Omnia Mechanical Group

571 Timpson Place Bronx, NY 10455

Phone: 212-534-2500

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What Type of Pipe Insulation Is Best? Advice from the Experts on Protecting Your Pipes

If you own or manage a property in New York City, protecting your pipes is key to ensuring they function properly and last for decades. If you’ve ever wondered what type of pipe insulation is best, read on. Our experts at Calray Boilers explain the different choices and where to apply various kinds of insulation for the best results. With the right pipe insulation, you can minimize heat loss and save money.

Purpose of Pipe Insulation

Prevent freezing

If your first inclination is that pipes should be insulated to prevent freezing, you’re not wrong. This is one of the main reasons we recommend insulation. Freezing pipes are subject to leaking and bursting, which can cause extensive water damage and disruption to the building’s tenants–at a great cost to you.

Minimize heat loss

However, there are additional reasons why pipe insulation should be explored. Insulating the pipes providing hot water or steam for radiators minimizes heat loss. This saves you money on energy expenses and may actually let you set your boiler to fire less frequently. Tenants are happier too when they don’t have to wait for hot water to take a shower or wash their dishes, and there’s less wasted water with faster hot water.

Eliminate sweating

There are environmental situations where pipes can “sweat.” This is really condensation that forms when a pipe’s surface is cooler than the surrounding air, such as with cold water lines passing through a warm, humid part of the building. It’s similar to a cold drink sitting on your table on a hot summer day. The moisture that forms can eventually corrode the pipe, reducing its lifespan and causing hazardous leaks.

Protect workers

Some pipes may need to be insulated to protect people who are working around them. Touching an extremely hot pipe can result in burns and, potentially, workers’ compensation claims.

Location of Pipes Needing Insulation

Four prime locations

We typically see pipes in need of insulation in four general areas:

  • Boiler and mechanical rooms where workers are in close proximity
  • Heat and hot water distribution areas
  • Cold areas of the building, such as north-facing walls, shady spots, and those exposed to constant wind
  • Humid environments housing cold water lines

Together with our partners at Sanitary Plumbing, we advise property owners and managers on ways to insulate these areas, so all types of pipes in your building are protected and you capitalize on energy savings. Our focus at Calray Boilers is on piping in the boiler room and lines providing heat and hot water.

Types of Pipe Insulation

Foam insulation

This is the type of insulation you are probably most familiar with, as it is widely used by single-family homeowners for DIY applications. It resembles a swimming pool noodle, with a slit that runs the length of each piece, which makes it a breeze to slip around pipes.

The light foam material is also easy to cut to unique measurements. Foam insulation can be purchased with or without self-sealing elements; without self-sealing, it must be taped to provide proper containment of the pipe. This kind of insulation works well to prevent freezing and condensation. It’s ideal for pipes found under cabinets, but we generally recommend more heavy-duty insulation for other applications.

Nitrile foam rubber insulation

This insulation works for both energy loss and condensation. It offers multiple benefits:

  • Available in different formats, including sheets, tubes, and long coils, as well as self-sealing versions
  • Can be used for plumbing, domestic heating, and air conditioning applications
  • Works on hot pipes up to 105 degrees Celsius (221 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Can be used outside with a special paint finish for UV protection to prevent cracking

Mineral fiber insulation

Also offering a wide range of applications, mineral fiber insulation is usually foil-coated. It can handle temperatures up to 700 degrees Celsius (1,292 degrees Fahrenheit), making it ideal for use around commercial and industrial boilers. It can be used outdoors, provided a protective sheet covering is also utilized.

There are versions of rigid fiberglass insulation that are similar to mineral fiber products. Like foam tubing, these are often used by single-family homeowners and small property owners attempting DIY pipe insulation. However, mineral fiber is more eco-friendly and provides superior insulation, making it our choice for apartment buildings, businesses, and large rental properties.

EPDM foam rubber insulation

This insulation is usually applied outside over high-temperature pipes, up to 150 degrees Celsius (302 degrees Fahrenheit). It has built-in UV protection, so it is often used with solar heating. It comes in a range of formats for ease of use.

Phenolic foam insulation

While this type of insulation seals pipes well, it’s more costly due to the application process, which must be done by a professional. It’s used for large-scale heating and air conditioning applications. It’s often used in industrial settings. It comes in foil-lined tubes in a variety of pipe diameters, as well as in sheets and slabs. It can accommodate temperatures as high as 120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit) and as low as -50 degrees Celsius (-58 degrees Fahrenheit).

