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Old 02-02-2014, 04:27 PM   #1
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Melted my pipes

I'm ready to toss in the towel.

I've been winter camper since November, and fighting a good battle against the deep freezes. Came back after being gone for four days to find my water pipes have melted.

I re-wrapped them in heat tape before I left. I didn't overlap the tape, but I wrapped them as tight as I can get them. Then wrapped foam around the heat time. Then taped it all together using winter tape.

The heat tape was supposed to have a sensor to turn it on when it got below 40*. We had a nice weekend, hitting a high of 59*. I think the heat tape never shut off. It melted/burnt the winter tape. Completely melted the foam. Melted some of the plastic from the heat tape itself, and turned the pipes into jelly.

If that wasn't enough, I can't get the black tank to drain at all, and it is as full as it will get.

No water, no sewer, no more camping for me this winter.
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:26 PM   #2
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Sorry to hear this. Ya fought a good fight.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:51 AM   #3
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Sorry about your problems.
Most heat tapes are not suppose to be wrapped around the pipe but taped along the length of the pipe then covered with insulation. As to why it stayed on with above 40 degree temps, I have no idea. On mine the sensor should be outside the insulation to sense air temp and only turn on when the air temp is below 40
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:42 PM   #4
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Sorry to hear your giving up. I don't blame you. According to the ground hog you would have 6 more weeks to go. But, you have made it through quite a bit. A few more weeks and it would have been getting better.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:37 PM   #5
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Well, assuming there is some kind of guarantee/warranty I'd be in touch with the manufacturer of the heat tape and ask questions like where is the thermal cut-off located in the tape etc. Yeah...I'd be quite upset as well.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:11 AM   #6
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We use a lot of heat tracing made by Ray - Chem ... 120v 5 watt self regulating per foot . On pvc pipe we run the cable long ways on pipe then wrap aliumin around the pipe to spread the heat. We uncovered the insulation and checked the

If you bought the kind from home depot or Lowes there should be a thermostat , plastic looking clear , this is ambient state . It stays out side to detect the itemp
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:14 AM   #7
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Sorry . Sent to fast. When we Un covered and checked the temp with a gun we were at 85 degrees?
Con tact the manufactors of the heat trace , take pictures. I assume you were plugged into 120?
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