Heat tape can be a lifesaver in cold climates when water lines are exposed to freezing temperatures. If you have ever experienced a broken or frozen water line in the winter you know what a good idea it is to be prepared. Insulating your pipes is necessary. Sometimes it is not always enough when the temperatures stay cold for days at a time. This is where heat tape will come in handy. There are a few different types of heat tape that can be used on your water lines. Knowing what options are available will help you make the best decision when winterizing your home’s plumbing system.

The first option of heat tape is a self-regulating heating cable. This type of heat tape can be cut to any length for a custom fit. Quite a few brands make this relatively new type of heat cable that automatically varies its heat output with changes in the surrounding temperatures. Often, this type of heat tape can even be overlapped safely and there is no temperature control required. You can buy self-regulating heat cable by the roll and sometimes even by the foot in some hardware or home improvement stores. A connection kit with an end plug and outlet is required for this type of heat tape.

Another option is non regulating heating cable. This type of heat tape is regulated by a thermostat. It can be purchased by the foot or in a role as well. The heating cable can be custom fit to your application because it can be cut to any size that is needed and the ends are then added to the length of the cable. This type of heat tape will require a connection kit with an end plug and out as well as a thermostat to regulate the temperature.

Another additional thing you can do during the freezing temperatures is to insulate your water pipes. Insulating the pipes in exposed areas of the home, pump house shed, or even your garage is a must. Especially if you live in an area where winter temperatures reach freezing. Water pipe insulation can save you money by preventing wasteful heat loss and most importantly it can prevent frozen or broken pipes. The most common way to prevent frozen or broken pipes. This type of insulation is available in many different types of material and is available in most home improvement stores.

Be sure to remove any dirt or grease from the pipes before insulating. No matter what type of insulation you are putting on, it is always a good idea to give the pipes a quick once-over to help the insulation stick better. If you use a cleaner or anything damp, make sure the pipes are dry before installing the insulation. The moisture of any kind can cause some of the insulation to come loose.

Brad Jordan

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