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Is this cladding asbestos or something else?

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  1. #1
    Golden Member Watters's Avatar
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    Default Is this cladding asbestos or something else?

    The copper hot water pipe has been clad as shown in the photo below. The hot water pipe goes into the roof and, based on the style of the floor tiles, the bathroom was probably renovated in the 1970's or 1980's.
    Is this cladding asbestos or something else?

    asbestos_or_not_1024x768.jpg

  2. #2
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    Default Looks to me like Sisal...

    But I stand to be corrected...

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    The Master's Apprentice Bedford's Avatar
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    It looks like Hemp lagging to me.

    But I've been wrong before!
    Posted by John2b, And no, BEVs are not going to save the planet, which doesn't need saving anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bedford View Post
    It looks like Hemp lagging to me.

    I agree that it is hemp, sisal or what was called "tow" (old rope). Probably from the 1950s, or earlier.

    To check, take a small sample outside and see of it burns. If it burns it is definitely not asbestos.

  5. #5
    Golden Member Watters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrodoOne View Post
    I agree that it is hemp, sisal or what was called "tow" (old rope). Probably from the 1950s, or earlier.

    To check, take a small sample outside and see of it burns. If it burns it is definitely not asbestos.
    I burnt a 1cm square piece with a jet lighter. After a couple of minutes it was all gone. So presumably it isn't asbestos.
    Yes, the house is 1950s vintage but the cladding is around copper pipe which I don't think they used in the 1950s so maybe someone did this more recently. Underneath the subfloor there is still some galvanised piping, and one section even has copper pipe joined to the old galvanised piping with more of this hemp/sisal type stuff around the different pipe sizes join. There are also a few loose pieces of old galvanised piping lying on the floor under the subfloor which has been removed, presumably, as more of the copper pipe was installed by someone to replace it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Watters View Post
    I burnt a 1cm square piece with a jet lighter. After a couple of minutes it was all gone. So presumably it isn't asbestos.
    Yes, the house is 1950s vintage but the cladding is around copper pipe which I don't think they used in the 1950s so maybe someone did this more recently. Underneath the subfloor there is still some galvanised piping, and one section even has copper pipe joined to the old galvanised piping with more of this hemp/sisal type stuff around the different pipe sizes join. There are also a few loose pieces of old galvanised piping lying on the floor under the subfloor which has been removed, presumably, as more of the copper pipe was installed by someone to replace it.
    In the 1950 - 60s, Galvanized pipe was often used underfloor and copper pipe was used in places where it was NOT easy to replace it - such as in walls to bathroom fixtures, behind tiles.

    I live in such a house where this situation existed BUT all the old galvanized water pipe has long since been replaced with copper. Galvanized pipe was used underfloor here for cold water (and gas) only but the hot water was all in copper.

  7. #7
    Golden Member Watters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrodoOne View Post
    In the 1950 - 60s, Galvanized pipe was often used underfloor and copper pipe was used in places where it was NOT easy to replace it - such as in walls to bathroom fixtures, behind tiles.
    The copper pipe with the cladding (hot water) goes from the shower hot tap up into the roof, but the cold water comes from under the subfloor up to the shower cold tap. Was this normal practice back then? Why would anyone want to take hot water up to the roof? Doesn't sound like a good idea e.g. if the pipe leaks all the ceiling plaster would come down. Wouldn't it have made more sense to take it under the subfloor along the subfloor wall?

  8. #8
    The Master's Apprentice Bedford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Watters View Post
    Why would anyone want to take hot water up to the roof?
    I doubt they are, it's more than likely in a house that age it is coming down from a gravity fed hot water system.(in the roof)

    The cold water pipe would have to go up into the roof to feed the HWS as well.

    Sometimes these HWS are replaced with mains pressure ones at ground level but a lot of internal piping remains for convenience.
    Posted by John2b, And no, BEVs are not going to save the planet, which doesn't need saving anyway.

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    Community Moderator phild01's Avatar
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    The 1960 built house we had, had gal to the house and copper throughout the house. It had that hessian type lagging on the hot pipes, and all hot and cold ran under the house.

  10. #10
    Golden Member Watters's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bedford View Post
    I doubt they are, it's more than likely in a house that age it is coming down from a gravity fed hot water system.(in the roof)

    The cold water pipe would have to go up into the roof to feed the HWS as well.

    Sometimes these HWS are replaced with mains pressure ones at ground level but a lot of internal piping remains for convenience.
    It looks like the internal piping is still being used but perhaps connected to the external outside Rheem water heater which presumably replaces a gravity fed hot water system? The hot water pipe is definitely connected to the hot water tap and goes upwards towards the roof. There is no cold water pipe going up to the roof that I can see so perhaps that got removed by someone when installing the outside Rheem water heater? Would there be a tank in the roof for a gravity fed hot water system? If so, maybe that is still in the roof but not used anymore.

  11. #11
    The Master's Apprentice Bedford's Avatar
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    It's possible the old HWS is still in the roof, a look through the manhole should find it.

    Sometimes they were left, sometimes removed, they are worth a few bob in scrap copper these days.
    Posted by John2b, And no, BEVs are not going to save the planet, which doesn't need saving anyway.

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    The lining behind the pipe lagging maybe suspect though!
    regards inter

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    Quote Originally Posted by Watters View Post
    It looks like the internal piping is still being used but perhaps connected to the external outside Rheem water heater which presumably replaces a gravity fed hot water system? The hot water pipe is definitely connected to the hot water tap and goes upwards towards the roof. There is no cold water pipe going up to the roof that I can see so perhaps that got removed by someone when installing the outside Rheem water heater? Would there be a tank in the roof for a gravity fed hot water system? If so, maybe that is still in the roof but not used anymore.
    The pipe going to the roof space is probably "capped" and no longer in use. It is easier and cheaper for a plumber to do this than to remove the redundant piping. Remember that to remove ALL the unnecessary pipe it would be necessary to get behind the bathroom wall - no doubt at the cost of repairs !! There MAY be a tank still in the roof because, sometimes, the roof was built around the tank as it may be to big to pass between two roof joists - which are about 450 mm apart - and it may be necessary to cut and repair a roof joist to remove it.

    Again, a similar situation pertains in the 1950s house in which I now live. Originally there was a "brickette" Hot Water service in the Laundry, with gravity feed. This was replaced with a Gas mains pressure unit (twice), but the cold water was still fed via the roof (because less work/cost was involved). (The copper tank was eventually removed and sold.)
    We now have a Solar Hot Water service, with the tank etc. outside the house, but the original pipes are "capped" in the Laundry and are in the Laundry wall, pending the remodeling of the Laundry.

    The excess pipe is somewhat like your Appendix - it doesn't do anything but, unless it gives you trouble, you can leave it alone and not remove it!

  14. #14
    Golden Member Watters's Avatar
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    Plumber came around today. Evidently it is something called "hair felt lagging". Plumbers don't like it because it is inflammable. If it catches alight it spreads along the rest of the lagging in seconds.
    Plumbers usually dampen the hair felt lagging before putting an Oxy-Acetelene torch anywhere near it.

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