Heat tape on ABS drain pipe?

I have an under-sink sump in my garage with the p-trap, sump bucket and about a 1.5 feet of water in the riser above the check valve before it goes into the house.
The pipes and bucket are ABS.
I have been paying close attention to the temps in the uninsulated garage, and they have gotten close to 0.5C at times but no lower.
I thought about boxing it in and adding a light bulb, but I got a good deal on 6' of heat tape.
When it arrived it stated in the instructions it is only for supply lines. I am not sure if this is because they don't think the tape will do the job on a larger diameter pipe, or because it could melt the pipe?
Can anyone shed some light on why they say it should only be used on supply pipe?
Thank you,
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On Saturday, January 18, 2014 11:38:17 PM UTC-5, NedFlanders wrote:

Good question. I'm going looking for some myself to help a friend. His house that is only 7 years old has one furnace in the attic. When it got down to zero here, the condensate trap froze, water backed up, shutting the furnace down. It also cracked the fitting, so it's leaking into the pan under the furnace now. The condensate trap is under the horizontal furnace and uninsulated. The idiots who installed it put insulation on the drain pipe that runs 15 ft in the attic, but none around the approximately 5x7 plastic condensate trap itself.
Looking at the Lenox install instructions, they say that any install where the temps can drop below freezing, the plastic condensate trap and the drain line should be wrapped with heating tape. So, apparently there has to be tape suitable for empty drain pipe use. I'm amazed this passed inspection.
Quick google shows there are tapes rated for plastic drain pipes:
http://www.chromalox.com/productcatalog/Heat+Trace/Light+Commercial+Cables/Thermwire+Pipe+Freeze+Protection+Cable/product-details.aspx?p16
I would suspect the issue is that there is some concern that without water in a plastic pipe, if you wrap a lot of tape around it, put a lot of insulation over it, it might get hot enough to melt it. Seems unlikely to me, but in may be CYA on the part of some manufacturers. I would be though that a lot of people are just buying whatever is on the shelf a HD and using it like you intend.
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What am I missing here...
Are they talking about different types of tape, different types of pipe or are they contradicting themselves? First they say "up to 8 inches in diameter" and then they say "up to 2.5 inches in diameter".
Does the 8" spec only apply to the HVAC pipe the immediately proceeds that spec?
Overview Chromalox Thermwire-Wrap pipe heating tape can be applied to anywhere pipes are subjected to below-freezing temperatures. This heat tape can be used on plastic or metal water, wastewater or HVAC pipes up to 8 inches in diameter. The Pre-assembled Thermwire-Wrap has an attached cord and plug for simple and quick installation. It can be used on pipes up to 2.5 inches in diameter, including outdoor spigots, and is ready for use up to 50 feet in length.
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On Sunday, January 19, 2014 9:53:42 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I think I may have cracked the code here. The typical heat tape products I've found that are stocked at retailers are all controlled only be a thermostat. There is also "self-regulating" tape, where it looks like it has essentially power wires down the cable and some kind of heat sensitive resistive material between that regulates the temp along the entire line. From reading the description of those, they say for use on metal or plastic pipe and do not say it has to be filled with water.
Example:
Easy heat psr
I would bet that if you applied the typical tape to ABS, you'd be fine as along as you don't do something dumb, like overwrap it. I can't believe with all the condensate and similar drain pipes that folks are doing research and actually reading the specs. Must be millions of ABS waste pipes and similar wrapped in the off the shelf stuff from HD.
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On Sunday, January 19, 2014 10:47:07 AM UTC-5, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Here it is on Ebay:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/PSR1006-EASYHEAT-CABLES-FOR-ROOFS-GUTTERS-WATERPIPES-/150520405807?_trksid=p2054897.l4275
Looks like that's what I'm going with.
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replying to trader4, Ronald E Tyler wrote: say can check my heat cable by feeling if its warm near the plug under my moble home
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On 1/19/2014 9:53 AM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I wouldn't be amazed. I've seen a whole house full of stuff that shouldn't have passed inspection, but did twice. Once by the code inspector and once by a 'professional' house inspector that was supposed to be very good. Apparently, good has a broad meaning with lots of latitude.
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On Saturday, January 18, 2014 11:38:17 PM UTC-5, NedFlanders wrote:

You can get rid of the P-trap under the sink. There should be a trap in the house where the sump line empties.
Put a thermometer on the wall first. You might not need to worry about it.
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jamesgang wrote:

The sump is above ground under the sink, it is vented through my home's drainage venting so removing the p-trap is probably out of the question. I had thought about using a cheater vent and since the riser will always have water in it there should not be any problems with gasses? but, that is only 1/2 of the area that could possibly freeze.
It's not like it would be disaster if it did freeze and leak as it is in the garage and there is no wood or dry wall to get wet... The riser is is about 9' so the amount of water would be limited as well.
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On 1/18/2014 11:38 PM, NedFlanders wrote:

Conductivity probably. If you wrap a liquid filled pipe with a loop of tape every X inches, the fluid inside will conduct the heat and warm it fairly evenly. With a large diameter pipe with little or no liquid, spots will be warm, but you can get icing between.
If your sump is filled with water, it should work OK as long as it is permitted on plastic pipe..
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Ed Pawlowski wrote:

I think I will throw the side of the wire with the heat sensor into my deep freezer and see how hot this wire gets. I have no plan on wrapping it as we are only talking maybe a max of -2 deg so even just a small amount of heat would do the trick.
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On 1/18/14 10:38 PM, NedFlanders wrote:

I wonder if just wrapping the pipe with a lot of insulation would solve your potential problem.
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'Dean Hoffman[_13_ Wrote:

I'd be reluctant to rely on insulation alone. Insulation will simply slow the rate of heat loss or heat gain.
I'm wondering if he couldn't simply position an electric heater with a fan in it in front of that piping to keep it toasty warm at night. I'm sure that would cost more than wraping the pipe with heating cable, but it's only for the few nights this winter that threaten to cause the water in the trap to freeze. It's not going to make a great big difference on his electric bill.
--
nestork

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replying to NedFlanders, Ronald E Tyler wrote: say can check my heat cable by feeling if its warm near the plug under my moble home
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