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Old 08-02-2008, 06:23 PM   #16
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Need advice on roof heat tape.


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No offense Ash, but which southern, non snow, state are you from?

Man, that was funny....

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Old 08-02-2008, 10:14 PM   #17
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Need advice on roof heat tape.


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Snow? What is snow. That is something we get when the stores want to empty all their shelves. When they predict snow, all the milk, bread, and peanut butter disappers.

Snow is what happens up north when my ac is still running.
Ya'll enjoy the snow!
Now there is the difference. When they predict snow around here, the beer and brandy disappears.

Snow is what reduces our AC bill.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:55 AM   #18
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Need advice on roof heat tape.


I'm from Michigan and I have a dead spot in a valley in my roof(actually 34 roofs, we're an apartment complex) I removed the gutter at the end of the valley but there is a short area with no pitch where the ice starts. has anyone ever used heat tape in valley areas up to ten feet long? any suggestions other than ripping roof would be appreciated. metal pans and rubber roof have been suggested, looking for other options.
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:10 PM   #19
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Need advice on roof heat tape.


We've used self-regulating in valley's many times. As long as you have enough coverage in the valley to work effectively to melt the snow/ice and carry it off the roof.
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Old 02-15-2009, 11:55 AM   #20
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Need advice on roof heat tape.


I have had ice dam problems on north side of house this winter and am thinking of trying the heating cable only in the gutters and downspouts. The gutters are 2 years old and have a perforated sheet metal covering them to keep out debris. My question is- -can I put the cable on top of the perforated cover or in the gutter itself? Thanks,
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Old 02-15-2009, 12:05 PM   #21
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Need advice on roof heat tape.


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can I put the cable on top of the perforated cover or in the gutter itself? Thanks,
For the obvious reasons, you'll have to remove the covers and insert them in the gutters without replacing the cover until spring.
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:20 PM   #22
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Need advice on roof heat tape.


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The right product to use is called Self-Regulating Heat Cable. "Self Regulating" means that the cable will get warmer, the colder it is outside. That saves energy when it's 30 degrees as compared to when it's 10 degrees. The stuff at the box stores is just a one temp element that goes to it's maximum temperature no matter what the outside temperature is.

The zig zag pattern that someone reffered you to is what you would do with the cable when applying it to your roof. When you are installing it in your gutters and downspouts the best application is a double run. The cable will melt any snow or ice that is in contact with it and (generally) within 1" around it. If you have a heavy snow fall, it will igloo in the gutter and then re-freeze over the top. So, a double run will keep the gutter clear. You do the same thing down the downspout.

If you have 330 linear feet of gutter, you probably have 8-10 downspouts. They need to be heated as well or it will just refreeze in the downspout and you won't be solving the problem. As a less expensive way to approach the problem, you could only treat the areas that get no sun and work from there.

Next is the controls.

I should say that this is our experience with gutter melt systems and experience dictates that we won't install them any other way.
Sounds like my problem. Thanks for the help! By the way how much did it cost you?
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:24 PM   #23
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Need advice on roof heat tape.


Some people have observed that having the heating cables only moves the ice dam further up the roof - beyond the heat cable
So it may solve the problem, it may not
With the snow we had & the winter it would not have removed the ice dams from my roof
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Old 02-23-2009, 08:35 PM   #24
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Need advice on roof heat tape.


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Some people have observed that having the heating cables only moves the ice dam further up the roof - beyond the heat cable
So it may solve the problem, it may not
That's absolutely correct. Installing cables ON the roof and in the gutters is application driven. If you have an overhang where the water can refreeze before even getting to the gutters, you will have an ice dam on the roof as well.

The worst part about the design of cables on the roof is that if you have a good snow or ice slide, it can tear the cables off the roof and take the shingles with them. That's why we also use under shingle/metal heating systems as well. They certainly ain't cheap, but they are a real fix for the probelm.
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:52 AM   #25
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Need advice on roof heat tape.


