Heating tape for outdoor pipes?


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Old 02-13-07, 05:58 AM
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Question Heating tape for outdoor pipes?

I have a room which was added onto the original house by the previous owners. They also put the washer/dryer and a sink out there. The room is heated by a wall mounted heater which I am worried about using when I'm not home, which is most of the time. I'm afraid of bursting pipes. I've heard tell of a type of tape that is connected to an electrical circuit which will heat the pipes to keep them from freezing.

Is there such a thing? Where can I find it?
 
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Old 02-13-07, 06:45 AM
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OK, I found it online, but

But I have several pipes in one outside wall. There is a pair of each, hot and cold, from the same trunk lines. How do I connect heat tape to each individual pipe? Can I somehow run one heat tape line along all?

What about the connecting region between pipes? Can I run the tape where there is not a pipe?

Or can I somehow connect several of them into one circuit?
 
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Old 02-13-07, 07:53 AM
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They should be available at most hardware stores and home centers. Just buy tape(s) long enough to protect the total length of piping you are worried about. One piece can cross from hot to cold pipe if necessary. I don't think these things are designed to be hooked in series as "one circuit", each one will need to be plugged in.

Here's a page I found with instructions:

http://www.mygreathome.com/fix-it_guide/heat_tape.htm
 
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Old 02-13-07, 10:11 AM
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I doubt it is a good idea to let the heat tape 'jump' from 1 pipe to another.
Heat tape is meant to be either wrapped around or taped to water pipe. They have a thermostat that turns them on when the temp goes below 35 degrees.

Each heat tape has to be plugged in individually. They come in many different lenghts. Personally I prefer insulating the pipes because insulation will still work when the power is off. Is it feasable to leave the door to the rest of the house open to let heat escape into the laundry room?
 
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Old 02-14-07, 09:08 AM
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[QUOTE=marksr;1125816]I doubt it is a good idea to let the heat tape 'jump' from 1 pipe to another.
QUOTE]

Mark:

Could you explain why you think this would be a problem? I'll bet the hot and cold supply lines are only a couple of inches apart.
 
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Old 02-14-07, 10:05 AM
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While I don't have any concrete facts, I'd be leary of the heat tape over heating in the spot that isn't directly attached to the pipe. Seems like I read something to that effect a long time ago - just don't remember for sure
 
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Old 02-15-07, 06:56 AM
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Will insulation work?

Will insulating the pipes work down to 10F? What about the portions of the lines on the outside of the wall and the on/off valves under the sink?
 
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Old 02-15-07, 07:55 AM
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Here is some info:

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/5045.html

Nothing on there either way about using one tape on more than one pipe, so I just don't know for sure about that. Personally, I believe it's no problem, but that's just my opinion.

Insulation alone will not protect against 10 deg F unless you leave the
faucet(s) dripping a good bit. Sooner or later you will forget and it will freeze up.
 
 

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