Not found in Hardware stores or Home Depot but in Plumbing supply retailers. Summary Armorflex 3/8” Is a cost effective choice.

    Second area in your basement to check is your floor, R19 will greatly improve heat loss of you floor. Third is inspect the contact point around your foundation perimeter. where the wood sill meets the foundation. (Notorious for draft leaks) One could stuff loose insulation or buy a couple cans of expanding Styrofoam and run a bead all the way around.

    I guess as long as you are not painting no permits required

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. hitopp

    hitopp New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Messages:
    3
    How much hot water piping do you need to insulate to make it worth while? I have about 6 ft of exposed hot water piping coming from my gas hot water heater before the pipes head into the studs. Would insulating this amount of pipes make any difference? TIA.

    hitopp
  3. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    not really in your case not worth the effort
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,821
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Good suggestions Elk. My wife insists on running the water to get it hot, before washing her face, etc. When we did our upstairs bath install, I investigated ways to deliver hot water as soon as she opened the tap. For safety reasons, cost and visibility, I opted againstl an on-demand preheater under the sink. Instead I put in a recirc system off of the hot-water heater using a tiny Grundfos pump with a timer on it. That meant an additional long run of hot water piping which concerned me about heat loss. I was prepared that I was going to pay for this in higher hot-water costs. Before the walls were sealed, I insulated every inch of the hot-water run and the recirc. run with armaflex, from basement to sink. Imagine my delight when the resulting electrical bill barely budged. Insulating pipes is a good thing.
  5. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    792
    Loc:
    Richmond VA
    No permit unless painting??? Seriously? You have to get a permit to paint? Jeez. Where the heck do you live? I know that in Northern VA you can't buy oil base paint as easily any more due to environmental concerns but a permit to paint is something that would blow me away.
  6. Sundeep Arole

    Sundeep Arole New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    237
    Loc:
    Framingham, MA
    BeGreen, I am curious about this hot water re-circ system. How does it work, technically and functionally?
  7. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    in the Thread about requiring permits one poster said his town required permits for painting. I was making light of that post just kidding. I like you found that to be ridiculous
  8. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    792
    Loc:
    Richmond VA
    Yeah, that would be amazing to me. Here in Ricmond they want you to fix things up. Thousands of people are renovating places in our area. I know from personal experience that some of them are just slapping a cheap coat of paint over problem houses and flipping them for a quick buck. I have several rentals and have recently done a full renovation on one. I look at potential property all the time and many of them are absolute dumps that have been disguised. I don't know where they should draw the line for permits. You don't want to create a sea of red tape that impedes things but you also don't want to allow conmen to run amok and make things worse in the long run.
  9. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I sit on both sides of the fence on the permit issue as an inspector and as a building contractor. I also have skills and experience most homeowners will never possess. I can remove a boiler and install one I Know how to plumb a house or wire one. I can build a chimney, work with Masonry or tile. I have mechanical abilities where I am able to fix anything worth fixing. Plus most of the tools to get it done. Point being as a weekend warrior I get things done and done right

    When I first became and inspector 10 years ago. Most of the work in my town dried up. Why? Everybody has done something that may have required a permit, and did not feel comfortable have an inspector around. I had to work out of town. As an inspector I also feel compelled to practice as I speak and pulled many permits for work done here. I usually draw the line when structural elements become involved.
  10. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    540
    OK, I insulated my hot water pipes with fiberglass last year, but what's the recommended method for insulating forced air duct and the plenum? Is there some sort of pipe-wrap type stuff for that as well?

    Steve
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,821
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Here's a link to Grundfos. They can explain it better than I. These pumps are designed for situations where there is a long run from the heater and it takes a long time for hot water to come from the tap, showerhead, etc. We have the Comfort Series model UP10-16B. There are larger sizes for bigger homes with longer runs, but this is working great for us. From a homeowner perspective, I really like it. It's a very small, but well made, quiet pump that is installed on a hotwater return line. It has a timer, so it doesn't run during work or late-night hours. Even when "on" the pump only turns on occasionally and only for a short time. The run cycle is controlled by an internal thermostat. There are many different devices like this, but I like Grundfos quality. The all in one unit with timer built-in is pretty slick. For me it presented the best value.

    http://www.grundfos.com/Web/HomeUs.nsf/Webopslag/D6600B14F5C7C73386256AE9005326AE
    online sales info: http://www.plumbingworld.com/grundfoscomfort.html
  12. Sundeep Arole

    Sundeep Arole New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    237
    Loc:
    Framingham, MA
    Begreen, thanks for the lnk. I understand better how this works now.
  13. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Vent insulation comes in rolls about 26" wide Basically depending on your zone R4.2 is the norm Colder zones in the Northeast now require R5.0 or for dual heat and AC systems R6.0. An example is 1" fiberglass is rolls are stamped R3.3 1.5" thick rolls stamped R 5.0 or greater 1.75" approaches R 6.0. The application is to wrap it around the duct and staple it together.

    There is another product replacing the fiberglass it is foil faced bubble wrap, with an R value 4.2 Much easier to work with, no ichy fiber glass but cost more. If one cut one inch strips and wrapped the ducts first spaced about a foot apart this additional air space now rates the R value to R6.0. Again most applications staple the seam together. Home Depot sells the fiber glass wrap. I do not know if they sell the foil bubble wrap
  14. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,702
    Loc:
    northern massachusetts
    hey begreen

    i've seen those hot water lines without pumps. i think if you pipe it in the same way as they use todo the gravity hot water heating systems you won't need a pump. they work well.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,821
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    In some construction with vertical runs that may be an option. It wasn't in ours. (I actually tried it before the pump arrived, but no go.)
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page