How does heating cable works?

The heating cable, also known as heat trace cable or heat tape, is used in a variety of applications such as roof and gutter, freeze protection, snow melting, temperature process maintenance, among others. The heating cable is used to keep pipes is covered with thermal insulation. The heating cable is designed to protect the pipes from freezing by maintaining a constant temperature flow.
There are two types of cables, although they serve the same purpose: constant wattage heating cable and self-regulating heating cable.
Constant wattage heating cable
Constant wattage heating cable has the same power output throughout its entire length regardless of the pipe temperature. This type of heating requires a thermostat or controller as it cannot regulate heat output by itself.
The heating cables have parallel wires wrapped and connected round in intervals, it makes it possible to have constant power throughout its length. When a voltage is applied, the heating cable receives the same output. This design is made such that if a section of a cable fails, heating continues without any change.
Homeowners prefer this type as the environmental condition does not affect their heating output. Constant wattage heating cable is best applied for snow melting as it can continuously melt it. Floor heating also used with this kind of heating cable as you can control the temperature. For large scale or commercial projects, this type of heating cable can be applied in freeze protection due to the velocity flow of heavy material.
Constant wattage heating cable is widely used to prevent the formation of condensation.
1.Easy to install as no technician is required.
2.Controllable to desired heat output
3.Produce a constant heat output
4.Utilizes the silicone rubber as an insulation material
1.Require pipe thermostats
2.Cannot be overlapped
Self-regulating heating cable
The self-regulating heating cable, also known as self-limiting heat cable, consists of two parallel bus wire inserted in a heating conductive core. They are useful in protecting the pipe against frost damage while reducing operating costs.
The heating cable increases its wattage during lower temperatures. In higher temperatures, the heating cable decreases the power output saving energy. An electric current that passes through the core between the cables is generated; as the temperature drops, the electrical current passing through increases, and more heat produced. Also, when the temperature increases, the flow reduces, and less heat generated.
Although it’s self-regulatory, it does not turn off completely; a controller is recommendable.
This type of cable is suitable for freeze and low-temperature applications that do not require tight control.
1.Self-regulating with adaptable output
2.High chemical resistance
3.Lower cost
4.Provide high power output
5.Tolerant to overlapping
6.Easy to install as they can cut to length on site
1.Difficult to control the temperature
2.Low design temperatures
3.Not suitable for process control
Both constant wattage heating cable and self-regulating heating cable serve the same purpose. The main difference is the type of application that suits each type. constant wattage heating cable is best for snow melting for the ability to melt snow continuously. At the same time, pipe tracing and gutter freezing are best for self-regulating heating cable because it heats the temperature when low.

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