Heat Tape

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by asayers, Jan 2, 2006.

  1. asayers

    asayers New Member

    Messages:
    5
    I have a shower set up that is going to be mounted on an outside wall. I have no options to put it anywhere else. Can I heat tape the lines within the walls?
  2. No. Dangerous, can cause a fire and the tapes will not last long enough to call permanent. Build a false partition and have access to the pipes.
  3. asayers

    asayers New Member

    Messages:
    5
    I don't have any room to build a false wall, nor are there any options move the plumbing. I could re-direct part of a forced air heat duct into the wall. I would have to limit the amount of insulation in the wall in order for it to do any good though and that scares me.
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    Heat tape in an enclosed wall would be a NO NO. Why can't it be mounted on another wall?
  5. asayers

    asayers New Member

    Messages:
    5
    It is a very very small bathroom with no other wall as a possibility.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,183
    Location:
    New England
    I'm not a pro...but if I was hit with this problem, I'd make sure that the pipes were as close to the inside wall as possible, and then I'd consider using a foam in place insulation - it doesn't leave voids and has a much better R factor than fiberglass. This could be problematic if you needed to repair the valve and it might mask a leak. This may mean that your choices of a shower valve may be limited, since many of them are fairly deep. I know that Grohe makes a surface mount tub/shower valve assembly, don't know if they or others make a surface mounted shower only assembly. If you go this route, then all of the guts are outside of the wall, only the pipe is inside (and you should be able to get it closer to the inside wall. You may not like the looks of this. I did it on my shower because there is a pocket door behind it, and I didn't want any interference possibilities, plus, the granite I put up I wanted to stay for a long time nonwithstanding the valve.
  7. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    What is above the bathroom, 2nd floor or attic, and when you are standing in the shower can you touch the shower ceiling?
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,874
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    ceiling?

    Why? Are you suggesting that he mount the shower valve in the ceiling? That would definitely be an unusual location for it.
  9. asayers

    asayers New Member

    Messages:
    5
    yes. It is on the second story, a dormer with the attic space above.
  10. PEW

    PEW DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    487
    You do not say where you are located, but I would agree with Jim. If you keep the insulation between the outside wall and the pipes, and you keep the house heated, you should have no problems. NO heat tape!

    Paul
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2006
  11. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,147
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I would keep the heat duct away from the pipe.

    Once the heat is off, there is nothing to protect the pipe.
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