Heat tape to keep pipes from freezing?


Old 01-22-05, 07:59 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: northern, NJ
Posts: 228
Heat tape to keep pipes from freezing?

Okay my master bathroom is over my 2 car garage and this house is only 2 years old but this last weed with this bitter cold 0 degree temperatures, my pipes on my master bathroom sink and toilet are freezing. I am waking up in the morning to no water only on those pipes... so anyhow, I look in the garage and can tell that the pipes for the sink and toilet are running through the garage ceiling and they are on an outside wall. But I can't get to them unless I cut the sheetrock in the garage which I don't want to do. So under the sink in the cabinet, I can get to the pipes (only like 2 feet of them), then the pipes run into the floor then go through the garage ceiling. Same for the toilet. So I tried doing the following, I brought that foam pipe insulation and put that one, I left the cabinet doors open at night, and I left some water trickeling at night out of the faucet. Well this still didn't work, the pipes are still freezing up at night. So my next idea is to go get heat tape and wrap the pipes where I can see them in the master bathroom with this stuff. My question is though, will the heat from this heat tape radiate down the length of the pipe all the way through my garage ceiling? or will the heat tape only heat up the section of the pipe it's physcially touching? I know if you hold a piece of metal and heat one end, usually you can feel the heat on the other end, I just don't know how much heat will travel down my copper pipes like 7-10 feet down from where the heat tape is physically touching...

any thoughts?

also, is it safe to put heat tape on the pipe and then put the foam insulation over the heat tape? or can the heat tape catch the foam insulation on fire or scorch it?
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Old 01-22-05, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: KY/OH
Posts: 3,523
Heat tapes are considered dangerous in areas that are covered up or not easily accessible.

I would have a wall unit heater installed in the garage that would break the threat of cold, at least set the thermostat at 45 degrees.

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