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Non Potable - Done!

Hey Folks,

Time for my weekly check-in albiet a little late due to technical difficulties yesterday. I had intended to have a video showing the installation of each of the components of the non-potable water circuit, but technical difficulties meant I lost most of the vids.  By the time I figured that out, the work was complete and I no longer had an opportunity to re-tape as the piping was covered with insulation.  So I will give you the Coles Notes version instead.

I am pleased the week went as planned and I was able to complete the non-potable water circuits for the toilets and also the taps on both roof levels yesterday.  It was a slow start as I accumulated the needed parts and got up to speed on insulating water lines, something I had not done before.  I reached out to a couple of forums I belong to and was able to reinforce my general plans and tweak them towards best practices.

Because the pipes will contain ground water, somewhere around the 45-55ºF range, and they will be running through conditioned spaces, the pipes need to be insulated to prevent condensation forming on their outside surface.  While drips in an unfinished space would be annoying,  condensation forming in a closed-in wall or ceiling assembly can cause deterioration to the structure and fungi growth.

The most important aspect to insulating piping against condensation, is to ensure that the insulation is both vapour and air tight.  To aid in this, I chose to use Armaflex Elastomeric Rubber Continuous Coil Pipe Insulation.  By using continuous coils, I only had to seal around fittings and framing penetrations greatly improving the quality of the installation.  It also, thankfully,  greatly sped up installation.

At framing penetrations, ideally the insulation would be continuous through the framing, but in 2×4 and even 2×6 construction, this is not possible without destroying the structural capacity of the wood member.  SO, instead I terminated the insulation on each side of the stud or top plate, and glued the insulation to each side of the wood member using KFEX R320 adhesive.


Finished installation – PEX-A tube is continuous from manifold in basement to this toilet on the second floor. Where the tube penetrates the framing, the insulation is glued to each side of the wood to form an air tight seal.
I used the webbing, used to secure my window package shipment, to hold the insulated pipe in place without crushing the insulation. You can also see the well sealed insulation around a tee.
For items that needed to be secured, like this toilet stub out, I fastened the pipe first
Before sealing to the stud and nearby insulation to create a air tight cover. I will later seal the copper stud to the insulation to prevent air flow down the inside of the insulation sleeve.
Similar strategy was employed around odd shaped items like this drop ear elbow at the wall hanging toilet feed.

The circuit was fed with a 1″ PVC pipe that is hung from the ceiling of the bonus room below the garage. At this location, due to the different diameter of the pipe, I had to use split insulation lengths (continuous tube not available for this size).  I used K-Flex Insul-Lock DS at this location and Kooltherm Insulated Pipe Support Inserts. These provide a structural insulated pipe hanger solution without crushing and therefore degrading the insulation value.  The K-Flex was then sealed to each side of the inserts with re-enforced tape.

Bonus Room – Non-Potable Water Feed. Structural Insulation Inserts placed in hangers with elastomeric insulation sealed to it on each side.

I will leave you with the portions of the installation video that survived the corruption.

Thanks for visiting!

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building  the new.” —Socrates (469-399) Philosopher

“There is no magic to achievement. It’s really about hard work, choices, and persistence.” —Michelle Obama (born 1964) Author, Former First Lady

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