In cold areas, it often occurs that water distribution pipes needs to be protected against possible freezing damages (not only pipes which lead through outdoor environments, but also distribution networks which lead through non heated areas like cellars, basement or agricultural buildings). Depending on the range of ambient temperatures, water distribution pipes can freeze up even though they are equipped with thermal insulation. The installation of a heating cable can solved this problem. Thermal insulation will still be needed, but the heating cable will provide the heat necessary to compensate the heat losses which cannot be prevented completely by any insulation.
Both plastic and metal pipes can be protected against icing. The cable is attached to metal pipes directly, while plastic pipes need to be covered by a metal, ideally self-adhesive aluminium tape or foil. (Picture 1).
Depending on the heat necessary, heating cables can be wound around the pipes or they can run concurrently. With the exception of self-regulating cables, the heating cables must not touch or cross one another.
When the heating cable follows the length of the pipe, we recommend that the cable is placed onto the bottom part of the pipe so that the heat warms the jacket better due to the natural conduction of heat in the upward direction. Place the device for reading the temperature of the pipe’s surface in such a way that it isn’t affected by the heating cable. If the heating cable is attached along the length of the pipe in more loops, it is advantageous to place them so that they best cover the cross-section of the pipe.
When the cable is wound around the pipes, it may be difficult to estimate the degree of twist needed. We then recommend that the heating cable is divided into even sections – attach the beginning and the end of the cable, and again, attach the middle of the created sag to the pipe. (Picture 2). By continuing with this procedure several even sags are created which are then wound around the pipe in opposing directions. (Picture 3).
After installation, the heating cable is attached with self-adhesive aluminium tape along its whole length concurrently. Self-adhesive aluminium foil helps to transfer the heat from the jacket of the cable to the protected pipes. Finally, the pipes are fitted with suitable thermal insulation. (Picture 4)
The wattage of the cable needed will depend on the ambient temperature, the thickness and type of thermal insulation and on the required temperature of the transported medium. For pipe protection, cables with a wattage of 10-15 W/m are usually used.
We propose different types of heating cables suitable for this application depending on the requested regulation. For more details, check Product “Snowmelting cables”.
PFP cables with integrated thermostat.
It is very convenient for small installation, do-it-yourself installation in non-commercial or residence buildings. Thanks to the plug and the integrated thermostat, installation is very simple and doesn’t require any specialized connection to the electrical system. The contact thermostat switches on the heating cable automatically when the temperature of the pipe drops below 3°C.
Resistance heating cable ADPSV2 + Independent regulation
Due to the greater lengths involved, the necessity of combination with an external thermostat with separate sensor and connection to a wiring box, such cables are more suitable for industrial applications, installed by a specialized Company.
Self regulating cables
The self-regulation of the cable is especially advantageous in situations when the pipes pass through environments with different temperatures.
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