Unidentified material

can anyone tell me what this substance is made of.

it was on a few of the copper water supply lines to the house.

i’m assuming it’s for insulative purposes.

i’ve seen this “paste” ( not asbestos tape ) on ductwork before.

asbestos based???

seems sort of fibrous and like it was just caked on.


Chris, it would require testing to confirm its’ composition but I would guess that it is in fact asbestos based, back in the 1930’s-1950’s it was common to insulate long pipe runs with various forms of asbestos and pastes were one of the products around back then.

Years ago I found a bag of “ready-mix” asbestos paste, I wish I had the bag as it listed various applications and mixing instructions, I was unwilling to deal with the contents in order to save the bag!! :wink:




house built in 1955.

you’ve given me enough ammo to at least mention the possibility.

the wealth of info from you and from NACHI never ceases to amaze me!

thanks again,


Sweet Jesus Gerry I am dead and don’t know it. In the early 1960’s I was a pup in the Navy and we use to take bags of asbestos and pour into a bucket and add water to make a paste for damaged steam line insulation. How dumb we were back then. Mixed it with my hands many times. Now days I would not go within a mile of it.

I have in the past observed a white fiber glass wrap that was used on water lines that had no backing on it. AS you stated can not tell unless TESTED.

Since that subject was brought up, I thought this might be relevant material.


Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Hi Charley,

You also played in the street as a kid, smoked as a teenager, drank yourself stupid and practiced way too much unsafe sex :mrgreen: I believe that all of that now anti-social behaviour cancells each other out :shock: :shock: :wink:

You’ll probably live forever :smiley:



How about all the times you were changing brakes and the first thing you did was blow all the dust off the drums???:shock:

Hope your right, Gerry, because I fit that category too. ha. ha.

Charlie, we might make it after all. :wink: :smiley: :smiley:

When I went to school in the forties we all used that in school to make continents and mountains an throw at each other .
When I used to work with my Brother an electrician we used to put it around a small stove called a jacket heater for heating the water for the how water tank .
We also used to put Asbestos Blankets around the tank and covered the tank top with the asbestos .
When I started the Electrical Trade I worked in a lot of Boiler rooms and this was use on many boilers with asbestos Blocks .
The Insulation Installers could hit you with a blob of that at thirty pases from a bit on the tip of their trowel .
I have not seen the bags in 50 years .
Brought back a lot of memories Thanks
Roy Cooke

Don’t forget the dust from the joint compounds, the transite boards cut off with saws, transit pipe, vermiculite dust, VAT, old cut back adhesives, thank God some of them was a non-friable materiar. The VAT was cut with heat torch.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Filters on some cigarettes also (I think Kent)

Popcorn ceilings


I must really be in trouble :shock: I still do all of that:twisted:

My theme song by Tom T. Hall
Faster Horses, Younger women, Older Whiskey, More Money


Years ago I found a bag of “ready-mix” asbestos paste, I wish I had the bag as it listed various applications and mixing instructions, I was unwilling to deal with the contents in order to save the bag!! :wink:

Smart move!!!

I worked with a man who was notified by the Military that some of the duties he had performed while in the army, like scrubbing inside the navy ships after they were repaired at dock,had been causing illness in many of the men and he should be checked out.This was after he had been given diagnosis of lung cancer and skin cancer.It did turn out to be he had a case or claim for his lung condition…he was inlisted during the 60’s.he told me

I have talked with a few ol’ Boeing guys that claimed they use to wash their hands with MEK (methyl-ethyl- ketone)…:shock:
After working on cars or motorcycles I use to wash my hands with gasoline, and pour the changed oil out behind the shop…the good ol’ days.:smiley:
We just didn’t know any better.

Liz are you trying to scare me:shock: I’m to mean for cancer and my wife said I did not have a heart so I must be going to live forever besides Gerry said I would. You almost live close enough for me to throw rocks at your house don’t scare me:) :slight_smile:


I remember the early days, mainly summer jobs, in my family HVAC business.

My job, as a helper was to rap all S/A, R/A and flue-vents duct joints and seams with asbestos tape, then wrap all the S/A and R/A ductwork with what they called “long-hair” type fiberglass insulation. By the end of the day, in those low, hot attics you could tell I was in miserable shape.

Being the boss’ son did’nt help with the practical jokes either. I was told at the end of my 1st day to make sure to get home and take as hot a shower as I could stand to get that fiberglass off or I would suffer for days. A 14 yr.old is awfully gullable.
I can still remember hearing my dad laughing when he saw me after my shower.

Tell me you remember those days !!

Yes Greg I remember to well the insulation was one of the reason that drove me to commercial and industrial refrigeration did not have to deal much with it.



I used to do that myself. Scary.

Too much buzz with MEK I much prefer Trifluorotrichloroethane.:smiley: