Best pipe heating cable

Home Improvement

Life is full of little annoyances, like not having an outlet close enough to the pipe you need to install a pipe heating cable into. Don’t worry, though, all you need is a good extension cord.

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Which pipe heating cable is best?

Freezing temperatures are deadly to more than just living things. They are also more than capable of causing irreparable damage to your water pipes by freezing them until they expand and eventually burst. If you live in cold weather areas, using a pipe heating cable can mean the difference between a survivable winter and a bank-shattering pipe replacement bill.

The best pipe heating cable is the HEATIT Pipe Heating Cable. This best-of-the-best option comes in more than a dozen sizes from 3 feet long to 120 feet long. With an automatic on and off based on the included thermostat, you’ll never have to worry about your pipes again.

What to know before you buy a pipe heating cable

Installation

Installing a pipe heating cable is usually a difficult task, mostly due to the location of the pipes themselves rather than the mechanics of installation. Before you install your pipe heating cable, make sure you have the materials you need to attach the cable, as well as double-checking the instructions to know if you have to install your cable in a straight line or wrap it all the way around the pipe. Be sure to plug your cable in to make sure it heats up. With all of this done, you can begin installing.

Durability

A pipe heating cable is meant to help save your water pipes from the dangers of freezing weather, but they’re useless if they can’t resist that same exact weather. You also don’t want to have to repeatedly install a new cable. Read the user reviews on your prospective pipe heating cable to see how long they’ve lasted for other consumers.

Certification

Another key metric of reliability is the presence of two different certifications that each ensure that a pipe heating cable meets qualitative and operating standards. These certifications are UL approval for the United States only and CSA certified for the U.S. and other countries.

What to look for in a quality pipe heating cable

Ease of use

Pipe heating cables can have none, one or both of the following ease of use features.

Built-in thermostat: Selecting a pipe heating cable with a built-in thermostat is the easiest way to ensure you never forget to turn on your pipe heating cable. With a built-in thermostat, the pipe heating cable will automatically turn off and on when it detects the temperature of the pipe to be within a specified range, usually 50 and 38 degrees Fahrenheit.

Indicator light: Even if the pipe heating cable does include a built-in thermostat, you still can’t truly be sure it’s working without physically touching the pipe heating cable. Available options, including an LED indicator light, eliminate this problem by switching on the LED when the cable is plugged in and functioning correctly.

How much you can expect to spend on a pipe heating cable

Generally speaking, most brands of pipe heating cable will cost similarly enough to be a negligible variable, so all you need to worry about is how long of a pipe heating cable you need. Short pipe heating cables under 10 feet tend to cost less than $20, while you can get longer pipe heating cables up to 30 feet for $40 or less. The longest pipe heating cables, the 100+ foot options, can cost up to $120.

Pipe heating cable FAQ

Should I use pipe insulation or a pipe heating cable in my home?

A. That depends on how cold your area of the world can become. For anyone with winters no colder than average and especially that don’t get cold enough to freeze water, you shouldn’t need much more than some good insulation. If your area of the world has constant freezes, then you’ll absolutely want to invest in a pipe heating cable. If you still aren’t sure, grab a pipe heating cable. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

How does a pipe heating cable attach to a pipe?

A. A pipe heating cable can attach to a pipe in any number of ways though the most common methods of attaching a pipe heating cable include electrical tape, wire or zip ties. One of the best options is cable application tape, as it can best resist temperature changes. Many pipe heating cables will include a method of attachment with the cable as well.

What are the best pipe heating cables to buy?

Top pipe heating cable

HEATIT Pipe Heating Cable

HEATIT Pipe Heating Cable

What you need to know: It doesn’t matter what size pipe you have, HEATIT has the best quality pipe heating cable for you.

What you’ll love: This pipe heating cable turns off and on automatically based on the temperature of the pipe.

What you should consider: You might need an extension cord to help the non-heated portion reach close enough to the pipe you need heated.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top pipe heating cable for the money

Frost King Automatic Electric Heat Cable

Frost King Automatic Electric Heat Cable

What you need to know: An excellent short pipe heating cable option for those who don’t need much length.

What you’ll love: This is an excellent pipe heating cable for pipes of plastic or metal.

What you should consider: While it’s rated to handle pipes in the -40 degrees Fahrenheit range, it doesn’t comfortably heat the farthest end of that range.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Worth checking out

Easy Heat Valve and Pipe Heating Cable

Easy Heat Valve and Pipe Heating Cable

What you need to know: Another top-tier pipe heating cable held back only by the limited available lengths.

What you’ll love: This product is easy to install, plus the thermostat automatically switches the heating on and off.

What you should consider: A straight line installation is required, and doubling up the cable will cause overheating.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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