Common Problems with Heat Cable In Park City.

 

Many homes in Park City have heat cable installed on their roofs to eliminate the common winter problem of ice dams. Not all heat cable systems are the same though.

In this article, we will look at four common problems that we see Park City homeowners have with their heat cable systems.

1. Old Cable

The biggest issue that we see homeowners deal with is having old heat cable installed on their home.

Heat cable or heat tape typically has a stated lifespan of between 5 and 15 years depending on the installation quality and the heat cable quality.

One thing to keep in mind is that Improperly installed cable can last significantly less than a brand's stated lifespan.

Old cable loses its ability to conduct an electrical charge and makes the cable not heat up.

If your heat cable is between five and ten years old, it could be time for an update.

It is always a good idea to have your cable tested to check how much current can still flow through it.

2. Improper Installation

Another common problem that we run into when maintaining or testing heat cable systems is that they are not correctly installed.

We run into two common problems in the field when it comes to heat cable installation; the manufacturer installation specifications weren't followed, and poor fastening practices were used.

We often find heat cable systems that are too spaced out, don’t run the length of the eave and don’t run into gutters the correct amount.

Heat cable systems are too spaced out or don’t run the length of an eave, can cause the eave of a home to heat unevenly and have potential cold zones. This can cause ice dams to form still and can void your warranty.

Heat cable that isn’t correctly installed inside of gutters, can cause ice to form and build up inside of your gutters.

Another major issue that we face observe is that some heat cable installers don’t use the correct roofing fasteners and techniques to ensure that the holes penetrating your roof won’t cause roof leaks.

3. Overloading Circuits

A circuit can only power certain linear footage of heat cable before it shorts out. Having too much heat cable powered by one circuit is something we run into fairly often. This can cause short circuits which will make your heat cable useless.

Even running a circuit to 100% isn’t recommended because a surge or a cold start of the heat cable could cause it to short out.

4. Heat Cable Quality

All heat cable is not made equally; far from it. When it comes to heat cable, you do get what you pay for.

Your typical Home Depot heat trace cable doesn’t have the durability or lifespan of other brands.

You want your heat cable to be backed by a 10-year warranty and to come from a reputable brand.

We use Raychem commercial grade heat cable and Proline commercial heat cable. These are the two brands that we have learned are durable and honor their warranties (10 years on both).

Conclusion

Heat cable is an excellent product for homes in Park City; it can prevent ice dams and keep you safer at home.

We often find that homeowners in Park City have problems with their heat cable because it is worn down, was installed incorrectly, or an inferior brand of heat cable was used.

By making sure that these common mistakes don't occur on your home, you can be sure that your heat cable will work when you need it.

 
Randy Jimenez