Pros/Cons Electrical Heater Cord for Gutter

Old 02-01-09, 08:04 PM
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Pros/Cons Electrical Heater Cord for Gutter

I have small gutter (20 ft) plus downspout..thinking about placing electrical heater cord (inside gutter) for winter months.

Do these heater cords work well? Can you purchase cord with sensing device that comes up when needed?

What are the pros/cons of installation?

Many thanks,

David Myers
Old 02-02-09, 06:09 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
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The 'pros' are that if you install them correctly in a double run, they will work to keep your gutters flowing to the ground.

Yes, you can get a temperature sensor that will turn the cable on when the temps drop below 38 but that sensor doesn't require moisture to be present so they're a bit of a waste of energy. On the other hand, you're not heating 500 linear feet of gutter and downspouts.

There are other, more intrecate sensors that will wait for 38 degrees and moisture to activate but they can be more expensive then the cable length you stated you needed. ($300).

There aren't many 'cons' when they're inserted in gutters only and not on the roof. You'll have a heck of a time cleaning the leaves out though. And, if you forget to turn them on and the ice rips the gutters off, so goes the cable.

There are 2 different types of cable available: Single temperature that produce around 5-6 watts per linear foot all the time they are on and self regulating cable that will warm up 12 watts per linear foot when in contact with colder weather. In fact, the SR cable will be warmer where they are in contact with snow or ice then areas that are already melted. So it's a more efficient cable to use from an energy usage standpoint. It also costs more than single temp cables.

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