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Author Topic: Heat tape question  (Read 3606 times)

DaveKubler

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Heat tape question
« on: November 10, 2013, 11:29:32 AM »
So I am a new owner of a 30' Desert Fox Toy Hauler.   I will be living in it thru this winter in Kalispell, MT.   Yes, it will get cold.  The trailer itself is fully arctic package with dbl pane windows, enclosed and ducted underbelly/tanks.  I will be running only my propane heater with only using elec heaters to supplement if it REALLY drops temp.  What I am curious about it the fresh water hose.  I have purchased the ready made thermostatically controlled sections of 'heat tape' from Lowes.  I have run it all the way to the connection on trailer, (not touching itself) and did not spiral it around hose...rather ran it along the hose flat...using elec tape every 6-8 inches to secure (again..it does not touch itself) and then ran it all the way down the site water source (about 8 inches deep into ground )  I then used the foam tubes to wrap the hose and duct taped it closed...and used fiberglass insulation to  wrap the site water source pipe as well as my trailer connection area.   
Seems everything is fine....lights on for the heat tape....   Great. 

So now it IS below 45...which I believe is where the automatic thermo on the heat tape kicks in....   

When I use any water in trailer after it has not run for any extended length of time......the water that was stagnant in the hose comes out HOT......for about 10 seconds till it drains through.   Is that normal ?   I guess I didn't expect it to be able to heat the water that much....and then my next thought is.....  is my WHITE water hose from Wally World capable of handling that heat ? 

Thanks :)

John From Detroit

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Re: Heat tape question
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2013, 12:17:15 PM »
Well, I have a mild-winterized fresh water hose which I recently put back in service for the winter.. BUT,,, For reasons that have nothing to do with freezing here is what I usually do winters.

I fill the on board tank (80 gallons in my case) and then disconnect and drain the outside fresxh hose.. That way it never freezes (or if it does.. Well I won't worry about it)

Then I pump out the fresh tank till it's time to refill again.

Works for me.   Do not know if it will work for you.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

DaveKubler

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Re: Heat tape question
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2013, 12:35:50 PM »
Well, I have a mild-winterized fresh water hose which I recently put back in service for the winter.. BUT,,, For reasons that have nothing to do with freezing here is what I usually do winters.

I fill the on board tank (80 gallons in my case) and then disconnect and drain the outside fresxh hose.. That way it never freezes (or if it does.. Well I won't worry about it)

Then I pump out the fresh tank till it's time to refill again.

Works for me.   Do not know if it will work for you.

Thanks for the response.  So in answer to my real question re: the heat tape insulated water hose heating the water ALOT...  you didn't seem to address that directly ?   I appreciate advice...thanks.  But I really want to know if someone has or is experiencing the same phenomenon with the water getting quite hot till it runs thru. 

I actually do have a 100 gal fresh water tank in my trailer.  I do have it filled.  However, being I don't pay for the water usage at y site (included in rent) and using the onboard tank requires the use of the pump (bit of an annoying vibration/sound as well as the plain fact that pumps DO wear out) I thought why not just hook to the water,  winterize the hose...and then not worry about refilling any tank depending on the weather (standing out there once a week or so holding a hose for 20 minutes or so isn't my idea of fun). 

I actually decided that for now...I have unplugged the heat tape...  it really isnt getting below 25 or so at night at this point...and I am pretty sure that just having the foam insulation and the fiberglass wrap on the spicket and connection will suffice. 

pixurit

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  • Dave - Okanagan Valley, BC, Canada
Re: Heat tape question
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2013, 02:15:35 PM »
In my opinion "heat tape" does not work well on the standard white RV water hose. I used that setup last winter and though my water line never froze (during a mild Canadian winter), it did cause some other problems. I had wrapped the hose in foil tape (as suggested in the "heat tape" instructions), taped the "heat tape" every 6" or so, and insulated with those foam tubes. I never got hot, or even warm, water from any cold water faucet in the motorhome.

I believe the heat actually caused the rubber hose to break down.  Towards the end of the winter season I was getting a strong odor from the water and had to flush/sanitize the line and hot water tank every week in order to control it.  I'm back in the same spot this winter and will see if this was caused by the "heat tape" and RV hose combination, or just crappy water.

The heat did cause the RV hose to shrink.  By the end of the season the only points of contact between the "heat tape" and the hose were where it was taped. The shrinking water hose created loops of "heat tape" when the tape itself didn't shrink.

So, this year I actually ran 1/2" copper pipe (with "heat tape") from the water spigot to the city water fitting on my motorhome. Taped every 6" and insulated with the foam tubes, same as I did with the rubber hose.  The cost was actually about the same.  Can't give an opinion on how that will work out, I've only been here for 10 days and it has only dropped below freezing on one night so far. Today I'm going to install one of those remote control switches on the heat tape circuit, so I have the convenience of switching the heat on and off from inside the motorhome.

