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“The Insulators Have Been Green Since ????” — We Party Patriots T-Shirt Contest

During a recent visit with the Insulators Union (International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers), union leadership brought to our attention some old journal entries from the union’s monthly publication which highlight what is at the core of the insulating industry: saving energy and saving people money. What was surprising was how identically the goals and opinions of the old journal mirrored those of today’s leaders in green technology.

While it is easy to Google this week’s green cause du jour, it is more difficult to identify organizations that have been pushing green solutions that pre-date the neat little marketing box we can now fit such efforts in to. By reading the old journal entries, we came to understand that the Insulators Union is one such organization and that their mission of saving energy and money has, from the outset, driven them to do the work they do.

As a means of shedding light on this fact, we have set up a T-shirt giveaway contest that we are running on Facebook and Twitter through May 25th, the anniversary of the publication of the aforementioned journal.

Follow these simple rules to enter for a chance to win a free We Party Patriots T-shirt:

1. Read the Insulators Union journal entry that appears below, copied verbatim from an old Insulators Union journal.

2. Guess what year it was published — by substituting your guess for ???? — in either of two ways:

(a) Log on to Facebook, visit and post your answer on our wall by typing “The Insulators Union has been green since ????” in the post box.


(b) Log on to Twitter and tweet “Hey @WePartyPatriots, the Insulators Union has been green since ????”

(NOTE: You will have to “Like” the We Party Patriots Facebook page — if you have not done so — in order to enter the contest through Facebook.)

On May 25th, we will announce the names of the people who guessed the correct year of the journal’s publication and mail them a We Party Patriots T-shirt. There is no limit to the number of people who can win. You are allowed one guess per social network. If you have accounts on both Facebook and Twitter…power to you…you are allowed two guesses. But, we will only accept your first guess on each social network and ask that you only guess once on each.

Pretty easy, right? Right.

So spread the word of this T-shirt giveaway, and help shed some light on the cost-savings and energy efficiency that the Insulators Union has been promoting for ???? years!

Here is the Insulators Union journal entry, published May 25, ????. Let the games begin!



Question-In covering a steam pipe system, how is the saving computed, as compared with the loss that would be sustained, if the pipes were allowed to remain uncovered? How is it discovered whether the saving will warrant the cost outlay to properly insulate the pipes? J.P.

Answer-It is a well-known fact that it pays to cover steam lines with an insulating material. Probably every engineer knows that in a general way at least. But there are some who have no idea as to what the loss is in the case of uncovered pipes, and how much of that loss may be saved by covering them. In the following illustration we will try to make clear how these things are done.

Those who have made a study of the subject consider the covering of steam pipe lines as an investment, rather than a necessary expense alone. Suppose, for example, we take a case which recently came to our notice. In a certain power plant, there was, approximately, 300 feet of steam pipe of 4 inches diameter, uncovered. The pressure carried was 125 lbs., guage. The average temperature in the plant was about 85 deg F. A test was made by a mechanical engineer who is a specialist in that line of work, and it was found that the loss due to bare pipe was 5,073,000 Btu’s per day of 24 hours. They were using coal that cost $2 per ton of 2,000 lbs. and which had a heating value of 12,500 Btu per pound, as found from a regular analysis. Now, 60 percent only of the heat value of the coal was used in making steam. Taking 60 percent of 12,500 we get 7,500 Btu usefully expended; and 5,073,00 / 7,500 = 676+ pounds of coal per day of 24 hours, is required to make up for the loss in condensation and radiation.

The plant operates 313 days per year, and although the fires are banked on Sundays, we will consider only the regular operating days, as is the method which our correspondent wants, rather than exact figures. Therefore, 313 x 676 = 211,588 pounds, or 211,588 / 2000 = 105 tons of coal per year, in round numbers, will be lost. This means, at $2 per ton, $2 x 105 = $210 loss per year, due to uncovered pipes.

By covering these pipes with a first-class material, it was estimated (such estimate being based upon actual tests of the covering) that the loss would be reduced to 763,000 Btu per day of 24 hours, as compared with 5,073,000 Btu loss just referred to. From this we see that 763,00 / 7,500 = 101.7 pounds of coal per hour will be required to offset the loss. And 313 x 101.7 = 31,832.1 pounds per year or 31832.1 / 2000 = 15.9 tons per year. 15.9 x $2 = $31+ in round numbers, lost per year. $210 - $31 = $179 savings per year, due to covering the pipes.

This means 179 / 12 = 14.9 dollars per month, and as the job of covering the pipes would amount to $100, 100 / 14.9 = 7 months, nearly, for the job to pay for itself. As the saving yearly is $179, and the cost of covering the pipes is $100, 179 / 100 x 100 = 179 percent gross return on the investment for the first year, which shows that even when making the usual allowance for depreciation, maintenance, etc., and considering only the net return, it will be large enough to justify the pipes being covered.


8 Comments on ““The Insulators Have Been Green Since ????” — We Party Patriots T-Shirt Contest”

  1. Well, it’s nice to get some recognition, but I won’t join your contest, because I am an insulator, (Local 12) New York City. Our motto is:
    “Insulate it’s Worth the Energy”.
    Next year our charter will be 100 years old, been saving energy for a long time.

  2. The first union of Insulators was formed in New York City in the year 1884 under a charter issued by the Knights of Labor, which was the predecessor of the American Federation of Labor and we were known as “The Salamander Association of Boiler and Pipe Felters.
    Local 12 Members are extremely proud to be recognized as the originators of the Insulators union. My immediate family’s heritage dates back to the year 1920.

    1. very cool background, Matthew. If you want to elaborate some more on the history I might be able to post it to the site. Send an email to [email protected]

  3. I think the answer might be 1903.

  4. I beleive it was 1910

  5. It was 1912

  6. 1912

    1. You were right, Tim. Send an email to [email protected] with an address where we can send a shirt…

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