How To Install Warmup Heat Tracing Cable
We chose to install a product from a company called Warmup Inc.
Warmup cables are approved for dry and wet locations and suitable for non-hazardous locations. Warmup offers two types of pipe freeze protection:
1. Pre-Terminated Cable Kits
2. Self-Regulating Freeze Protection Heating Cable
Both types of Warmup cables are self-regulating. Self-regulating heat cable has a special conductive core between two internal bus wires. This core becomes more conductive during cold ambient conditions; therefore the heating cable will increase its wattage per lineal foot, in response to the cold. Smart, right?
There are two different kinds of pipe freeze protection cable: self-regulating and constant wattage. Both can serve the same purpose, and the constant wattage is designed to maintain higher temperature and uses more electricity than self-regulated cable.
This self-regulating feature makes it ideal for the freeze protection of exposed pipes in the winter, and is ideal for pipes and gutters and frost protection applications as it regulates its heat output depending on the ambient temperature, using just enough heat to get the job done, making it more energy efficient to run.
Pre-terminated cables come factory assembled in lengths of 6, 12, 18, 24, 75, and 100 feet and terminate with a 30-inch power plug. The cables are self-regulating and adjust heat output according to ambient temperatures. The colder the pipe the more heat cable output, up to 5 watts of heat per lineal foot.
the cables are specifically designed to use on plastic or metal pipes susceptible to freezing in open, accessible areas, such as piping located inside of unheated buildings mobile homes or in unconditioned residential basements, attics, or buildings subject to freezing temperatures. They are not designed to be buried inside wall, ceiling, or floor cavities.
Self-Regulating Freeze Protection Heating Cable is a self-regulating, energy efficient, industrial grade, 16 AWG BUSS wire and is suited more for commercial and industrial applications.
It can be installed in any length up to 460 feet and will work in wet or dry locations. The cable operates on 120, 208-277 volts, and delivers 3, 5 and 8 watts of heat per foot.
A thermostat is required in these applications to ensure liquid temperature is properly maintained.
The self-regulating freeze protection cable is installed on the bottom of the pipe and at positions 5-o’clock and 7 o’clock, if two cables are used.
Minimum Start-Up Temperature:
This is the temperature at that the cable will typically turn on.
Warmup offers cables ranging from -40-degree to 50-degree start-up rating.
Pipe Insulation -While an insulated pipe can withstand cold temperatures longer than an uninsulated pipe, self-regulating freeze protection cables are designed to be installed in conjunction with pipe insulation. This includes insulating all valves, tees, and spigots.
Installation of Self-regulating Heat Trace Cable
1. Inspect the heater cable and temperature controls for visible signs of mechanical damage; breaks or nicks in the cable jacket.
2. Install insulation over heat cable. The type and thickness of thermal insulation specified on Warmup’s website. Insulate valves fully up to, and including, the packing gland.
3. Megger the system again to determine if damage not readily visible has occurred. Check the resistance of the buss wires to braid or metal sheath with a 500VDC megger to assure the cables have not been damaged during shipping and handling.
4. Any cable with an insulation resistance reading less than 10 megohms before installation should not be installed.
Adding Additional Heat or a Redundant Back-Up Wire
When the lines being protected are considered important enough to install a backup (redundant) heat tracing system, allow a minimum of 2” between cable runs. Install the heating cable at the 5 or 7 o’clock position on a pipe.
If using a spiral method, space the looping wire every 3 to 4 inches along the pipe. Continue to wrap the heat trace wire around the pipe until you reach the end of the pipe. Do not spiral if ratio of heater length to pipe length is greater than 1.5. Instead, use two cables or choose a higher wattage heater.
When a heat-traced pipe enters a heated building or facility, the heating cable should extend into the building approximately 305 mm (12") to ensure the pipe temperature is maintained. This prevents temperature drops due to air gaps or compression of the thermal insulation.
Thermal Insulation - It is important to wrap the heat cable with pipe insulation. Insulation greatly increases the heated cable efficiency, and helps to prevent heat loss and ensure the proper performance of the heat tracing system.