Check your heat Tape-Preventative Maintenance pays off!
The heat tape (or cable) on your home is designed to protect the water lines from freezing during winter months. Do not run the risk of water pipes freezing when temperatures plummet. A properly functioning heat tape (or cable) is the best way to protect your pipes. The average lifespan of a heat tape is 5-7 years, but it is important that you check your heat tape each fall to be sure it is functioning properly. Now is the time to get prepared for the upcoming cold weather!
This can help prevent major damage to your home later!
In order to check whether the heat tape (or cable) is functioning, you should open the access panel in the skirting.
- First, be sure the unit is plugged in and the GCFI does not need to be reset. The pipe should be slightly warm to the touch.
- Be sure the existing one is not overlapped or at a 90-degree angle anywhere on the pipes. This is a fire hazard. Certain types of heat tapes state, they can be overlapped. We still do not recommend doing so.
- Examine for frays, cracks or rust. If any type of deteriorating condition is found it must be replaced.
- Check pipes for any leaks. A pipe that has leaked can cause a short, creating a possible fire hazard. Pay special attention to pipe joints for any moisture.
If replacement is necessary, we recommend using a heat cable. This self-regulatory heating element can be used on plastic or copper pipe SAFELY! It will sense the amount of heat needed to keep the pipe warm and adjust the heat output as needed. The heating cables are cut to custom lengths, so it is necessary to take careful measurement of any water lines. The heat cable should be installed on one side of the pipe. It is NOT necessary to spiral it around the pipe. After attaching it to the water line, we recommend an IMCO lock pipe insulation to be added over the heat cable and pipe. By properly insulating the water line it will stop condensation from forming on the pipe and damaging the heat cable. This additional insulation should be slightly loose fitting. This creates an air gap between the insulation and the pipe. The air gap fills with warmer air and helps to distribute warmth to the pipe more evenly.
If you are uncomfortable making this repair, contact our office for a referral.