I want to build a roof deicer. Please don't laugh.
I am looking for a small inline heater that can be exposed to the
elements. It will be installed inline with small copper pipe which
will lie in a roof valley. The pipe will be full circuited with the
lower sections built with flexible tubing; allowing it to snake
thru gutters and drain pipes. I am hoping the circulation will
provide just enough heat to keep the drain open allowing
occasional melt to head for the street.
I suppose this inline heater could be affected with heat tape. The
heater could also be placed under the eves in a protect position.
Just purchase and install a de-icer that is available.
Here's one example:
Shop around. Most gutter outfits can install one for you if the deicers are
common in your area.
I'm not sure what your definition of "exposed" is. The wires are
coated with rubber and never get hot enough that you can't hold them
tightly in your bare hand.
I've been using the Easyheat deicing wires for many years. I still get
a few icicles, but I have never had major damming on the roof sections
that have them. I used to have water leaking into the house before I
The icicles are much, much smaller on the wired sections than on the
one section (garage overhang) that doesn't.
I will add that they make cleaning the gutters a bit cumbersome. I
usually don't wory about the condition of the wires during the early
spring and summer cleanings. During the late Fall cleaning I make sure
all the clips are in place and the wires are layed out properly. I
have a dedicated circuit with a GFCI breaker and a swicth with a pilot
light so I can tell with a glance if the wires are on.
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