Understanding Fiberglass Pipe Insulation Sizing July 27 2018

Understanding the correct size of fiberglass pipe insulation you need to order can be confusing at times, especially when distinguishing between Iron Pipe Size (IPS) and Copper Tube Size (CTS). Often times fiberglass pipe insulation will have two sizes on the box: one for IPS and one for CTS. The most common misconception is that you need a bigger pipe insulation size than pipe size. Intuitively, this makes a lot of since but it is important to know that the pipe insulation size has already been adjusted to fit the pipe. Therefore, if you are looking to purchase fiberglass pipe insulation for a 2" Iron Pipe then you would simply order 2" insulation size. The actual inside diameter of the pipe insulation will be about 2-3/8" I.D. which perfectly fits the O.D. of a 2" Iron Pipe.

The insulation size is most commonly sized to fit Iron Pipe Size. If you have a copper pipe you will have to convert to the correct IPS size. There is a copper tubing size conversation chart available on the fiberglass pipe insulation page but a general rule of thumb is to drop down one size from your copper tube size and order that size pipe insulation. For example, if you have a 1.5" CTS (1-5/8" Outside Diameter) you would order 1.25" Pipe Insulation Size (IPS size). If you have a 3/4" CTS you would drop down to 1/2" Pipe Insulation Size (IPS size). Make sense? Hopefully! But there are a few wrinkles. Any copper tube size 2" or higher has its own pipe insulation size. Over 2" CTS you take the outside diameter of your pipe and order that exact size. For example, a 2" CTS pipe measures 2-1/8" outside diameter so you want to order 2-1/8" pipe insulation. A 3" CTS pipe measure 3-1/8" outside diameter so you order 3-1/8" pipe insulation size. 

The last wrinkle in copper tube sizing is that there is one size below 2" CTS that has it's own pipe insulation size and that is 1/2" CTS which has an outside diameter of 5/8" so you want to order 5/8" fiberglass pipe insulation. 

We hope this help clarify some sizing confusion. Please feel free to drop us a line if you have questions: contact us


Tips from a Certified Energy Appraiser Seminar March 07 2014

A few months ago I attended a seminar in Houston to become a certified energy appraiser. I must admit that as someone who sells insulation everyday even I was surprised to learn how much energy (and money) mechanical insulation can save. The payback period on the cost of your insulation can be as short as 6 months. When compared to the average payback period for solar panel installations, 6 months becomes an even more impressive number. The average payoff for a solar panel installation is between 10 and 20 years. Here are some other interesting facts that I picked up at the training seminar:

  • Without insulation on your piping systems, the amount of heat loss would be 20 times
  • There are many different elements that are needed in order to accurately measure
  • Once this information is gathered, an energy audit can not only provide you with the for a relatively inexpensive cost, industrial facilities and commercial buildings can update higher. insulation savings. These elements range from operating temperatures, ambient temperature and wind speed, fuel costs, efficiency of the energy source, operating hours and more. accurate cost savings of insulation, but also measure the affect that insulation can have on your reduction of carbon emissions. Mechanical insulation can be a tool to save money and also help facilities comply with cap and trade regulations.
  • For a relatively inexpensive cost, industrial facilities and commercial buildings can update their mechanical insulation and receive an annual return on investment greater than 100 percent.