Protect Pipes Against Freezing
Residential Pipe Tracing
Preventing your pipes from freezing is a relatively simple process. Surprisingly, many homeowners still make the mistake of underestimating the effects of cold weather on pipes, and end up with thousands of dollars in damage, not to mention a damaged pipe in need of repair. When water freezes within a pipe, it stops the flow of fluid and exerts a pressure of over 2,000 pounds per square inch, causing the pipe to burst. A burst pipe releases 100 gallons of water per hour that causes severe damage to your home and results in costly repairs.
Pipes that are most susceptible to freezing are located on outside walls and in areas that do not receive heat, such as a crawl space or cellar. Finding a frozen pipe is a time consuming process and must be done immediately when a blockage is noticed. To avoid spending winter laboring away to keep your pipes in working condition, the best option is investing in pipe freeze protection. Pipe tracing utilizes the principle of radiant heat to warm pipes. Pipe tracing (also known as heat trace cable) is relatively easy to install, and should be applied to the pipes with the most risk to potential freezing.
If you already have a frozen pipe, now is the best time to install a pipe tracing system. Rooting out the frozen pipe may involve tearing out the wall or ceiling section to come in contact with the frozen section. Pipe tracing will thaw the frozen section and prevent future freezing. Pipe tracing systems and heat cable such as Warmzone offers are self-regulating. Meaning they detect ambient temperature and adjust heat output accordingly. So on colder days it works harder, and when the weather is warm it takes the day off. For smaller pipes, a 3 watt or 5 watt heating cable will easily prevent freezing from occurring.
Pipe tracing can be applied to either metal or PVC piping, and can also be used for tank freeze protection, roof and gutter deicing and sprinkler freeze protection. Depending on the needs of your project, pipe tracing cable is available is 3, 5, 8, and 10 W/ft options and are available in varying input voltages. A complete pipe tracing system entails a line voltage thermostat with a weatherproof enclosure, power connection kit (cable to power lead, and one end seal), splice/tee kit, aluminum application tape (for plastic piping), and warning labels. (Take advantage of our free pipe tracing quote.)
When searching for a pipe tracing product that works best for you, the key is choosing a product that is self-regulating. If a heat cable has a set heat output, it may not be enough to prevent freezing on the very cold nights. To prevent this, you would be required to install a higher wattage cable. This will prevent the pipes from freezing, but increase the energy needed to power the cables and cost more to operate. The efficiency of the heating cable will also increase when coupled with pipe insulation.