The Chicago winter is in full swing and temperatures are steadily dropping throughout the region. While ensuring the building has the adequate conditioned indoor air to keep employees, customers and tenants warm, building managers are facing the same headache this year as during the previous years when it comes to water supply and drain lines. How do you keep the pipes from freezing?
For our Tool of the Month series, we are featuring the Freeze Free Heating Cables. Frozen water pipes can cause significant damage to buildings and costly repairs. Yet raising the HVAC heat output is not always feasible based on the location of the pipes. Water pipes located outdoors or up against cement and brick surfaces that have not been adequately insulated can cause water and drain water to freeze.
Freeze Free Heating Cables
The Freeze Free Heating Cables are self-regulating heating cables that can automatically adjust heat output settings based on the present temperatures around the pipe. The cables can be cut to length, ensuring maximum coverage for any size or run of pipe work in the building. The Freeze Free Heating Cables comes with a fused plug kit that can be plugged into an electrical outlet, as well as a pre-set thermostat that will energize the cable when the temperatures go down to 38 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius). The thermostat can also be used to control other devices that need to be activated if the outdoor temperatures reach the freezing point.
Some of the top benefits of the Freeze Free Heating Cables are that they can be adjusted to the desired length and can be wrapped over itself. So you can use it around flanges and valves. The cable has a tinned copper braided metal jacket for electrical grounding and a TPE flame retardant jacket so the cable will not cause damage when used in dry locations.
Installation of Freeze Free Heating Cables
Freeze Free Heating Cables can be installed on metal and plastic water lines as well as drain pipes. It comes available in lengths of 5 feet and 15 feet, as well as reels of 100 feet, 300 feet, and 500 feet. Before installing the cables, the end seal needs to be placed on the cable end to protect it.
Next, install the cable into the plug kit following the manufacturer’s instructions. With the plug kit assembled, you can wrap the cable around the pipe as well as overlap it as desired. Cut the cable to length, then secure the cable with HCA tape or electrical tape. Once the cable is installed, you can wrap insulation around the pipe as well as a weatherproof wrap. Plug in the heating cable.
Preventing Pipe Freeze in Cold Temperatures
You can obtain the best results for the Freeze Free Heating Cables by calculating the pipe diameter, pipe length and the type of pipe that the cable will be installed on. You should also wrap the cable the recommended distance between each spiral so the pipe receives the acceptable coverage. You should also take the appropriate precautions with the cables. Never use cables if you discover nicks, cuts or exposed inner cable.
When you are trying to prevent pipes from freezing in your building, the Freeze Free Heating Cable can prevent the building operations from shutting down in the winter. Keep the water flowing into and out of the building without worrying about how low the outdoor temperatures get.