I bought this heat tape today to keep my pipes from freezing again. Had a really tough time even getting it nicely around the pipe but once I plugged it in, nothing happened.
Are you supposed to atleast feel some kind of warmth with a hand when it's plugged in? Or did I get a malfunctioning once?
I did, it says that it will work if the thermostat reads less than 3 C on the pipe but I applied the thermostat to the place there the pipe is frozen so I imagine it should be cold enough there.
Most of these tapes are thin and have no mass compared to the copper and water mass they're attached to.
If your pipes are cold they're probably leaching all the heat from the tape immediately. Not letting you feel it so to speak.
That is to say if your pipe is -2c and the tape heats it up to -1.5c over an hour, it still feels the same to you.
Ideally if the pipes are in a location that the air is cold enough to freeze it you should wrap it in FIBERGLASS insulation as well. Its really cheap and will help insulate the pipe keeping the heater tape from having to eat up too much of your electric bill.
The split foam pipe insulation is fine for pipes without heat tape, but pose a fire safety hazard with electricity involved. The heat tape manufacturer will suggest what insulation to use. Do not use anything else at the risk of your insurance company denying any claims.
Specifically, where is this frozen pipe and what leads to its freezing? Unheated crawl space?
Shitty renovation by my part. It's -37 C outside right now and it seems I did a shit job isolating the craks on the floor. The cold air is coming in from all the crack on the floor. So near these cracks it feels kinda same as outside.
Wait a while for the thermostat itself to cool down. It may have been too warm to turn on still.
>Are you supposed to atleast feel some kind of warmth with a hand when it's plugged in?
It depends on the model. Some do and some don't.
Insulating pipes in areas highly prone to freezing temperatures in enclosed areas is something you should not do. Instead, you need to properly insulate the room or space and leave the pipes bare. The only time you insulate pipes directly is when the pipes are exposed outside or in an open air crawlspace. Also, you can't use pipe heaters like in the OP with insulation, it is an electrical fire hazard even with fiberglass insulation. The wiring can melt the insulation and cause a short. This can cause failures in multiple ways from the device to the fuse box. I've seen an entire line of 12AWG on fire all along the bottom of a house crawl space because of one of those things.
Of course check the code in your area, it may be different. Some places don't even allow those devices at all.
Fix the gaps. Use caulking and/or Great Stuff spray foam insulation if you have to. Insulating and weatherizing 1 time is a lot better than paying for extra heating and fixing busted water pipes.
> Also, you can't use pipe heaters like in the OP with insulation, it is an electrical fire hazard even with fiberglass insulation.
Why does the manufacturer suggest insulation in the installation guide for the tape that OP posted?
They are idiots or it actually doesn't do anything and wrapping the insulation is to "make it work" when it isn't working.
Read it again. It has nothing to do with the fiberglass being fireproof or not.
> If you don't wrap the pipesthe tape won't work.
I live in an area that sees -40 temps every winter. Proper heat tape works fine without insulation.