Question on using heat tape.

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Old 01-19-10, 10:53 AM
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Question on using heat tape.

I want to install heat tape (easyheat) on 2 washing machine pvc water lines. I need a total of 12' of heat tape (6' for each water line. The water lines under the washer are apprx. 5" apart. Can I use a single 12' heat tape and run the tape from one water line to the other at the 5" gap b/w the 2 waterlines? I only have a single electrical outlet at this location. Thanks for your feedback?
 
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Old 01-19-10, 03:11 PM
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Hi Back40, I try to avoid heat tapes as they can cause a fire. Newer ones may be better, but the one precaution I saw first hand, was don't overlap the heat tape. A friend had more heat tape than he needed so simply went back over the first wrap and then wrapped everything in insulation. Got too hot gas caught on fire. Fortunately it had nothing else to burn and just destroyed the tape. Follow mfg instructions and be careful.

Now, why the tape? If you can insulate between the pipes and the cold and leave them open the the warm they will survive. If this is an unheated area, that may have been discussed in an earlier post, then the tapes are necessary.

Now, since I don't/haven't used them I have limited knowledge, however, there is a product out there that I like. I just don't know if it has been made into a plug and go heat tape. It is self regulating and cannot over heat. I just went for a search and found this: Frostex and Wintergard heat tape price sheet, heat tapes custom made to specifications. Buried water pipe heat tapes also. That is the material, but it doesn't look like a plug and go package, so use your judgement. There were a bunch of links so do a search.

For your question about wrapping both together, possibly if you seal it from the cold and obviously don't overlap.

See what you can find
Bud
 
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Old 01-25-10, 08:57 AM
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If using easyheat, pipe heating cable, with the braided steel outer cover, you can wrap it over itself without any problem. If you really need to wrap the pipes, run the cable along the first pipe, taping with good electrical tape, loop over to the next pipe and do the same, then insulate the pipe and cable with pipe wrap or foam insulation covers. If your cable is long, you can wrap it (spiral) around the pipe I would use 3/4" or 1" foam cover over 1/2" pipe.
Check with the manufactures instructions as some of the heat cables are not to be used with plactic pipe.
The main thing I would do is to ensure proper insulation in the area of the pipes and eliminate any drafts (holes where the pipes come through the wall or floor). You could also leave the pipes exposed to the interior space and that should keep them from freezing.
 
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