How To Heat Tape a Water Hose???

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by voyager20, Dec 29, 2005.

  1. voyager20

    voyager20 New Member

    Hello everyone, I am new to the Forums and I am looking for some advise on Heat taping water hoses. I searched all the forums I could to find out what I could and there wasn't really any specific instructions and/or direct "OK, do it this way" kind of stuff. So I purchased a heat tape, a new white water hose, 2 6 foot 1/2" rubber surround insulation tubes and some insulating tape. I have built the hose as best I could but before I hook it up and give it a go I would like someone with some experience in this area to take a look at the pictures I took and let me know if I did it right or wrong or if it would be safe or unsafe etc. We are moving into our 5th wheel full time and I have the trailer at the park but everyone around us is kinda packed inside for the winter so it's hard to go knock on their doors... Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

    PS: If it is correct I would be more than willing to write step by step instructions for all.

    Thank you!

    Pictures can be seen here: http://www.ekc3.com/images
     
  2. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    How To Heat Tape a Water Hose???

    From what I have seen folks do around here, looks like you got it right. I know some heat tape instructions say don't use on a rubber hose, but it seems to work.
     
  3. voyager20

    voyager20 New Member

    How To Heat Tape a Water Hose???

    Thank you!!!!

    The instruction did say to use only on plastic or metal pipes but from what I gathered from all the places I could find, it would still work on the hoses because it isn't supposed to get that hot. Do you know if leaving the thermostat out was right? I am worried it might stay too cold and keep it heated all the time. However, you can't control it if it is enclosed. (something about keeping it between 40 and 60 degrees?)

    Anyway, I appreciate the response!
    Thanx again

    Sorry it took so long to get the pictures up and the right size.
     
  4. SnowbirdInFlight

    SnowbirdInFlight Senior Member

    How To Heat Tape a Water Hose???

    I just hope Kirk/Cliff doesn't see all those pictures posted on here, he'll throw a fit! LOL. I got yelled at for posting pictures! :angry:
     
  5. Grandview Trailer Sa

    Grandview Trailer Sa Senior Member

    How To Heat Tape a Water Hose???

    Leave the thermostat out. It has to react to the temp. Yes, they cut on way before freezeing, but that is the way they all are.

    Snowbird, your so bad.............. :evil:
     
  6. voyager20

    voyager20 New Member

    How To Heat Tape a Water Hose???

    Thank you all, I will go back and remove the pictures.
     
  7. voyager20

    voyager20 New Member

    How To Heat Tape a Water Hose???

    Thank you all for the interest here. I have removed the pictures from the posting but if you email me (as some have already done) I can send their location to you and you can view them from your browsers.

    Thank you all again!!!!
     
  8. SnowbirdInFlight

    SnowbirdInFlight Senior Member

    How To Heat Tape a Water Hose???

    I was only kidding voyager! When I first started posting I was excited and posted some pics. Kirk got on here and blasted me a 'new one' stating that 'it took too long for people with dial-up to download pictures!' Well, I say screw Kirk! He has an opinion on everything and thinks his opinion is the only 'correct' one! Post all the pics you want! We that are in the 21st century have the technology to download pics with no problems, lol. Just be prepared to to hear from 'Cliff' (I call him that because he reminds me of the Cliff from Cheers that 'knows it all'!)

    Welcome to the forum! All but one are friendly! :laugh:
     
  9. s.harrington

    s.harrington Senior Member

    How To Heat Tape a Water Hose???

    We up here in the Great Northwest put a thin insulation tape around the hose first. This prevents the heat tape from causing seperation in the hose itself and we can use the hose more than one season. We put on the insulation tape, then the heat tape and then the foam. We can usually get 5 years good use that way. You will find doing it your way that the heat will cause the hose to break down and leak.
     
  10. voyager20

    voyager20 New Member

    How To Heat Tape a Water Hose???

    Thank you s.harrington!!!!! I will make my next one (for next year) with the insulation on first (I think I know which thin layer one you are talking about...). I was worried about that because I had read that the heat would cause the seperations.

    Perhaps I can take a year or two off after that one....
     
  11. John Harrelson

    John Harrelson New Member

    How To Heat Tape a Water Hose???

    Hi Kevin and Rollie,

    You are not the first, nor will you be the last to ask questions about Rving in the winter months..

    For a while there last year, the subject seemed to pop up every week.. so I wrote the following post in an effort to help answer some typical questions on the subject... maybe that post will help you also..

    here is the post
    *********************************************************************

    I live in my 5th wheel all year 'round and have absolutely no problems with cold weather.

    Here in Nevada, the winters are about average for the middle USA. Temperatures range from 10 below to 30 degrees above at night and range from 30 to 60 degrees in the day. Moisture is fairly high because of the snow we get.

    I have never had any problem with moisture or frozen pipes. I do use a heat tape on the water line and I have the trailer under-penned with a canvas skirt to keep the cold winds from blowing under the trailer. The skirt can be rolled up and carried in the truck bed when traveling.

