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Heating cable: scope, types, installation

Protection of the pipeline against the influence of low temperatures and possible freezing is ensured by arranging a heating system.

Heating cable systems are becoming more widespread. We will find out exactly where heating cables can be used, why they are needed, what they are, and also tell you about the features and installation rules.

Pipeline heating systems

The main task of heating cables is to protect various pipes and systems from freezing. But in fact, the scope of their use is wider:

  1. Plumbing, pipe frost protection;
  2. Sewerage is the same purpose;
  3. To create an anti-icing system for roofs, driveways and steps;
  4. As a floor heating system in the house – this is already a separate topic;
  5. For heating various containers and tanks – mainly used in industry, but can also be used at home if you need to prevent, for example, freezing a tank with water or gasoline.

Heating cable: scope, types, installation

The heating cable works simply – it converts electrical energy into heat. The electric current passes through the closed circuit of the cable, heating it along its entire length. The heating cable is always produced in a particularly strong, sealed sheath, which can withstand moisture and temperature extremes. It can be used both indoors and outdoors, including underground.

The most inexpensive and easiest to use are single-core heating cables, but today wires from several cores are more in demand, as the most reliable and practical.

Heating cable: scope, types, installation

All heating cables are divided into two types:

  1. Resistive. Inexpensive and easy to install, they have stable temperature characteristics. Basically, resistive heating cables are used in the arrangement of underfloor heating and to prevent freezing of pipes with a diameter of no more than 40 millimeters. The system implies the installation of a wire along the entire length of the heated surface and special sensors that will monitor temperature changes and communicate the current in the cable. The heating resistive cable is wrapped around the entire pipe, without tension. From above, the cable will need to be wrapped with heat-insulating materials, for example, foil-clad glass wool. Resistive cable is sold as a complete system of a given length, it can only be cut in specific places. If one of the sections is damaged, you will have to change the entire heating system;
  2. Self-adjusting. More modern heating cables that change their resistance and heating intensity depending on the ambient temperature. A semiconductor polymer heating core is used. The scope of application is wider – anti-icing systems on the roof and porch, driveway, heating pipes with a diameter of more than 40 millimeters, preventing freezing of various containers. The self-regulating heating cable can be cut in different ways, it is possible to replace a separate section. In addition, such a cable is not afraid of voltage drops in the network, does not burn out, has a higher efficiency than a resistive one, therefore it saves electricity. However, the service life of a self-regulating cable usually does not exceed 15 years. And the price is higher.

Heating cable: scope, types, installation

Heating cable: scope, types, installation

Heating cable: scope, types, installation

There are two ways to mount the heating cable to the plumbing system:

  1. Outside the pipe. This is an easier option. The cable can simply be attached to the pipe along the entire length of the section to be protected from freezing. Or wrap it around the pipe in a spiral to provide faster heating due to the larger area of ​​contact with the cable. The heating cable is fixed to the pipe simply with adhesive tape or clamps, and from above, as we already wrote, it is wrapped with a layer of thermal insulation. It can be a simple heat-reflecting foil;
  2. Inside the pipe. It’s a little more complicated here. The cable that runs inside the water supply system heats the water more efficiently, but it reduces the throughput of the pipe, since it takes up space. If the pipe is long enough, it will be difficult to pull the heating cable through it. In any case, you will need a special gland, couplings to ensure the sealing of the system. In addition, to carry out pressure testing of a water supply system with a heating cable inside, it is very desirable to call a specialist. And if the cable stops working, you have to disassemble the entire system.

Important! If the length of the heating cable is not more than 80 meters, it can simply be plugged into the socket. Otherwise, an isolation transformer is required. In addition, the pipeline heating system is supplied with an RCD without fail.

Heating cable: scope, types, installation

The cost of a heating cable may vary depending on its type, power and other characteristics. On average, the simplest single-core resistive cable can be bought at a price of about 80 rubles per meter. The cost of self-regulating cables with a power of 30 W can reach 350 rubles per meter. Very often, a heating cable is sold in sets of the required length, already with thermostats and other parts for its installation. published by econet.ru

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