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Thread: Pipe Insulation

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    launboy's Avatar
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    Pipe Insulation

    I did a quick search but didn't see anythign so I figure I'll ask.

    I have aprox. 35 ft runs of 2" PVC that go from the spa to the equipment. My pipes are only maybe a foot or so underground which is above the frost line in WI. I've got one 3" suction line and two 2" return lines. That's quite a bit of surface area exposed to the frozen ground. I think this may end up being a signifigant area for heat loss in the winter. Escpecially when Ill probably be running the pump on low almost constantly to protect the equip. from freezing.

    So, the question is... Do I need to insulate these pipes? If I do, what kind should I use?
    The plan is to use Reflectix wrapped around the pipes. Mainly because I heat it's good at reflecting heat, it's not bulky, and it's waterproof. The thing is, I'm not sure if this will be enough.
    Link to their site. I'd be using the normal Insuation(4'x50' roll)
    http://www.reflectixinc.com/basepage...iveInsulations

    Thanks,
    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: Pipe Insulation

    Nuthin'? Zip, Zero, Zilch, Nada Nuthin? So nobody out there insulates their pipes? Guess I may be the first, lol.

    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    Re: Pipe Insulation

    Using pipe insulation is rather rare. Yes, heat is lost through the pipes. However, far more heat is lost from the spa it's self. On the one hand pipe insulation is inexpensive and really can't hurt. On the other hand, putting your effort and money into thinking of ways to insulate the spa usually has a bigger payback.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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    duraleigh's Avatar
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    Re: Pipe Insulation

    Any attempt to insulate underground pipes has to be absolutely waterproof with some airspace around the pipe.

    One of the best ways is to insert your pvc pipe inside 4" black poly drain pipe. The surrounding airspace between pipes makes for good insulation but you cannot have any underground joints in the black poly. Once water seeps into the outer layer, all insulating value is lost.

    As Jason said, insulating the spa will probably give you a far greater return.
    Dave S. - Forum owner
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    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: Pipe Insulation

    Well, on top of the foam insulation on the spa I'm wrapping the whole spa in R-30 fiberglass insulation. I'm going to wrap and seal the fiberglass in plastic to make sure it stays dry and retains it's insulating properties. I'm going to cut some left-over solar bubble cover to fit the inside of the spa so it lays on the water. On top of that is the normal Hot Tub cover that came with the tub. I'm considering adding another home made cover to go on top of that. This would be made of that pink foam board which I will seal in plastic. The plan would be to make it one solid piece and have a 3 inch overhang all around that fits tightly against all the edges. Maybe I'd even add weatherstripping around the edges to seal around the top.

    As for insulating the pipes... I guess I'll still wrap them in Reflectix. Probably won't hurt, might help, and it's not expensive. I'm going to tape all the seams so that should keep water out for at least a little while. Refletix is basically bubble wrap with a foil backing on both sides so it still might work if it gets wet.

    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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    Ohm_Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Pipe Insulation

    If you are gonna dig the pipes up to insulate them, why not just dig enough to get them below the frost line? Thats what? 36-44 inches or so?
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    launboy's Avatar
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    Re: Pipe Insulation

    This is new construction, pipes haven't been buried yet. Problem with going much past a foot is that you hit gravel impregnated clay which is a PITA to dig through with a shovel.

    Adam
    18' x 42" Intex Easyset Pool, with 16' x 52" deep end in the middle. Approx. 5500 Gal.
    Hayward Power-Flo LX 1 HP, 100# Jacuzzi Brand Sand Filter(Piped underground so it looks nice) 8)
    3 - 2' x 20' Solar Pool Heater Panels(roof mounted)
    Goin' on 9 summers...NOBODY thought it would last this long.
    Buried Portable Spa sharing pumps and water with pool (Almost complete project)

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    Re: Pipe Insulation

    I know this is old but I'm thinking of the same issue. I may put solar panels on my roof and then need to run 300-400 feet or pipe(2X150 feet) to the roof. I'd guess the heat loss in
    300 feet of pipe would be rather large. Heck, my 3 Geo thermal loops are only 250 feet deep. I would need to insulate these pipes rather well. If not I'd guess I'd lose 1/4 to 1/2 of the heat i'm generating.
    20K IG Diamondbrite, Intelliflo VS, Intellitouch i7+3, Blue Diamond Robot, Goldline T15 SWG, Borates, MiniMax, SAM/SAL, Cold Beer.

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    Re: Pipe Insulation

    Same logic applies to solar runs as with hot tub above. Vast majority of heat loss is from the pool. You can insulate but much greater bang for buck keeping a solar cover on pool.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

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