    I use only the trailer's furnace to heat with, except the little space heater in the bathroom when I take my shower.. but I turn it off as soon as I'm out of the shower.

    Electricity is too high to try and heat the whole trailer with space heaters. Last winter the propane was high ($2 per gal) and cost about $60/80 per month for Furnace, water heater and cooking. The electric cost about $30/40 per month.

    This winter (05/06) the cost of propane has risen to $2.53 per gallon on average and electricity is up to 13.55¢ per kw.

    NOTE: by all means stay away from the propane company named "FERRELL GAS" they will rip you off bad...

    Remember that on many RVs, the furnace heating ducts run along the same path as the water pipes. Plus many of the RVs have the heating ducts routed into or through the basement storage areas where the holding tanks are located. This means that the pipes and tanks are not likely to freeze.

    For this reason, you should NEVER use a space heater as the only source of heat in an RV. It may not push enough heat into those places behind the wall where the water pipes are or down into the basement where the tanks are.

    There are some folks on the forums who just like to argue and this is one of their pets… but remember the RV furnace is properly called a “FORCED AIR FURNACE”

    I keep the inside temperature at about 67 degrees when I'm up and about, like watching TV or working on the computer. I turn it down to about 50 degrees when going to bed.

    As for using a heat tape on the water line that feeds the RV, here is what I always do and have never had a problem with freezing water lines..

    A "Heat Tape" is a long plastic ribbon that is spiraled around the water hose that feeds your trailer when you are hooked up to city water.

    The spirals should be one spiral per every 18" to 24" along the hose.
    Make sure that the heat tape does not overlap itself. This can cause hot spots that will melt the hose as well as the heat tape's plastic sheath.

    You should use only tape commonly referred to as electrician's tape, to hold the heat tape to the hose. Place a wrapping of electrician's tape about every 12" to 18" along the length of the hose.

    Electrician's tape is flexible and stretchable which allows it to contract and expand with the water hose as the water pressure fluctuates causing the hose to swell when water flow is static and contract when flowing through the hose.

    Using things like duct tape, string, cable ties or other non-flexible/stretchable things can cut into the hose as it swells and contracts, eventually wearing a hole in the hose.

    Heat tapes work just like an electric blanket does on your bed. It cycles on and off to maintain a temperature of about 40 degrees on your water hose so the water won't freeze during the winter.

    It must be used in combination with some type of insulation. By itself it's no good. Most people who live full time in their RV use this system.

    There are several types of heat tapes on the market, but the only one that I can recommend is the one made by "Snow King".

    Make sure that you get the model with "clear plastic bubble" on the end of the heat tape where the electric plug is. When the tape is plugged in, a little red light will glow inside the clear plastic bubble and you will know that it's working properly.

    The other models are not designed for water hose use and can melt the hose.

    Heat tapes come in different lengths, simply measure the length of your water hose First and then buy the length of heat tape recommended on the back of the heat tape package for that length water hose.

    They run about $15 to $25 depending on length. But they will last for 20 years if taken care of properly. Most hardware stores and places like Wal-Mart carry them as well as the insulation..

    The best insulation to use are the "Foam Tubes" (about 99 cent each) with the split down the entire length and are designed to simply slip over the water hose.

    Most people then wrap some type of tape around the insulated hose about every foot, so the wind won't blow the insulation tubes off.

    Very important ... make sure that you leave the clear plastic bubble outside the insulation and exposed to the ambient temperature or the heat tape will not work properly and your water could freeze.

    I have used this system to protect my pipes since the 1950's and never had a frozen pipe...

    The current white garden hose and heat tape I am using were put together in 1990 and has never been unwrapped or replaced.. its still going strong. It stays plugged in 24/7 all year and has never failed to work even after all those (16) years..

    If you have any specific questions about what did I do or how I did it,, drop me an email or contact me on any of seven different RV forums on the internet.

    I'll be glad to help in any way I can ...
    remember everyone is different and each person has their own way of doing things.. this is just my way...

    Thats the beauty of these forums, we get the chance to explore each others methods and solutions to problems that plague today's RVers..

    Best of luck,
    John
     
  12. onthecoach

    onthecoach Senior Member

    How To Heat Tape a Water Hose???

    Hello Everyone,

    I, too, am new to the forum, and I am so very grateful to all of you for all your advice on the ways to keep hoses from freezing.

    My Significant Other and I have just started full-timing and living in Wisconsin, this is an ongoing concern. At the moment, we do not pay for water, so we have been letting it trickle at night....but I do hate the waste!!

    The methods described here seem sound, and certainly, Mr. Harrelson knows what he is doing, since this has worked for him for so many years.

    I am wondering though...what are all of your thoughts on the the PEX material??

    This was brought to my attention by a plumbing supply operation. This new material is much like PVC pipe, but 1/2 inch and 'flexible', in that it coils up, much like a hose.

    You can buy most any length you want/need and then one needs to buy a few fittings for the ends. The downside, is that you also need to buy the CRIMPER that keeps the fittings on the ends.

