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Old 09-09-2010, 08:22 AM   #1
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Default Heat tape; freeze protection

I have a couple of question related to heat tape, and pipe protection.

What brand of heat tape do you use?

How long does heat tape last?

How do you know if its still working?

What steps do you take to protect a customers plumbing from freezing?
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:09 AM   #2
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Frostex is the only heat tape I'll use.

http://411plumb.com/frostex-pipe-fre...-system-review
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:25 AM   #3
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I've used Raychem before but, that is a commercial product. It was 180' run and the heat trace was about 3K. There is different wattages for different pipe sizes and lengths of run. I personally have no idea how to size heat trace correctly. I had the Raychem rep. size it for me. Told him what I needed, what the low temp I wanted was and he told me what to buy in about 5 min.

It depends on what you're using it for, for how long it lasts. If it is just freeze protection you will need a thermostat box which will only turn it on in freezing temprature. It usually lasts about 10 years but I've seen stuff 20 years still in service.

Also, at least in WI, the piping needs to be insulated with at least 1" insulation over the heat tape. It would be stupid to heat trace it without insulating after.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:37 AM   #4
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What steps do you take to protect a customers plumbing from freezing?[/QUOTE]


You have to be on the constant lookout for problems especially in new construction. For other trade mistakes that will harm your plumbing.

E.G. Faulty insulation, including putting it on the wrong side of piping.
Framing where a uninsulated pocket is left. Where draft
stopping is not in place. Where a dryer vent or a fan vent is run in
the same bay as your piping. When the 2nd floor bath is built out
over a garage and is insulated but not sheethed. Insulation that is
not stapled in, just pushed in. It falls out in a couple of years.

You as the plumber will get the call when the water doesn't flow.
99 times out of a 100 it is not the fault of the plumbing. Some
times the only recourse is to heat tape it. Whose ever you use
read the instructions as to an overlay of insulation and the hazards
of protection as to heat tape.

Personally I would rather find out the cause -- and fix it so it does not freeze again. Or at least tell the customer why it froze and what they should do ...
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Last edited by PLUMBER_BILL; 09-09-2010 at 11:40 AM.. Reason: typos
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:47 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLUMBER_BILL View Post
What steps do you take to protect a customers plumbing from freezing?

You have to be on the constant lookout for problems especially in new construction. For other trade mistakes that will harm your plumbing.

E.G. Faulty insulation, including putting it on the wrong side of piping.
Framing where a uninsulated pocket is left. Where draft
stopping is not in place. Where a dryer vent or a fan vent is run in
the same bay as your piping. When the 2nd floor bath is built out
over a garage and is insulated but not sheethed. Insulation that is
not stapled in, just pushed in. It falls out in a couple of years.

You as the plumber will get the call when the water doesn't flow.
99 times out of a 100 it is not the fault of the plumbing. Some
times the only recourse is to heat tape it. Whose ever you use
read the instructions as to an overlay of insulation and the hazards
of protection as to heat tape.

Personally I would rather find out the cause -- and fix it so it does not freeze again. Or at least tell the customer why it froze and what they should do ...[/QUOTE]


Bill, I am thankful for the info. I am speaking mostly to the manufactured homes, I may not like them, but it is a reality of housing. Most calls I have been on have been due to neglect, or ignorance.
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