Plumbing heat tapes

How do heat tapes work?

Heat tape is a type of electric heater cord that’s protected from the elements. When put in place, such as in pipes and gutters, it works to generate just enough heat to keep water from freezing. As a result, water continues to flow and there’s no ice obstruction on your eaves, valleys or gutters.

What is the best heat tape for water pipes?

Heat tape Silicone rubber heat tapes are a good heat tape for applications up to 450°F, and are chemical- and moisture-resistant. ( Fiberglass-insulated heat tapes come without controls – no built-in thermostat.

What can I do with excess heat tape?

1 Answer. Usually you can wrap the tape around the pipe as you install it. You can then add or subtract wraps to adjust the length and make it come out where you want. This works well for just a short amount of slack.

Can you leave heat tape plugged in?

Modern tapes have a built-in thermostat that automatically calls for power (and the resulting heat ) as the surrounding temperature drops near freezing and cuts power off as the temperature rises. Those tapes do not draw electricity all the time, even though they remain plugged in .

Can heat tape cause a fire?

Sadly, heat tape has the potential to cause fires in homes and businesses. Many of these products consist only of non-regulating tape which plugs into a wall outlet. If the heat tape remains activated for long periods of time – especially if temperatures rise and/or the tape is well-insulated – it can spark a fire .

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Will heat tape thaw frozen pipes?

The only sure cure is wrapping the pipe with electric- heating tape . Before trying to thaw out a frozen pipe by applying any type of heat to it, the first thing to do is open the faucet or valve that that pipe supplies so that as the ice melts the water will be able to run out easily.

Can you wrap heat tape around a pipe?

Use only automatic heat tape , with heavy rubber insulation around the wires. Do NOT use non-automatic heat tape , as this could damage plastic pipes . Some types of heat tape wrap around the pipe , some run along one side of the pipe . Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Does heat tape use a lot of electricity?

Does heat tape use a lot of electricity ? Typical heat tape burns electricity at six to nine watts per foot per hour. That means each 100 feet of heat tape operating 24/7 can translate to an added monthly cost of $41 to $62 to operate heat tape , says Eileen Wysocki, energy auditor for Holy Cross Energy .

Is heat tape safe for PVC pipes?

If your building plumbing pipes are plastic , such as PVC water piping , use only pipe heat tape that has an automatic thermostat to control the heat tape temperature. Otherwise a very hot heating tape may damage the piping or even cause a leak.

How do I know if my heat tape is working?

Feel along the length of the heat tape . It should be getting warm. If the heat tape fails to warm up, after 10 minutes, the thermostat or the heat tape itself is bad. Remove the heat tape and install a new unit.

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How do you calculate heat tape for pipes?

To determine required heater length (Lh), multiply length of pipe (Lp) by (Rp). Lh = Lp x Rp.

When should I turn my heat tape on?

Self-regulated heat tapes don’t get very hot at all which is why they aren’t helpful to unfreeze pipes. In fact, they should be installed on your pipes long before the first freeze. The new self-regulated heat tapes will turn on when the temperature gets below 40 to 38 degrees.

How warm does heat tape get?

Heating Tape, Heating Cable, Heating Cords: At a Glance Higher power densities and temperatures, ranging from tapes with a maximum of 305° up to very-high-temperature tapes rated for up to 1400°F ( 760°C ).

Can you spiral heat tape?

Heating tape can be installed on nearly any surface due to its flexibility. Spiral wrap the heating tape onto the surface to be heated so that the length of one entire side of the heating tape is in full contact with the surface (Figure B).