Heat Tapes

Hello Everyone,
I have lived in apartments all my life, so I am new to this. I recently inherited a mobile home from my father. In the winter it uses Heat Tapes on the CPVC plumbing to keep the pipes from freezing. My question is, How often should you change out the tapes ? How many years is a typical Heat Tape expected to be good for ?
Any input, or opinions will be Greatly Appreciated.
Thank You,
Wayne R. Russ
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Heat tape works great right up to the moment it starts the fire that destroys your home. Good news is a burned up house doesn't need heat tape anymore.
MM

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I Truly Appreciate your response. I hadn't considered that possibility.
The Mobile Home Park where I live requires that we have fully functioning Heat Tapes during the winter. They pay the water bill. At least we do not pay our own bill individually.
I will keep my self more Aware and Cautious of the possibility of accidental fire, but may I get a more direct response to my question, from anyone, of how long a Heat Tape is expected to last ?
Thank You, MM, for your words of Caution.
Wayne R. Russ

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Heat tapes can last 20 minutes or 20 years. Main thing is to use a mobile home "approved" heat tape---do not use non-approved tape. The majority of fires caused by heat tapes is improper installation especially wrapping the heat tape over itself when it is not designed to do so. The best ones (frostex, etc) are a cable that can be overlapped on itself without danger of shorting out. Occasionally hold the pipe to see if warm--even the light at times can stay on letting you know there is power when the tape itself is not working.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Wow, 20 minutes to 20 years is a broad span of time. :-) Well at least I know now more about what to get and how to use it.
Thank You Very Much for your input. It is Appreciated.
Wayne R. Russ

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
lol
poor guy didn't know about the dangerous combo of heat tape and trailers, I thought everybody did. It is very sad that this product has caused as much trouble as it has.
There are new versions that go on the inside of the pipe. I am not "sold" on this either; however it does seem a bit safer from a fire point of view.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
The heat tapes we use in Alberta don't start fires - its usually the idiot running the propane torch under the mobile that causes the fire! The ones we use go on the exterior of the pipe, and must be installed carefully. If there's a twist or kink in the cable, or if it's crossed over itself, it will short out, tripping the GFI breaker. As Mark mentioned, a cable can last as short as 20 minutes when improperly installed. If you're the type of person that would rather change the tape in the summer, I'd replace them every 3 to 5 years, just to be on the safe side.
Dean

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi Dean,
Thank You Very Much for your response. I Do Not like the cold so I would be changing the tapes in the summer when I will be less likely to screw up installation.
Your recommendation on replacing them "to be on the safe side" is what I was originally asking for. I do not want to wake up one morning and find out that I had waited one year too many. :-)
Again Thank You,
Wayne R. Russ

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi JC Mobile Home Parts,
Since my last post I have done research on Frostex tapes. I will consider Frostex next time I replace the tapes. I have learned quite a lot
Thank You Very Much.
Wayne R. Russ

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.