The Frostex Pipe Freeze Protection System is probably one of the best heating cables available for pipes. Most heat tapes are simple thermostat controlled heating cables that are looped around the pipe at a given number of turns per foot then insulation is applied over the heat tape and pipe. If the coils are too close or accidentally overlap the cable can overheat and burn out or worse possibly cause a fire. The thermostat turning on and off constantly has contacts that eventually will wear and burn causing the heat tape to fail.
The Frostex Pipe Freeze Protection System is very unique because the cable is self-regulating and only delivers the heat that is needed. With the Frostex System the cable does not wrap spiraling around the pipe it’s protecting making installation a breeze. The heat cable goes straight down the side of the pipe and has insulation applied over it instead of looping the heat tape cable round and round the pipe untangling knots. Depending on the size of the pipe and the lowest temperature you want protection from determines how many times the Frostex heat cable needs to run against the pipe consult the pipe size and temperature chart and install as needed for your application. The Frostex cable can overlap and will not overheat because the Frostex is cable is self-regulating. Each year many people in colder areas experience frozen pipes requiring pipe thawing and often experience damage to the pipes as well causing the need for a plumber to repair the pipes. With Frostex protecting the pipes from freezing your problems are eliminated.
The Frostex Pipe Freeze Protection Cable is constructed of several layers and in the heart of the cable run 2 bus wires that supply electrical power to the heat tape. Surrounding the 2 bus wires is a special polymer, which generates heat when electrical current flows through it. Using resistance to generate heat with electricity is nothing new but here’s where Frostex has reinvented the wheel, the polymer used in the Frostex cable changes resistance with temperature. As the temperature lowers the resistance of the polymer lowers allowing higher current flow and more heat to be generated, and vice versa as the temperature increases the resistance increases so the cable produces less heat. This self-regulating feature is what allows the Frostex Pipe Freeze Protection Cable to be overlapped without worrying about overheating. Over the self-regulating polymer is a tough blue insulation layer and a clear wrapped layer then a layer of wire braid to complete the protection of the cable.
The self-regulating polymer in the Frostex Pipe Freeze Protection Cable has a resistance that changes with the temperature and at 40-Degrees F the cable uses about 3.5 watts per foot, while a decrease in temperature to 0-Degrees F the power usage increases to about 5 watts per foot. This self-regulating feature makes the need for a thermostat disappear and the Frostex Pipe Freeze Protection Cable is simply plugged in or turned for the winter season and unplugged or shut off at the finish of the season. Frostex Pipe Freeze Protection Cable is even safe to apply on plastic pipes and even waste lines up to 2” diameter.
Many of the other heat tapes come in set lengths where you buy the length of heat tape that comes closest to your needs resulting in the cable never being just the right length. The 12’ cable is too short and the 15’ cable is too long always seems to apply and the only choices available are to stretch out the spirals lowering the protection or trying to increase the wraps or string out the extra increasing the risk of overheating. Frostex Pipe Freeze Protection Cable comes on a reel and can be cut to the exact length you need for your application up to a maximum of 50’. Tradespersons can purchase a reel and pull off just what they need or, Frostex cable can be purchased by the foot at many locations, which is handy for many tradespersons that don’t use a large amount and homeowners that are doing it themselves. In addition to the cable the Frostex Pipe Freeze Protection Cable 9800 Flex Plug Kit needs to be purchased to complete the installation. The 9800 Flex Plug Kit contains a plug kit, which offers, ground fault protection as well as fuse protection for the Frostex Pipe Freeze Protection System. The 9800 Flex Plug kit also contains a Gel Filled End Seal to cover the end of the Frostex Cable. The Frostex Cable has its insulation stripped following the instructions and the wires are hooked up to the screw terminals of the 9800 Flex Plug to complete the installation. While Frostex Pipe Freeze Protection Cable is not as easy in this area of the installation as premanufactured heat tapes the ease of installation in other areas greatly outweigh this one inconvenience in the installation process and gives you a far superior installation. The only tools you need for installing Frostex Pipe Freeze Protection Cable is a #2 Phillips Screwdriver, Wire cutters and a roll of electrical tape.
There are some safety rules that apply to the installation which are the same as any other heat tape system. The Frostex Pipe Freeze Protection System can only be used on above ground water pipes that are insulated and weatherproofed, and the 9800 Flex Plug must be plugged into a grounded receptacle in a dry area. Frostex Cable must be used in a complete length with the 9800 Flex Plug on one end and the End seal on the other, and cannot be spliced in the middle. Heat tape cannot be used in enclosed areas such as walls ceilings and floors, it must be out on the open where it can be inspected for damage from rodents and other critters.
The Frostex Pipe Freeze Protection System is available at many home centers, hardware stores.