Electricians who deal with plumbing stuff
October 27, 2021 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Is it ok to wrap pipe protection electrical cable?

I have a too much of this cable:

The instructions say to run it along the bottom edge and not wrap it, which is what most other versions of this kind of cable to tell you to do.

I have about 10 feet too much, so I am wondering about wrapping it instead to use up the slack. I"m not suggesting crossing it over itself or that it would touch itself at any point, but that I provide a longer route along the pipe to use it all up and it all remains in contact with the piipe.

Pipe is pex.

I'm in a rural area and so my electrician is very hard to get a hold of right now, and I want to get this taken care of before the weather drops.
posted by miles1972 to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
Response by poster: Link to cable.

posted by miles1972 at 2:49 PM on October 27, 2021

The product documentation is very clear that spiraling is prohibited. You can use up to 3 feet too much by doubling back (pg 9), but 10 feet is too much. Attempting to use the 60 foot cable on your application violates the safety certifications, and the vendor says you need to buy the correct length for your application (it is normally sold made-to-order with 3 foot length intervals). Sorry.
posted by doomsey at 3:29 PM on October 27, 2021 [2 favorites]

The problem with spiral wrapping may be that where it's on the top of the pipe, heat will build up since there is not a heat sink above it. So that might be a fire risk. I would not risk it since the manual says not to. Manual also says not to cut it, which is a pity -- many heat tapes can be cut to length.

Pex is pretty easy to cut and splice, so you could add an extra 10 feet to the existing pipe with a S shape, laid out so that the cable can be mounted all along the bottom of it. This could be done with fittings or just bending the pex into a curvy shape. If you have horizontal space available.
posted by joeyh at 3:32 PM on October 27, 2021

You're also going to be wasting about $18 of electricity per 100 days that you leave this running with your extra 10' of cable, so in addition to all the answers already given about how spiralling this tape is prohibited, using an over-long cable is going to be a waste of money.
posted by ssg at 4:16 PM on October 27, 2021 [1 favorite]

You can just lay it out along any handy surface like a beam or joist that is open to the air and secure with zipties. They make zip ties with screw mounts. You can also use plastic Romex staples.
posted by Mitheral at 6:11 PM on October 27, 2021

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