2 years ago I did the fill the onboard tank, disconnect and drain the supply hose, and then run from the tank technique.  It worked well, but mostly because the RV park where I was staying had the hydrant type of water connection where every time you shut it off at the spigot the water actually drained the line to about 4' underground.  The drawbacks were always running the water pump, and maintaining the level in the onboard tank. I really didn't like it when I had to venture out in freezing temps because I'd forgotten to ensure there was enough water for a morning shower.

I'm still learning, and trying different techniques to live comfortably in my RV during the winter.
Dave
1997 Southwind 32H

Jeff

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Re: Heat tape question
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2013, 02:58:54 PM »
I have used heat tape on water hose years ago but do not remember it heating the water much over 50 degrees.

bleman

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Re: Heat tape question
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2013, 04:25:06 PM »
You might do a search on the internet for "heated water hose".  There are a number of products out there for this situation.  I bought one from Camping World and it works just fine and is automatic for a wide range of temperatures.  It eliminates all the taping etc. and is very sturdy.

mnmnutswer

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Re: Heat tape question
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2013, 08:34:15 PM »
First of all. I have found that if the heat tape is on the water hose the heat will allow the hose to expand and could bust. I even used PVC pipe once and over one winter the PVC lone had expanded where ever the tape was not holding it tight. Now what I do is wrap the supply line with pipe insulation first, that keeps the tape off the line.
I also put the heat tape and insulation 6-8 inch's below the ground on the water supply. When I am happy with the insulation then I wrap in foil and double wrap in heavy plastic to keep water out.
Terry & Kathy Weller
Direct Sales Jewelry
It goes where you are.

concreteman66

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Re: Heat tape question
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2013, 07:19:54 PM »
I stay in my RV while working almost every winter.  I have used every water line and heat tape you can think of.
  I use a heated water hose. It is made by pirit and many RV dealers sell them. The first hoses they made I had problems with. The new models are very good. Plug it in and go!

PancakeBill

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Re: Heat tape question
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2013, 08:39:43 PM »
If I were replacing mine I  would get the Pirit.  I have been using the heat tape spiraled around the white hose and covered in foam for many seasons, including one at Grand Canyon with temps to -26.  No problems.  However, the Pirit eliminates all the other issues.  With -45 I think I may also put the foam cover on as well.

Bill & Jolene W & Koda

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Tom Hoffman

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Re: Heat tape question
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2013, 11:11:09 PM »
We got one of these last winter and never had a problem.  We tried the heat tape and it hardly worked at all.

http://www.nofreezewaterhose.com/?gclid=CNmV3fT8s7sCFQZffgodw04A4A

It is expensive, but it proved its worth to us.

Tom...
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mnmnutswer

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Re: Heat tape question
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2013, 05:40:45 AM »
The no freeze hoses may be good. However you will still need to apply heat tape and insulation the stand pipe and faucet head. You should also dig 8-10 inch's into the ground and place heat tape below the ground as well. So that is why I just do it all at once and leave it turned on and hooked up all winter long.
Terry & Kathy Weller
Direct Sales Jewelry
It goes where you are.

Mud Puppy

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Re: Heat tape question
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2013, 09:36:42 AM »
I spent last winter and this in Colorado, not as cold as MT but it is often in the teens at night. I did as you have done with the heat tape and foam covering. I do get some heating of the water when it is real cold and the heat tape is on all the time. My hose from last winter to this is still in good shape. I have about 30 ft of hose. This will be my last winter here so if the hose lasts I will be happy. Cathy
2008 GMC 2500 Diesel
2004 Jayco Designer 5th Wheel

Clay L

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Re: Heat tape question
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2013, 10:39:41 AM »
I put our heated hose together in Grand Junction CO. A lot of oil field workers need heated hoses and the hardware/RV stores are pretty familiar with what works.
Based on their advise I bought a black polyethylene hose and then used heat tape along the length covered with pipe foam insulation. It has served us well for 11 years of full timing use.
I don't recall ever getting hot water from it - warm but not hot.
Clay (WA5NMR), Lee (Wife), Katie & Kelli (cats), Sali (toy poodle)
Settled down after full timing for eleven years and snowbirding for one year in a 2004 Winnebago 35N Sightseer, Workhorse W 20 Chassis. Honda toad

mrschwarz

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Re: Heat tape question
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2013, 10:39:44 PM »
I am now in Grand Junction. My son-in-law manages a drilling rig and helped me with the fresh water hose. We got a drinking water safe hose, wrapped it with heat tape, and covered it with foam insulation. I have gotten some warm water, but other than that, it has worked down to -6 in the past 10 days. So far, so good.
Michael

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