Was wondering, I live in a trailer, so some of my plastic water pipes
are exposed to the outside air under trailer, when i put my heat tape
on the pipe, is it ok to use anything tight over the heat tape, must i
use insulation over the heat tape, is duct tape ok to use over the heat
But check the duct tape often, it can easily peel away when exposed to
There are some specialized tapes used in the insulation business that
are rated for water exposure and still hold fast. These are used to
seal sufaces of isocyanate foam panels with radiant barrier installed on
the foam. The tape completes the air/vapor seal onthe foam panels.
HVAC contractors use a different tape on air ducts as well, one that
will hold fast for YEARS in an unconditioned attic. Garden variety
Duct tape sold at Walmart, ACE Hardware, HomeDepot and Lowes will NOT do
I have plenty of experience with heat tape in northern Minnesota.
Where are you located? How cold does it get there? Where I live the
record low is 50 below zero farenheight. We usually have cold snaps
where it will not get above zero for weeks. It would be unusual when
it gets above freezing.
When using heat tape you use the black electrical tape to hold it in
place. You wrap it about every 12 inches just to secure it. If you
want to go crazy you can even wrap the entire run. it won't hurt
anything and will bring the tape in continuous contact with the pipe
which doesn't hurt any.
It is necessary to insulate the tape to acheive any benefit. You buy
the fiberglass that comes in a long narrrow strip. It is only a few
inches wide and it is wrapped around the pipe in a sprial. You overlap
each spriral by at least half the width of the glass. Depending on
your climate, you can wrap a tighter spriral for more insulation. You
can also wrap the pipe multipe times with the sprial going in the
opposite direction. they say not to stretch the glass but to keep it a
bit loose. I like to warp the first course tight and the other courses
Don't overlook plastic strips which come in the same package as the
glass strips. You use these to create a vapor barrier around the
glass. Wrap it in a spiral but in the opposite direction that your
final course of glass is wrapped. Then you can wrap it again in the
opposite direction if desired.
For most people that will be enough. If you live where it gets really
cold like where I live then there are other things you can do as well
mostly involving insulating underneath the trailer and around the
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