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phreich

#31: Post by phreich »

Since cost and availability were major factors in my materials choice for insulating my Elektra boiler, I decided to go with a fiberglass insulation product sold at Home Depot for about $7. It is a an 8" heat duct insulation product that includes 1" fiberglass and a reinforced reflective heat-resistant mylar outer covering. The fiberglass goes directly against the boiler, and is well contained by the outer covering. I just made sure to keep the outer covering away from the heater element (so as to eliminate the possibility of shorting the connections.

Installation was easier since I already had the boiler out to replace the heater element and to descale it. The material was already split lengthwise, so, wearing gloves, I simply cut a long enough length to cover the boiler and both ends when folded, then temporarily taped on edge to the boiler to keep it in place and rolled it into place around the boiler, cutting holes where needed for fittings and connections with an exacto-knife and scissors. I then cut the excess off the width of the fiberglass (remember it was intended for to up to 8" duct and my boiler is only about 6" across), then taped the butted-together ends with a foil tape (on the outside of the insulation -- no tape touching the boiler itself), then trimmed and fitted the ends together and taped the seams there too, leaving a good sized area exposed around the heating element. Then I did the same thing with the outer covering, using foil tape to seal up all joints, again avoiding the area around the element.

The finished product is sealed up (no fiberglass can escape), fire proof, and can be wiped down (no dust or dirt will get into the fiberglass because it is covered by the reinforced fire-resistant reflective mylar covering).

Yes, working with fiberglass is a bit of a pain, but anyone who has done their own home improvement has learned to handle the material and to clean up afterwords. Once in place and contained it can't go anywhere, won't exude any toxic gasses, and won't burn -- and it only cost $7, plus a bit of foil tape I already had on hand, and was available locally at a Home Depot in the aisle where they keep ducting.

Just a thought for those who want to do this safely and "on the cheap". I'll try to attach some pics later.

Don't get me wrong, I don't have anything against most of the other products mentioned -- but I wanted to pass along my experience with this material. The only concern I have is that some of the synthetic or rubber-like materials mentioned are likely to out-gas toxic fumes when they heat up. That won't usually be the case with most materials intended to be used for insulation.

I hope this is helpful,

Philip
P.S. Here are the pics: