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Old 10-07-2021, 12:50 PM   #1
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Heat tracing the water line, thermostat question

Hi all. I ran some heat trace along the water supply line from tank to "into the trailer". Electrical tape to hold it on, foam pipe insulation around the line and trace as best I could -- zip tied that on.

The heat trace thermostat is supposed to be attached to the line (makes sense, as it turns on at 3 degrees Celsius and shuts off when the line reaches 7 degrees C).

However, I didn't mount the thermostat on there yet. It's hanging free. My intended use is to plug in the trace late afternoon and unplug when it warms up during the day. We're supposed to get to -8 degrees C overnight, so I'd want it to run more or less constantly.

My question is -- has anyone done a similar heat trace installation and left that thermostat unattached to the supply line? We're not going to be out for any great length of time. And I figure if the ambient air temperature is less than 3 degrees the line will go on (good, so the line doesn't freeze) and if the ambient temperature rises above 7 degrees it will shut off.

I suspect that the main reason for that thermostat to be on the line is to cycle through on/off, as opposed to always on. But I also suspect that at -8 degrees, it will be on a lot more than off.

Any thoughts?
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Old 10-07-2021, 05:10 PM   #2
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Whether the thermostat is hanging free in the air surroundint the water line or attached, it should cycle on/off according to it's design temps.

Main reason to attach to supply line would be to shut off heat should water temp rise above the "off" temp.

I used one of these "heat tapes" to make my own heated water "hose". Left the t-stat hanging next to the hydrant and plugged in all winter. Nothing got too hot and nothing froze. Lowest temp was -15 F.
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Old 10-07-2021, 05:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
Whether the thermostat is hanging free in the air surroundint the water line or attached, it should cycle on/off according to it's design temps...
Thank you. This is one of those "seems like common sense to me" things, but I've had some "well, would you look at how badly that turned out" moments too.

At least we're only getting the cold this October. Last year there was the 2" of snow to contend with too.
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