Do-it-yourself heating cable: instructions and installation guidelines

The use of a heating cable for water supply is a guarantee of reliable protection, long-term operation of water pipes, even in harsh climatic conditions. But to the south, where there are only short-term sharp drops in air temperature, measures to protect against the freezing of water pipes will not be superfluous either. Everything can be done by hand. An easy-to-install heating system can prevent many problems.

Contents:
  • Heating cable for pipes: principle of operation and advantages
  • Resistive heating cable
  • Self-regulating heating cable for water supply
  • Heating cable for water supply outside the pipe or inside - mounting features
  • Heating cable for water supply with own hands
  • Conclusions

To fully enjoythe arrival of winter, you must take care of the comfort and health of all heating systems before the onset of cold weather. Plumbing is one of the most basic communication systems at home, so it is extremely important to secure the pipes in time and protect them from icing. Otherwise, the freezing of pipes can lead to interruptions in the water supply and even ruptures. To prevent this from happening, electric heating is installed inside or over the pipes, which provides a heating cable for the water supply.

Heating cable for water supply
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Heating cable for pipes: principle of operation and advantages

Heat is generated due to the electricity passing through the cable, which prevents the pipe from freezing during frost. When choosing a wire, it will not be superfluous to pay attention to its coefficient of thermal conductivity( W / m), which indicates the power of the cable and the unit of its length.

Installation of this heating element can be made independently. If you decide to purchase an already finished cable, it should be noted that the single-conductor wire does not have protection from electromagnetic radiation, while its two- and three-core analogue has it, as does the protection of the conductor.

The heating cable consists of:

  1. internal core( made of high resistance material);
  2. shielding braid( aluminum or copper);
  3. insulating material;
  4. common protective shell.
Internal single-core and two-core cable

The installation of this heating element has many advantages:

  • With well-performed calculations, the water in the pipes will not freeze even at a significant below-zero temperature.
  • Indoor and outdoor installation of the cable on the pipe is allowed at any location of the system: underground, outdoors, indoors.
  • Protection against burnout and the ability to install for drinking water systems( there are special heating cables made of environmentally friendly materials).
  • Simple installation and comfortable operation.
  • Ability to adjust power depending on changes in air temperature.

There are two types of heating cables - self-regulating and resistive.

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Resistive heating cable

Resistance cable can be placed inside the pipe or outside along the entire length of the water supply. Thermal sensors installed on the pipes control the temperature: when the set limit is reached, they start heating the system and automatically turn off after the reduction.

Sensor on the heated pipeline

For more efficient operation of the heating cable, it is recommended to use additional heaters. It can be mineral wool or foam rubber( merilon).

The principle of laying this cable depends on the desired power: spiral, in waves, in one or several rows. It must be laid without active tension, and to enhance the heating effect, you can subsequently wrap the pipe with aluminum foil.

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Self-regulating heating cable for water mains

Self-regulating cable has a semiconducting matrix, which changes its resistance depending on temperature differences of the environment. The colder the pipes, the stronger the heat.

The principle of operation of self-regulating cable

Initially, the self-regulating heating cable is fixed “in place”, and after installation it is connected. You can cut the cable in any desired place, without fear of the manifestation of cold zones. The wire can be of any length.

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Heating cable for water supply outside the pipe or inside - installation features

The heating or heating cable inside the pipe is installed if the water supply system is already in operation and freezes during the onset of extreme cold. Installation of this cable into the pipe is made through the gland.

An important nuance is that if the heating cable is installed outside the pipe from above, then additional fixation is not required. If the heating element is supplied from below, it must be securely fixed to prevent slipping.

If you plan to heat the pipe through which drinking water passes, then the sheath of such a wire must be made of a polymer that meets all parameters of food safety.

Installation of a heating self-regulating cable inside the pipe from above

To install the cable inside, accurate measurements of the length of the water pipeline section needing heating are required. The introduction of the heating cable into the pipe must be done very carefully, in order to avoid damage to the protective sheath. No cable is laid through the shut-off valves.

The cable is fastened over the pipe using aluminum adhesive tape( ordinary tape cannot be used).In the process of installing a heating or heating cable it is necessary to ensure that there is no clamping of the wire, stretching, rubbing with sharp elements. First, the electrical cable is attached to the pipe in separate pieces of aluminum tape, and then more radically, along the entire length.

Installing the heating cable over the

pipe If the pipe is plastic, then it will be useful to paste over the cable with aluminum adhesive tape or foil before installing the cable. Thermostat sensor, coupling, heating section and other additional elements are also attached with aluminum tape.

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Heating cable for water supply with your own hands

If you have basic technical skills, you can try to make a homemade analogue of the heating cable.

The P-274M power telephone wire( “vole”) can serve as an alternative to the above described electrical cables. This cable has high rigidity and reliable insulation, it can be used for internal and external fastening to the pipes. It is not suitable for pipes with drinking water( no food insulation), nor does it have the possibility of self-regulation.

Such a system is optimally suited for cyclical heating of pipes, for example, in the country, where the owners come periodically and do not live permanently.

To expose the “vole” veins, they were initially bred, then the resulting single cable was folded in half and then twisted again. To ensure a tight cable entry, the flange from a flexible water supply hose is optimally suited. Separate attention should be paid to the sealing of the inlet: after inserting the cable into the nozzle, it is best to fill it( injected) with epoxy resin and fix the connection with a nut.

If you install the heating cable with your own hands outside the pipe, then it should not be unraveled, but should be connected to the back of the heated section. All connections must be carefully insulated.

Using a homemade cable to heat the
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Conclusions

In general, heating the pipes not only protects the pipes from icing, but also extends the service life of the plumbing system. The absence of temperature fluctuations and condensate accumulation positively affects the general condition of pipes of any type. The use of heating or heating cables ensures you comfortable use of the pipeline, even in harsh climates.

Useful video on the installation of heating cable:

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