Sunday, March 4, 2012

Manifold Insulated

3 Mar 2012: The external manifold has now been insulated. I found a bit of pipe insulation for 40mm piping. Also, I deduced that the rain has been pouring into the manhole, although mostly on the east side. The insulation there is totally drenched, and so heavy that much of it has fallen off. On the west side, its reasonably good, damp but not wet. With this wet insulation and freezing winter air temperatures in there, it must have caused a significant loss of efficiency. I notice that the pipes entering and leaving the manhole are insulated, thank goodness the plumber did that.

  I insulated the pipes that I could, then considered how to deal with the rain. I can't see a drain hole for water to leave the chamber. I shall have to open it on a day of rain to see what is happening there. If it fills up entirely with water, I shall have to drill a drain hole somehow - or put some sealant around the gap where the lid fits.

  There's no wind or UV degradation down there, so I reckon it is OK to put bubble wrap in the hole, arranged over the pipes to clear rainwater, but also to give the pipes of the manifold some additional insulation. So the entire manhole looks like it is full of a weird kind of white filly underwear, or some vast incubating bed for some aliens.
  I have tried to caulk the opening around the edge with polythene, but I don't think this will be totally successful. I might consider the idea of the old canal builders, which is to caulk the edge with sticky CLAY, well worked into the groove, then replace the lid, and it is 'puddled' !

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