The Value of
It seems like there are many different manufactures of insulated
underground pipe. Choosing the right
underground tubing can make a big difference in how effective your outdoor boiler,
furnace or stove operates. Effectively
choosing and installing quality insulated underground tubing can ensure that
your boiler/furnace/stove is operating at peak performance which reduces fuel
consumption and improves air quality.
When choosing a type of insulated underground pipe it is
important to consider several key points; adequate insulation, climate, length
and R values of pipe. Higher R values
mean lower heat loss from point A to point B.
Lower heat loss will ensure the maximum Btu heat transfer possible and
maximum btu heat output. Milder climates
may not require as high R values as colder climates.
R values are determined from the type of insulation being
used. Pre-Insulated underground pipe can
be manufactured with foam or wrapped with foil blanket like materials. Foil
wrapped pipe are considered to be competitively priced and pipe made with foam
are designed to respond to intensive environments and climates.
Pre-insulated underground pipe can be manufactured to
individual installation needs. Common installs will require one return line and
one supply line. For installations that require
extra lines this can be easily ordered to meet your requirements.
There are three types of tubing to choose from, barrier,
non-barrier and pex-al-pex. When using
pex tubing in an environment such as outdoor boiler applications, expansion is
expected because of high temperatures in boiler water. Manufactures will often recommend using
pex-al-pex tubing which has less expansion capacity then barrier and non-barier
pex. Pex-al-Pex lines will maintain their shape and will not cause extra
pressure on fittings and pumps due to expansion. Pex-al-pex tubing also reflexes true inside
diameter (ID) dimensions, barrier and non-barrier pex will reflex outside
diameter (OD). For example, 1” pex-al-pex
will measure 1” ID while 1” pex will measure slightly less than 7/8
inches. Smaller inside diameter
dimensions will restrict flow of water which can lead to reduce transferring of
btu’s to point A to point B. Standard pex tubing comes in two forms, barrier or
non barrier. Barrier pex is similar to
pex-al-pex only because it contains an oxygen barrier which will assures that
no oxygen will enter the heating system.
Oxygen barrier pex helps prevent cast iron components from rusting over
time. However often times non-barrier
pex is chosen because of pricing.
Choosing the correct type of insulated underground tubing
maximized efficiency of any system by keeping heat loss to a minimum. High efficiency will achieve the maximum delivery
of heat from wood and reduces wood consumption and leads to more saving.
Insulated underground piping should be continuous with no
joints, couplings or unions between the building being heating and the boiler. Insulated tubing needs to be free of damages
or punctures that will allow ground water or soil to come in contact with the
inside insulation and piping. Allowing
such contact will cause pipe to become susceptible to water penetration which
will lead to major heat loss and ruin any advantage of an outdoor wood
furnace. Proper sealing of each end of
pipe is also required to ensure complete water tight installation.
Proper burring of pipe is crucial to achieve the best possible
heat transfer from point A to Point B.
It is recommended whenever possible to bury pre-insulated pipe at least