Within these broad types of insulation, there are subcategories, and new insulation materials are coming to market every year with advanced features like mold resistance. That’s why it’s essential to consult with plumbing and boiler professionals, like Calray Boilers, so you can select the best material for your application and budget, and so the installation is performed properly.

Contact Calray Boilers to Protect Your Pipes and Save Money on Energy Costs

New York City’s hyper-local blue-chip boiler experts

If you worry about losing heat through your radiator and hot water system, we can help. We’ll do an evaluation of your property to see where heat is being lost or where your pipes need protection from other hazards like condensation. We can help you select the ideal insulation for every scenario, enabling you to save money and enjoy greater peace of mind.

Call Calray Boilers today at 212-722-5506, or use our easy online form to set up a service call at your convenience.


Our Privacy Policy

Omnia Mechanical Group(the “Company”) strives to ensure the highest standards for property listings and customer information privacy. Please review the following statement to learn about our company practices and policies. Please be aware that our Privacy Policy is subject to change at any time.

1. Purpose.

This Privacy Policy (“the Policy”) provides information on how the Company uses your personal information. By agreeing to the Policy, you agree to our collection and use of your personal information as described in the Policy. This Privacy Policy is effective for all new users of Sanitaryplumbing.com.

2. Personal Information.

You can browse some areas of omniagroup.nyc (“the Website”) without being a registered user. However, certain activities do require registration. (You consent to the transfer and storage of your information by registering with omniagroup.nyc).

3. Use of Information.

Our primary purpose in collecting personal information is to provide you with a safe and user-friendly experience. For example, the Company may use your personal information to:

  • Improve our services and the Website’s content and layout;
  • Provide the services and necessary customer support you request;
  • Resolve disputes, collect fees, and troubleshoot problems;
  • Track and record customer satisfaction with our services;
  • Protect the Company against error and fraud;
  • Inform you of special promotions and announcements;
  • Enforce our agreements, terms, conditions, and policies; and
  • As otherwise described to you at the time of collection.

We may occasionally ask you to complete optional surveys. These surveys are used to improve and customize your experience with Sanitaryplumbing.com.

The Company always provides you the ability to opt-out of further communication such as promotions and surveys; see the Opt-Out section below.

The Company does not share any of your personal information with outside organizations, companies, individuals, etc. The only exception to this standard is if such a disclosure is reasonably necessary to respond to any and all legal processes.

4. Links to Other Sites.

The Website may have links to other websites that may collect personally identifiable information about you. The Company is not responsible for the privacy practices of the content of those linked websites.

5. Safety & Security Precautions.

The Website has strict security measures in place to protect you and your information from fraud. Once your information is provided to Omnia Mechanical Group, we strive to ensure the confidentiality of your identity and information.

6. Opt-Out.

The Company provides you with the opportunity to opt-out of receiving promotional and other non-essential, marketing-related communications from Omnia Mechanical Group. If you would like to opt-out of these select communications, please see any of the Company’s email communications and follow the directions indicated.

7. Account Protection.

Your password ensures the security of your account. When choosing a password, the Company suggests using various characters. It is highly recommended that you do not disclose your Sanitaryplumbing.com password to anyone. (If you do disclose your password or your personal information with others, you are responsible for all actions taken in the name of your account.) If the security of your password is compromised for any reason, please contact the Company immediately.

8. Accuracy of Information

The Company does not guarantee the accuracy of information for any and all of its properties on the Website, and is not responsible for any errors or misrepresentations (made by Renters, the Client, or otherwise).

9. Cookies

The Company may place a small cookie on your computer’s hard drive. This allows us to personalize your use on the Website. In order to maximize the functionality and usability of the Website, you must set your browser’s preferences to allow both permanent and temporary cookies.

10. Changing Your Personal Information.

Should your personal information change, please immediately update your information on the Website. This will ensure the accuracy of our records. The Company does retain personal information from closed accounts in order to comply with law and collect and disburse any fees owed.

11. Third Parties

This Privacy Policy addresses only the use of information we collect from you. Since omniagroup.nyc does not control the privacy policies of third parties, you are subject to the privacy policies of those third parties. It is advisable that you consult with the management of third parties before you disclose your personal information to others.

12. General

We may amend this Privacy Policy at any time by posting the amended terms on the Website. All amended terms are immediately effective after they are initially posted on the Website.

13. Privacy Policy Questions & Concerns

Questions and/or concerns regarding the Policy should be emailed to the following email address: info@omniagroup.nyc.