Heat Tape On Pipes? Safe - Plumbing - DIY Home Improvement | DIYChatroom

Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Plumbing


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-07-2016, 06:36 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Southeast PA
Posts: 575
Rewards Points: 492

Heat tape on pipes? Safe

In a home where a previous owner installed a 1st floor half bath on an exterior wall. The pipes are located in a crawl space and they freeze in the winter if I do not shut off the water to these pipes. Got an estimate on contractor replacing the door to the crawl space which is beat up. He also suggested adding heat tape to the pipes. Your thoughts on the use of heat tape? The home inspector we used 7 years ago said he would never use it. In hindsight, I am not sure how informed his opinion was, on a number of matters including that one. As always, thanks for taking a look!



joetab24 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2016, 07:08 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,389
Rewards Points: 342

Of course it's always best to address and fix the issue which is causing the pipes to freeze.

Imo, heat tape is safe to use if you follow the manufacturers guidelines. What happens is some people plug them in and forget about them, which may cause fires, shorts, etc. Just my thoughts.


jmon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2016, 08:16 PM   #3
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 6,309
Rewards Points: 2,030

In my estimation it's one of the most safe electrical pieces of equipment there is when installed correctly. May I suggest self regulating so it can be over lapped if necessary. Your local fire department may have information on the safety aspects and records.

With adequate fire rated insulation 3 watts per foot will usually handle most freezing problems but of course A/C power failure would always be a problem.
SeniorSitizen is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2016, 07:18 AM   #4
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Maine
Posts: 2,333
Rewards Points: 4,776

There are conditions when a heat tape is the only/best solution, but I advise it to be the last choice. I have found heat tapes that were installed by a previous owner and forgotten, 24/7/365 for many years. These were just "on" no stat or self regulating. Today the quality is better and of course those instructions need to be followed as stated.

But, there are often ways to encapsulate that crawlspace and eliminate all concerns. Details and pictures if you want to consider that approach.

Note, when insulating pipes to keep them from freezing, insulate between the cold and the pipes, but do not insulate between the pipes and their source of heat. A lot depends upon on how cold that crawlspace gets or if the problem is primarily against the outside wall.

Bud9051 is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Heat tape time retdoc100 Electrical 5 05-16-2012 04:41 PM
Heat Pump will not cut off sunliner HVAC 13 05-17-2011 05:38 AM
How to stop auxillary heat from coming on defrost cycle and limit auxillary heat use? twilightcall HVAC 34 12-28-2010 06:53 PM
uneven heat: testing ceiling radiant heat /finding cables/fix cables martinradiant Electrical 1 10-03-2010 08:22 PM
Heat tape WITH insulation justinae Plumbing 2 03-25-2009 10:50 AM

Top of Page | View New Posts


Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1