Thursday, February 18, 2010

Choosing the Right Underground Pipe for Your Outdoor Wood Furnace (Part 1):

There are lots of options available when it comes to installing the underground pipe for your outdoor wood furnace. Sectional or seamless, foam or foil wrapped, the right underground piping can make a huge difference in how effective your outdoor wood furnace operates.

It wasn’t too long ago that insulating underground pipe was timely and very expensive. To save on cost most homeowners turned to 10 foot sections of insulated 4 inch PVC pipe that had already been available on the market for other specialty plumbing needs. The outside of each pipe was insulated and wrapped with a plastic bag material. Long pieces of pex or pex-al-pex pipe were fed through these sections of 4 inch pipes. After threading each section the pipes would be glued and sealed using tape. The job was awkward, difficult and labor-intense. Sealing each section proved to be nearly impossible and the pipe would fill with water, causing major heat losses and ruining any advantage of an outdoor wood furnace.

Other sectional pipes have also come onto the market but they all have the same basic flaw, seams underground. The flexible foam variety not only lack adequate insulation value but are susceptible to water penetration through each and every joint underground.

Modern underground pipe lines for outdoor wood furnaces have many advantages; namely, there are no seams buried under the ground. Even within this seamless category there are advantages and disadvantages.

Most manufacturers use pex pipe in their construction (see Pex vs. Pex-Al). Foam filled varieties seem to be the best alternative but a deeper investigation proves that foam isn’t always the answer.

Hawken Energy carries Heat-Miser foam/foil-wrapped pex-al-pex underground pipe through our Factory Rep network and through our online store. Heat-Miser pipe is recommended for all Hawken Energy installations. It is available in rolls 250 feet long and can be cut to length for your installation at increments of 25 feet.

For more information visit us online or contact your local Hawken Energy Factory Rep.

Click here to read part 2

Posted by Don Squire

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great post. A lot of people don't even realize they need a certain quality of piping for their outdoor wood furnace needs. When installing a wood boiler, it's important to plan ahead of time. Of course it's worth the effort. :)