outlet location for roof heating cables

Old 10-07-19, 10:34 AM
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outlet location for roof heating cables

Living in an old house in MN, I'm looking to install these cables before winter. Ice dams were pretty bad last year and the inspector when I purchased the home had recommended these. I had new exterior outlets installed by an electrician near a downspout in the back and front of the house, intending to plug in at ground level and then run the cables up the downspouts and complete installation on the roof and gutter. I see product installation guides using an outlet installed on the roof itself.

My request for this community: Any input on plugging in at ground (2' above) level? Should I plug directly in so the cable melts to keep the ground clear too, or use an extension cord to run from the outlet to the end of the downspout? I'm worried about water frequently passing over a plug. Thank you!

Last edited by Bettering4Betty; 10-07-19 at 10:37 AM. Reason: clarification
Old 10-07-19, 11:39 AM
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I think I would want the electrician to put the outlets in the soffit... kind of like they do for Christmas lights. But yes, if you intend to run the cable up the downspouts, low on the house would be good. That way the downspouts wont get clogged with ice.

Exterior outlets should be gfci protected.
Old 10-07-19, 08:40 PM
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I always put the receptacles underneath in the soffits. The diagram is a little crude but should be similar to what you received when you bought the cables. You start at the receptacle..... zig zag across the roof..... come back thru the gutter and drop down the downspout. The directions usually show a loop in the downspout with the wires held apart with supplied clips. You can just do one wire down but it's a little iffy. Same thing between the zig zag wires and the one laying in the gutter. Those are also held in place with supplied clips. The heating wires cannot touch.

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