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Having large amounts of snow and ice on my roof last year I have decided that I need to install heat tape in the rain gutters. Heat tape companies state that you should run the tape in the gutters and in a zig-zag pattern along the eaves but that adds up to a LOT of tape and a much higher electric bill. I have 330 feet of gutters. I have spoken to several electricians and rain gutter folks and they say that all I need is to run the tape in the gutter as that is what needs to be kept free of ice. The house is new and has plenty of blown in insulation and plenty of attic ventilation.

Has anyone used this tape and if so, what has been your experience with it. Should I run the zig-zag pattern?

Thanks


Running the tape in your gutters will help prevent extreme damming but chances are that the ice is forming higher up on your roof where warmer air in the attic is warming your roof and melting the snow turning it into ice. It is best to use the zigzag pattern 3 or 4 rows of shingles up using the included clips. As to your high electric bill, they now have tape with control modules, where you can adjust the tape to turn on when the tape reaches a certain temperature. They also come with moisture sensors and activate when they sense water. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:11 PM   #26
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Need advice on roof heat tape.


In the mountains of Colorado, I have self-regulating heat cable installed on 3 separate circuits on the North, West and South roofs. My electricity monitor indicates that I consume approximately 2500 watts per hour for all three circuits, thus costing around $144/mo. if all circuits are left on continuously.
One roofer told me to leave the circuits (ranging from 75' to 150' in 20 amp lines) on continuously, partly because cold startups draw a large amount number of amps. Another roofer told me to activate the cables only between around 10 am to 3 pm when it warms up a bit and the sun is out to facilitate melting. Obviously, I would rather do the latter and use time clocks to save money, even though I would probably leave the North circuit on all the time where ice damming is the greater problem.
Can anyone provide some advice re. this issue?
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:46 PM   #27
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Need advice on roof heat tape.


Why don't you just use a temperature/moisture sensor? It will activate the system when temps fall below 38 degrees (adjustable from 32 - 40) and the sensor gets wet from either rain or snow. You can also position it in the gutter so that it 'sees' water flowing off the roof.

They sell for about $300.00. If you have a swtch that activates a coil to turn on your 3 zones, it can be connected between the coil and the service. It has the ability to control up to 120/240v/30a. You can also take it another step and install a controller for the sensor inside your home.
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:15 PM   #28
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Need advice on roof heat tape.


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Originally Posted by warmsmeallup View Post
Why don't you just use a temperature/moisture sensor? It will activate the system when temps fall below 38 degrees (adjustable from 32 - 40) and the sensor gets wet from either rain or snow. You can also position it in the gutter so that it 'sees' water flowing off the roof.

They sell for about $300.00. If you have a swtch that activates a coil to turn on your 3 zones, it can be connected between the coil and the service. It has the ability to control up to 120/240v/30a. You can also take it another step and install a controller for the sensor inside your home.
Well, I thought of that, but the problem is, at 8700 ft. elevation, it is almost always below 32 degrees. At night, it is usually close to or below 0 degrees. I have read that heat cable does almost no good when it is quite cold, but I don't have any solid data. Of course, one could use a combination of thermostat and clock.
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Old 12-22-2009, 05:55 PM   #29
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Need advice on roof heat tape.


It is true that when it gets below zero, it's difficult to get enough heat out of the SR cable. But temperature alone will not activate the system. It must get wet as well.

What is the design of the layout? Is the a single, double or triple run of cable in the gutters and leaders?
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:02 PM   #30
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Need advice on roof heat tape.


Well, I should know more, but I don't. I think it is a single run both zig-zagged on the roof and then down the gutter.

The moisture feature does sound interesting, as melting ice would have to be next to the cable for it to be functional. Thus, it should shut down either when it has melted enough ice/snow or when it can't melt accumulation. Is there any concern about large amp drains for repeated start-ups with this setup.

Thanks a lot for you help.

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