Simply put, yes--the right type of heat tape will really keep your pipes from freezing. By applying gentle heat, heat tape can prevent the water in your pipes from turning to ice and blocking the flow of water--or worse. Combined with proper insulation, heat tape regulates the overall temperature of your water pipes.
Heat trace, heat tape, or heating cable for pipes is typically an electric heating cable that can be attached to the pipe which helps keep non-flowing water pipes in poorly insulated perimeter walls flowing despite harsh winter temperatures.
No, as long as it's properly installed. However, improper installation, use, and/or maintenance of electrical heating cable can cause fires, electric shock, and/ or frozen pipes.
By attaching a heating cable to the exterior of a pipe, it will transfer the heat to the pipe to prevent frozen pipes. And with the use of pipe insulation the heat will be evenly spread and won't dissipate as quickly.
Unfortunately there's no set answer for this because it depends on many factors such as the diameter of the pipes, the installation density of the heating cables, the outdoor temperature, the installation of thermal insulation sleeves, etc.
There are too many variables to provide an accurate answer. Even though this product is designed to keep pipes from freezing, it is not designed to thaw pipes. If your pipe has frozen with the heat tape installed and energized, please check the placement of the built-in thermostat and verify that the insulation has been properly installed and waterproofed.
No. Do not run constant wattage heating cable through walls, ceilings, or floors. The constant wattage cable must be installed 1/2“ away from combustible material.
Only use on water pipes with a length greater than 3‘. Maximum pipe diameter of 1.5“. Never use a cable that is longer than the pipe. Never install constant wattage pipe heat on plastic/PVC/PEX piping unless it is filled with water at all times. Never install on pipes heated above 149°F/65°C such as steam lines.
Heating cable may remain on the pipe year round, but WarmlyYours recommends turning off or disconnecting the power when air temperatures remain above 50°F/10°C. Always inspect the heating cable and its power connection at the beginning of the heating season.
No, heating cable for pipes will use a relatively low amount of power—anywhere from 21W to 210W (depending on length).
While the entire product is warrantied for 2 years, it is equipped with a built-in thermostat that has a service life of approximately 100,000 activations. The service life of the constant wattage heating cable itself is 20 years.
The highest surface temperature of the heating cable for pipes can be between 70°F and 80°F.
As the names imply, constant wattage cable uses fixed wattage output per linear foot and does not automatically adjust in response to temperature changes. Self-regulating cable is manufactured with a resistance matrix placed between its 2 buss wires that varies the ohms resistance per linear foot to automatically adjust in response to temperature changes. Learn more about this in our blog Self-Regulating vs. Constant Wattage Heating Cables.
Ice Shield is 120V and outputs 5W/ft, and is designed for roof and gutter deicing applications.
PRO-Tect is 120V and outputs 7W/ft, and is designed for pipe freeze protection applications.