How to Apply Heat Tape Under a Trailer

Freezing pipes are a concern for any homeowner who lives in cold climates, but it is more of a concern for those who own trailers because the pipes are freely exposed to the air. One method that prevents this problem is wrapping the pipes with heat tape. Heat tape is actually a thin tubing material that plugs into an electrical outlet to heat up. The heat from the tape is transferred to the pipes, preventing the pipes from freezing.

Things You'll Need

  • Electrical tape
  • Foam tubing insulation
  • Utility knife

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Pull back a section of the trailer skirting, if applicable, and crawl under the trailer at the location where the water line connects to it.

Walk to the end of the trailer where the main water connection comes out of the ground. Wrap this short section of pipe with heat tape. Start near the ground and begin wrapping the tape around the pipe, making sure that none of the edges of the tape touch each other. Leave a 1-inch gap between each wrap of the tape.

Crawl underneath the trailer at the end where the water connection is located. Wrap the exposed water pipe, using the same technique as before until you reach then end of the pipe. Secure the heat tape to the pipe with electrical tape placed at evenly spaced intervals.

Cover all of the pipes wrapped with heat tape with a layer of foam insulation tubing to further protect them. Simply hold open the cut edge of the tubing and press it around the entire pipe. Cut the end of the foam tubing with a utility knife when you reach the end of the pipe.

Plug the power cord for the heat tape into an outdoor electrical outlet.

Set the thermostat on the heat tape so that is automatically comes on when the temperatures falls below freezing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Heat tape is available at home improvement stores.
  • Not all heat tape is approved for use with PVC pipe. Check the packaging for the heat tape to make sure it is approved for the type of pipes the trailer has.
  • Heat tape can cause a fire if it is not installed precisely according to the package instructions.

References

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