Operations & Maintenance
Mechanical Insulation Preventive Maintenance Protocol
(Rev. 1 – July 29, 2016)
Mechanical insulation is very often ignored when it comes to preventive maintenance considerations on mechanical systems. Established protocols are in place to effectively undertake preventive maintenance on major equipment such as boilers, chillers, valves, etc. However, when it comes to the insulation originally designed to allow this equipment and the attendant piping and ducting to perform efficiently, the absence of any established review process is often the norm.
Pipe Insulation and Plastic Piping
The use of plastic pipe to convey Domestic Hot Water (DHW), Domestic Cold Water (DCW), Heating Hot Water (HHW), and Chilled Water (CW) is a popular construction practice. The plastic pipe manufacturers claim the wall thickness of the plastic pipe has sufficient thermal conductivity to either reduce or eliminate the need for additional insulation. For most operating and ambient conditions, it doesn’t.
TIAC does not comment on the effectiveness of plastic pipe systems. We take strong exception, however, to the marketing efforts of the plastic pipe manufacturers’ insulation claims; use our plastic pipe and you’ll save money by not having to insulate the piping.
The following facts are backed up by references to specific recognized sources. For the sake of brevity, this Bulletin does not necessarily include these sources; however, the sources and technical rationale are available from TIAC upon request.