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    Welshgrrl's Avatar
    Welshgrrl Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jun 7, 2011, 11:53 AM
    Question re pipe covering under kitchen sink
    There is a series of pipes running along the back of the wall underneath my kitchen sink. They appear to have been covered with some kind of material that is now disintegrating (it peels off like layers of cardboard and smells mildewy especially now that the weather is warmer).

    I checked and there is no leaking taking place, and the material doesn't feel wet to the touch (dry but just sort of spongey). I have odor absorbing crystals for the mildew smell but I realize that doesn't solve the problem.

    Should I get a plumber in? Other than this issue the actual pipes themselves are perfectly fine.
    ma0641's Avatar
    ma0641 Posts: 15,681, Reputation: 1012
    Uber Member

    Jun 7, 2011, 12:47 PM
    Be careful with insulation, particularly if this is an old house with a boiler. This could be Asbestos. If you think it is asbestos, do not remove it, have a certified company do the job. If you think it is not Asbestos, remove it and cover with poly foam pipe cover. Do you know what is running through the "series" of piping?
    massplumber2008's Avatar
    massplumber2008 Posts: 12,824, Reputation: 1211
    Senior Plumbing Expert

    Jun 8, 2011, 04:16 AM

    I'd love to see a picture of the stuff. We should be able to tell you more if you can post a picture here, OK?

    Back to you...

    Welshgrrl's Avatar
    Welshgrrl Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jun 8, 2011, 06:46 AM
    Thanks for your replies - it looks like some kind of spongey foam-like stuff around the pipes covered with a sort of plasticky material. I checked again and everything is dry to the touch with no visible leaking or dampness, just this weird moldy smell.

    I live in an apt building built in 1959 - there was a new kitchen sink etc installed in 2007 so those pipes are relatively new, but the ones running along the back of the wall look much older and I assume are the ones that run water in/out of my kitchen. Per suggestion above I will follow up with a photograph or two - its hard to explain as there is piping for a dishwasher under my sink also.
    mygirlsdad77's Avatar
    mygirlsdad77 Posts: 5,713, Reputation: 339
    Plumbing Expert

    Jun 8, 2011, 06:00 PM

    Looking forward to photos
    Welshgrrl's Avatar
    Welshgrrl Posts: 3, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jun 9, 2011, 06:40 AM
    Hi, here are three photos, from different angles, that I was able to take this morning of the space under my kitchen sink. Hope this link works:

    Milo Dolezal's Avatar
    Milo Dolezal Posts: 7,191, Reputation: 523
    Plumbing Expert

    Jun 9, 2011, 09:33 AM
    Hello Welshgrrl, thank you for posting the pics...

    It appears to be regular Fiberglass Pipe Insulation. The small yellow "blobs" on the right is Foam Insulation applied from spray can. Pipe all the way on top is ABS or PVC drain pipe painted over.

    The Fiberglass Insulation is basically loose fiberglass material held together by paper ( or fabric ) wrap. Once you disturb this wrap, fiberglass material will not stay around the pipe and will have tendency to fall out.. You can prevent that by using Duct Tape and taping the holes over.

    Today, we don't use Fiberglass Insulation as often as we used to. We use Plastic Foam pipe insulation instead. It comes in several thicknesses and R-Values. It looks "cleaner" and is lot easier to work with.

    Hope that explains... Back to you... Milo

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