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testing and installing heat tape


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lexmarks567's Avatar
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24-Sep-2010, 01:41 AM #1
testing and installing heat tape
The trailer park I live in wants us to inspect and replace any heat tape that does not work since they will charge $100 if the pipes freeze in the winter to in non-working or improperly installed heat tape. Which water pipes under the trailer do I install them on. Do i put it on all of them. There is at least one installed and the power plug comes up through the floor in my room next to the water heater in the closet. so i will need a few extension cords for it to reach a outlet.
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24-Sep-2010, 07:57 AM #2
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24-Sep-2010, 09:03 AM #3
Extension cords? PLEASE! Run proper wiring to the connection!
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24-Sep-2010, 10:00 AM #4
You'd probably need to put it on any exposed pipes! They are all subject to freezing, especially up north. And, as John indicates, have a qualified electrician run power for you. If something happens (fire?) and you try to file an insurance claim, you'd be SOL if they trace the source of the problem to faulty wiring!
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24-Sep-2010, 12:13 PM #5
I don't even want to think about this! Things may get very interesting this winter in Warren, Michigan!
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25-Sep-2010, 09:19 AM #6
There are probably several types of heat tape so this might not apply:
I picked up an unopened heat tape at a yard sale for "almost free" price mostly to read the instructions. The following information is significant.
1. this type is not to be installed on plastic pipes.
2. this type warns to not plug into an extension cord.
3. this type requires wraped foam insulation covering the tape and pipe. (difficult to do under a trailer)

I don't have any suggestions how to resolve your problem and I do see the managers view that frozen puddles are dangerous and expensive in a trailer park.
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25-Sep-2010, 09:51 AM #7
Appears rather simple and straight forward. Install instructions at following link. Have no idea the cost, but guess not cheap. If remember correctly there is a link to find distributors and I think Home Depot was one.

http://www.tycothermal.com/usa/engli....aspx?pcg=1158

NOTE: Link web site slow opening, at least was for me when testing link. and a couple of Whoops time outs. Site is safe, just slow.

EDIT: Not as expensive as I thought, but could if pigtail isn't long enough and you need to buy additional heat cable. Appears to be different model.

http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/RAY...BaseItem=6E896

This site looks very promising and reasonable

http://www.faucetconnection.com/heat-tape.php

All show they can be used on plastic pipe.
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Last edited by Wino; 25-Sep-2010 at 10:10 AM..
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25-Sep-2010, 07:46 PM #8
I got some pics. This kind has a 3 prong plug and there are no outlets within reach. you can see it in the pics but the plug lights up when plugged in so i guess that means the tape is working. Is the orange thing the sensor? The black button thing does not turn or press in. There is foam all the way along the pipe as far I could see I didn't crawl from one side of the other.






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25-Sep-2010, 09:04 PM #9
I'd measure the resistance of the heater with it unplugged, if it has a pretty low resistance, it's probably working.
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25-Sep-2010, 09:46 PM #10
i tired measuring but didn't get a reading. Since its t-state controlled might not since the t-stat has it turned off and its a open circuit or closed i forget.. anyway i went back under the trailer and got this info off the tag.

Quote:
ABH 130 211W 120VAC 1.8A Don't spiral around apply straight over the surface. Don't over insulate and don't insulate with combustible materials.
I googled AHB 130 and this came up

http://www.acehardwareoutlet.com/pro...aspx?SKU=33518

that one is 7W per foot which comes out to 210W so I guess add 1W for the plug lite for 211W. on at 38 off at 45

Last edited by lexmarks567; 25-Sep-2010 at 10:42 PM..
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26-Sep-2010, 10:11 AM #11
Good point about the thermostat, I guess that's not an effective way to measure it until it gets cold.
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