Preparing for Winter with Frost Protection
As the weather turns colder, it will not be long until there’s the familiar sight of ground frost and below freezing temperatures. Trace Heating can help protect property and people during the winter and in this article, we’ve highlighted its top uses and our recommended products.
One of the most popular uses for Trace Heating is the protection of water pipes, pumps, sprinkler systems and oil fuel lines as it can provide regularised heat that will prevent critical areas from freezing. It’s also used as roof and gutter heating to ensure efficient free-flowing melted water through gutters and downspouts. A third application is to maintain critical access areas at ground level such as ramps and driveways as an electronic snow and ice melting system.
How does Trace Heating Work?
In addition to disruption to utilities, frozen pipes can cause costly damage to your building and a build-up of snow and ice on rooftops may also create blockages that could harm the integrity of your premises.
Trace Heating is an electrical heating element that creates surface heating – replacing the heat loss of an object which cannot be achieved with thermal insulation alone. Trace Heating cabling or heat tape as it is sometimes known, is applied directly to the pipe or a surface such as a roof. It uses low wattage power that’s incredible energy efficient and has a lifespan that’s usually many decades.
A self-regulating cable is most commonly used for frost protection as it has the distinct advantage of regularising the operating temperature – only powering up when required and temperatures are detected to be below a pre-determined level. Its self regulating set-up means there is no risk of overheating and it’s suitable for all forms of properties – in commercial, residential and industrial environments.
What Trace Heating cable should I use?
As an authorised distributor for nVent Raychem, we use the highest quality products when installing Trace Heating on behalf of our clients. Our experienced engineers are Certified Pro Raychem Installers and so you’ll also benefit from enhanced guarantees when using us for the install or commissioning.
Raychem XL Trace
This heat trace cable is our most popular frost protection Trace Heating product. It’s self regulating and available in various wattage outputs – from 10W/m – 31W/m at 5C. You’ll find it is most commonly used with the Raystat V5 Thermostat and control unit to give you temperature control throughout the application.
Used as gutter freeze protection, IceStop is a self-regulating cable specifically designed for roofs and gutters and can be used with all types of roofing. It’s typically paired with the EMDR-10 temperature and moisture sensing controller that will enable you to monitor and set working temperatures. A major benefit of this system is that it only powers up when there is a threat of snow and ice, making it incredibly energy efficient.
As with all specifications, we advise you contact an expert like Diamond Controls to discuss your individual requirements to understand the full range of products on offer and how they will help protect your premises.
Servicing and Maintenance
Trace Heating has an exceptional lifespan and requires very little maintenance. However, it is always advised that you regularly service and carry out a functional check of the system to ensure it’s in good working order.
If you’re already using Trace Heating, take a look at our winter maintenance tips or give us a call on 0203 876 5940 to arrange a comprehensive system service. This means you know your Trace Heating is working to its full potential and you’re able to identify any issues before they become a problem.
A one stop shop service
Using products from the market-leading brand, nVent Raychem, our full turnkey service includes the specification, design, installation and commissioning of Trace Heating systems. We also offer a materials only service or can help your team with training and commissioning of a self-installed system.