Pros and Cons of Electrical Heat Tape

heating tape wrapped around pipes

Electrical heat tape is used to keep water pipes from freezing. Ice cold tap water is a sign that your plumbing is in trouble. There are advantages and disadvantages of using electrical heat tape in your home.

Pros of Electrical Heat Tape

The tape helps in maintaining the temperature of the pipes. Therefore, the water coming out is room temperature. Secondly, it helps in keeping the temperature of the house warm, even during cold seasons. Thirdly, the tape is water-resistant and therefore cannot be affected in the event of water leakages. Fourthly, properly installed heating tape will keep gutters and downspouts open when alternate freezing and thawing occurs.

By keeping such channels open, water is prevented from backing up under the roof and causing damage inside the home. Lastly, the electric heat tape can be controlled by a conveniently located switch equipped with an indicating pilot light, making it easier to control when and when not to heat the tape.

Cons of Electrical Heat Tape

One disadvantage of electrical heat tape is that it uses electricity, and so in the case of a power outage, it stops working. Another con is that if the tape is not replaced for a long time, it may cause fires, injuries and even prove fatal due to short circuits. It is also expensive to have heating tape because of the amount of electricity used, resulting in high electricity bills.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) urges homeowners to replace uncertified heat tape more than three years old with certified tape to meet the recognized standards.