When is pipe frost protection trace heating required?

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Don't risk frozen pipes this winter!
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Don't risk frozen pipes this winter!

Every pipe will experience heat loss when its temperature is greater than the surrounding ambient temperature. When subjected to low ambient or freezing temperatures this heat loss can cause the contents to crystallise and freeze.

For example, most water pipes are located either outside or in unheated internal areas, where in winter months the ambient temperature may drop below its freezing point. When water freezes, it expands and this expansion can cause a lot of problems to the pipework.

Typical applications for frost protection trace heating include:
  • Water pipework both external and unheated internal areas
  • Building services pipework
  • Fire sprinkler pipes
  • Freeze protection to vessels and tanks
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If the contents of a pipe is allowed to crystallise and freeze this can cause the pipework to burst, leading to considerable damage, disruption and expense.

Thermal insulation reduces the rate of heat loss but does not eliminate it. In order to minimise the effects of heat loss, frost protection trace heating is used to supply a heat source to replace this heat loss and therefore maintain the pipe temperature.

Typically in pipe frost protection, an air sensing trace heating thermostat is used to sense the ambient air temperature. This thermostat energises the trace heating cable when the temperature get below a set point, usually around +3°C to +5°C.
Keep your facilities, building and homes safe this winter.
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Keep your facilities, building and homes safe this winter.

Both constant wattage and self regulating heating tape systems perform excellently for use within frost protection trace heating applications.

Engineers and installers using trace heating will always have their own preferences as to the type of electric trace heating tape to use. This is why at ESH Trace Heating Ltd we offer a comprehensive range of both constant wattage and self regulating heating tapes to allow you to utilise the system that best suits your application and personal preference.

A range of factory terminated/ready to install trace heating kits are also available, designed to be a quick and easy to install pipe frost protection solution for short run pipework.
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