    The PEX hose itself is cheap...approx $7.00 for 25 feet. The fittings are also inexpensive...the CRIMPER, however is between $40/$50! I am wondering, if in terms of a FULL-TIME status, that may be worth the price?

    Your thoughts???

    Thanks...and hope to see you on the road!!!
     
  13. onthecoach

    onthecoach Senior Member

    How To Heat Tape a Water Hose???

    Hello Everyone,

    I, too, am new to the forum, and I am so very grateful to all of you for all your advice on the ways to keep hoses from freezing.

    My Significant Other and I have just started full-timing and living in Wisconsin, this is an ongoing concern. At the moment, we do not pay for water, so we have been letting it trickle at night....but I do hate the waste!!

    The methods described here seem sound, and certainly, Mr. Harrelson knows what he is doing, since this has worked for him for so many years.

    I am wondering though...what are all of your thoughts on the the PEX material??

    This was brought to my attention by a plumbing supply operation. This new material is much like PVC pipe, but 1/2 inch and 'flexible', in that it coils up, much like a hose.

    You can buy most any length you want/need and then one needs to buy a few fittings for the ends. The downside, is that you also need to buy the CRIMPER that keeps the fittings on the ends.

    The PEX hose itself is cheap...approx $7.00 for 25 feet. The fittings are also inexpensive...the CRIMPER, however is between $40/$50! I am wondering, if in terms of a FULL-TIME status, that may be worth the price?

    Your thoughts???

    Thanks...and hope to see you on the road!!!
     
  14. onthecoach

    onthecoach Senior Member

    How To Heat Tape a Water Hose???

    Hello Everyone, I have learned so much about how to keep my hoses warm this winter, but I am not able to find the Snow King brand heat tape that Mr. Harrelson has recommended....any ideas on where it might be hiding?

    Also, I am curious to know if anyone has tried using the new PEX material for hoses...it is very similar to PVC, but comes in 1/2" coils of 25 feet. It's very inexpensive, about $7/25'. The only drawback is that you must also purchase the CRIMPER to use with it. This is about $40. I am told, this material can be used as PVC and can accomodate any heat-tape and insulation tubing without fear of melting or leaching.

    Has anyone had experience with this?

    Thanks so much and keep those ideas coming!!!
     
  15. Ed H.

    Ed H. New Member

    How To Heat Tape a Water Hose???

    I don't know how flexible PEX tubing is, but it is used on radiant heating systems so it should not be harmed by the heat tape.
    I would also suggest self regulating heat tape. There is no thermostat-it heats only where it needs to and keeps everything at about 40 degrees. Since it senses the temperature at every point, it can even be wrapped around itself without overheating.
     
  16. 3huskies

    3huskies New Member

    How To Heat Tape a Water Hose???

    Walmart sells the Snow King brand.
     
  17. onthecoach

    onthecoach Senior Member

    How To Heat Tape a Water Hose???

    Thanks ALL!!!
     
  18. Ron Miller

    Ron Miller New Member

    How To Heat Tape a Water Hose???

    I didn't have a problem with pipes freezing but both my holding tanks froze up pretty good this winter while out.

    I got a 32 foot Jayco and it's got the two 35 gal tanks.

    Does that stick on tank heat tape stuff work?

    I ain't really looked at one of them kits yet, if I recall they are only for tanks up to 19 gal. would I need 2 per tank and how hard is it to install
     
  19. onthecoach

    onthecoach Senior Member

    How To Heat Tape a Water Hose???

    Hi Ron,
    Don't know anything about the 'stick on' tapes for your tanks, but I do know the thermostatically controlled electric heated pads (Camping World) DO WORK -- as long as your tanks are not encased into the undercarriage of the coach.

    I would like to thank everyone for all of their assistance with the prevention of freezing hoses. One small reminder...if the temps are going to be below 32 degrees at night, you need to keep a small dribble of water coming through the hose into the coach...otherwise the heat tape will not come on. Heat tape only works when water is coming through the hose.

    Happy Spring...we are still cold here in Madison, but looking forward to warmer weather soon!!!
     
  20. John Harrelson

    John Harrelson New Member

    How To Heat Tape a Water Hose???

    Hi Lynn,
    I'm afraid that someone has given you incorrect information.

    You do NOT have to have water flowing through the hose for a heat tape to work.

    You can lay a heat tape on the ground, hang it from a tree or hold it in your hand and it will work if plugged in..

    A heat tape works exactly like a portable electric space heater or your propane furnace..

    THE THERMOSTAT CONTROLS THE ON AND OFF OPERATION OF THE HEATER AND THE HEAT TAPE.

    The operation of the heat tape in completely separate from the water..
    The only thing to remember when installing a heat tape is to leave the thermostat exposed to the Ambient air (outside air)..

    if the thermostat is wrapped inside the insulation, it will not work because it is snug and warm therefore it cannot tell the heat tape to turn on and off..

    There are many posts from lots of other forum members besides myself that have given instructions on proper installation and use of a heat tape..

    May I respectfully suggest that you do a search on this and the other eight RV Forums on the subject "Heat Tape"

    Best wishes,,
    John
     

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