The Pros and Cons of Using Electrical Heat Tape for Winterization

November 6, 2019 7:31 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

As it gets colder, the best plumbers in Colorado Springs, CO have one important thing on their minds (and you should, too): winterizing your plumbing system. If your water feels ice cold straight from the tap, that’s a sign that it’s past time to take winter weather precautions. When the temperature dips below freezing, the water in your pipes can freeze and burst—and when that water thaws, you’ll have a huge mess on your hands.

Fortunately, avoiding plumbing damage is as easy as properly winterizing your pipes. You might have heard that some people use electrical heat tape to winterize their plumbing system and want to try it for yourself. This may be a great option, depending on the type of pipes you have and where they’re located in your home. Here are a few pros and cons of using electrical heat tape for winterizing your plumbing system.

Pros of electrical heat tape

  • Maintains the water temperature: Electrical heat tape insulates your pipes (particularly if you wrap additional insulation over it), so your water will come out room temperature.
  • Maintains room temperature: When your pipes are cold or frozen, that can affect the ambient temperature in your home.
  • Keep your gutters and downspouts open: You might not be thinking of your rain gutters as a part of your plumbing system, but electrical heat tape can help there, too. By properly installing electrical heat tape, you’ll prevent water from freezing and causing damage to your home when it thaws.
  • Maintain control: Electrical heat tape can be installed with a simple pilot light switch, so that you’ll always be in charge of how and when the pipes are heated, and for how long.

Cons of electrical heat tape

  • Uses electricity: If your power goes out, you won’t be able to keep your pipes warm. It’s good to have additional insulation in case of a particularly bad storm.
  • Can cause fires: It’s important to use certified electrical heat tape and replace any that’s older than three years. Because the tape uses electricity, a short can cause fires, injuries or other home damage.
  • Higher electricity bills: Because this type of tape uses electricity, your energy bills will be bigger. For some folks, the tradeoff is worth it, but others might opt for a lower tech solution.

It’s recommended that you use only certified tape manufactured within the last three years in order to meet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines and protect your home—and your family—from serious damage. Of course, if you need help installing electrical heat tape, you can always call the pros at Affordable Rooter.

Hire the best plumbers in Colorado Springs, CO

If you need help with any aspect of your plumbing system, Affordable Rooter can help. Since 2000, we’ve provided a full range of plumbing, sewer, excavation and drain cleaning services to residents of Colorado Springs and the surrounding communities. Our friendly team can help get your plumbing up and running in no time at all. Call us today to find out how we can serve you.

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