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My gutters over my front door freeze in the winter posing a safety hazard. The ice drips over our front steps. We need a heater for the gutter. Has anyone used one? Recommendations?

Katie in NY
 

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You are referring to heat tape, or ice melt cables.

Do a search online, and you will find a wealth of information.
 

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Welcome Doc.
Not sure what you are talking about i live in the Southwest, we don't do gutters or ice. :laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing:... we wont mention the summer though.
 

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My gutters over my front door freeze in the winter posing a safety hazard. The ice drips over our front steps. We need a heater for the gutter. Has anyone used one? Recommendations?

Katie in NY
I had the same problem, so I installed an electrical outlet adjacent to the down-spout!
I, the ran a heating cable from the outlet, up the down-spout and along the gutter!
The heating cable that I bought has a built in thermostat that shuts off at 34F.
Power consumption for this, is noticeable on the electric bill!
 

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For a quick temporary fix, you can fill pantyhose with rock salt and lay them in your gutter causing the issue. Make sure to cover the problem area and also down the slope of the gutter to the downspout. It looks funny, but it works.
 

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Put your heat cable on a switch so you can turn it on only when needed. This will reduce power waste alot.
 

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I know it has been over a month since drkatiern originaly posted this but, since it has been resurected I thought I would post my $.02 worth. When we bought our current house I noted that there were ice melt cables on the roof and in the gutters. being new to the house and having several other more pressing tasks to take care of I gave them no thought. No thought untill we got our first electric bill for over $300.00 (normal for us was in the $60.00 range)I found out that the cables were still plugged in in the middle of the summer (no thermostat on them). My first thought was to entirely remove them , but figuring they were up there for a reason I figured I ought to investigate a little further. Up into the attic I went. what I found had me completly rethinking my plans for the summers projects. While there were perforated aluminum soffits, there were no vents in the original plywood soffits. also on the ridge there was a ridge vent but the opening was never cut in. They were put up there as a ridge cap only. so, couple the no ventilation with 4" of insulation and you could see the project forming rather quickly. After talking with some of the neighbors I found that they were having severe Ice damming issues to the point where one side of the roof had to be replaced due to the damage to the sheathing. Since fixing the vent and insulation problems I now have no Ice dams at all and very little ice buildup in the gutters each winter. So, My advixce is to look for and fix the root cause of the problem and not a bandaid fix
 
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