Are Heat Tapes Safe ?

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by DonL, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    Just kind of wanted to know what you think.

    I see that many Heat tapes are UL listed, But Are Heat Tapes Safe under normal use ?

    Most will be plugged into a extension cord.


    It is the time of year that Yes it does Freeze in Texas, and our water tanks and pump are outside.


    Many people use light bulbs for heat, that seems a waste and seems very dangerous. Even tho all components are UL Listed.
  2. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    If you have ever been in a chinese factory when a UL inspector came thru with his 'tour guides' ( BTDT !!) you would not put so much faith in that UL label!!!
  3. ActionDave

    ActionDave Electrician

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    Location:
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    There is enough of the stuff in service to deem it safe. It requires ground fault protection, which is a very good thing.
  4. big2bird

    big2bird IBEW Electrician

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    Location:
    Anaheim, Ca.
    I haven't installed any in years. Back in the day it was good stuff. With all the Chinese junk these days, I just don't know.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    You also have to know WHAT is "UL approved". Some import items use a UL approved item, such as a thermostat, and then lable the entire product "UL approved". Using the term "safe" can also be relative, because the conditions where it is installed, or even how it is installed, could make it "unsafe".
  6. DonL

    DonL Banned

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    Good point.

    Buying the inspector lunch does help. I have seen that first hand.

    Not sure where the heat tapes are made, now a days.

    I would guess the US outlawed the materials to make them. Just like the light bulbs.

    But they have plenty of UL stickers, for the price of lunch.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    quote; But they have plenty of UL stickers, for the price of lunch.

    In this area, many years ago, contractors would get their "green stickers" that way and apply them themselves. When people started waking up with sunlight shining in their eyes, through cracks in the walls, the city finally clamped down on the practice, and started rotating the assignments so the inspectors did not get too "friendly" with the contractors.
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    As in most things, it comes down to the quality of the device and the proper use. You don't want to bury any heating device inside a bunch of insulation for the most part since if the temperature controls (and not all have them) didn't work, it could build up enough heat to start a fire. The things often can modulate, and the method they use to perform that varies. Some work better than others. Some can be submerged, some can't.
  9. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

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    2,532
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Good answer .
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