Heating Pipes - Insulate or Move

30 Oct 2008
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West Midlands
United Kingdom

Sometime back we had an old back boiler removed and had a new combi boiler installed. The back boiler sat behind the living room fire and the new boiler is now situated in another room.

As part of this job we had a new radiator installed in the living room directly under the window (think typical old living room with window wall being perpendicular to the fireplace wall).

In hooking up the new radiator the plumber used what were the flow/return pipes to the back boiler, ran them diagonally under the floorboards from the fireplace to the new radiator... and here lies the problem.

The house is a 1930s house with suspended wooden floors, this diagonal pipework is underneath the floorboards and as airbricks ventilate the underside of the suspended floor then this pipework is effectively outside the house - I hope this makes sense. To make matters worse, these pipes aren't insulated or lagged.

So I have two options and am looking for opinion.

I can get a plumber in to move the pipework so that all of the pipework is above the floorboards (ie running along the skirting boards) or I can insulate the pipes to an inch of their lives. The latter obviously being a cheaper option.

It has been suggested to me that the latter may actually be better option because if run the pipes along the skirting board then I won't be able to insulate the pipes very easily and some of the heat will go straight to the walls... and I have 1930s solid walls (ie no cavity and no EWI/IWI).

So, given this position, would there be any real difference (besides initial cost) to going one way or the other here?

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Yeah just insulate, what braught it to your attentioon have you had probs with freezing,or has it only just been done, if they didnt freeze last winter they prob never will
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Yeah just insulate, what braught it to your attentioon have you had probs with freezing...

Nothing other than the fact that we are now looking to redecorate the room and if we are going to replace the carpet and skirting boards then I don't want to have to disrupt any of it again later.

...or has it only just been done, if they didnt freeze last winter they prob never will

This was done two years ago so we've gone through two christmases without them freezing. Thing is, the living room never seems as warm as it should be in winter and I can't help but think that in icy wind flowing around the pipes takes some of the heat out of the pipes and therefore heat out of the room.

Prob feels colder with new boiler because your old 1 was in the room with you behind the fire, and was open 2 the room so you prob got a bit of heat out of it that way aswell

Also many Back Boiler Fires didnt have a rad in the same room as they have the fire on the front, if this is so with you, did you get the correct size radiator for the room?
Gotta agree with Mr Kevplumb, just insulate the pipes and forget. Admittedly if you ran them along the skirting without insulation, you'd benefit from a little extra surface area which should help heat the room better, but it'll look a right dogs dinner in comparison to what you have now.

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