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
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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

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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

tape
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replying to Wayne R. Russ, Jayne Benson wrote: From research I have recently done, depending on the level for instance for industrial or just home use anywhere between four and five years I have heat tape on my water pipes that run from the well to the building some is buried underground which is rather difficult to get in and some is above ground. I thought my well pumped died . I've been without running water for almost a month. Living on disability benefits I don't get enough money to be able to afford a plumber to come in and fix everything properly. Turns out that one of the heat tapes had not been plugged in once I plugged it in and waited a day the heat tape defrosted the pipes and the water started running again well unfortunately that only lasted a day I am back to having no water I don't know what to do, I lost my fiance last June and he always fixed everything I am disabled and unable to do the things that he could do so I am sitting here with no hot or cold water been living off of my neighbor's water hose to give the horses water and the dog's water and they have 5 gallon buckets sitting around so I can boil water so that I can sponge bathe and wash dishes this is not the life I expected not at my age. So back to the answer for 5 years tops and then change them out just to be on the safe side of course you could always check them to make sure they're still sending Heat and I've never seen a fire take place with the heat tapes you can't overlap them they're not supposed to touch when you call them or run them along your pipeline you should secure them with duct tape and they're not supposed to overlap.sorry for the rambling. Iam still very sad. I miss my Justin
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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.
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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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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replying to Wayne R. Russ, Nevada Smith wrote: We owned a mobilehome for 20 years and never replaced the heat tape. Never even thought about it. However, we recently bought a new home and now it's on our minds. My concern is: What if we took a vacation in the dead of winter and while we were gone there was a power failure and everything froze up? Tip. To make sure the heat tape is working I simply turn on a cold water faucet and let the water run over my hand. You can feel the warm water which proves the heat tape is working. Make sure you don't do this test right after flushing a toilet or it won't work. It will take some time for the geat tape to warm the fresh cold water that comes into the supply line.
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