Installation Instructions for RV Pipe Warmers
RV Pipe &Pipe Elbow Heaters
Outside temperature and mounting surface must be at least 50°F (10°C) when applying tank, pipe and elbow heaters.
Caution: DO NOT USE ON METALLIC PIPES - UltraHeat Pipe & Elbow Heaters can only be installed on rigid/hard plastic drain pipes similar to PVC (unless specifically custom ordered for metallic pipes & fittings).
The PH-513 fresh water supply tubing heat panel can only be installed on rigid plastic supply lines like "Pex", do not install on either vinyl or vinyl reinforced fresh water supply lines, they will melt. (If you have vinyl fresh water supply line, please refer to our selection smart heating cables for anti-freeze protection)
Please read the entire installation instructions for RV pipe heaters before attempting to install your UltraHeat product.
Straight Pipe Lengths, Placement and Prepare the Surface.
Placement for Drain Pipes: Locate the placement of UltraHeat Pipe Heater or combination of Pipe Warmers that will cover the majority of the exposed drain pipe and try to leave no more than 2" to 3" (5.08-7.62 cm) spaces between heaters or on the ends of the drain pipe section to be protected.
Placement for Fresh Water Supply Tubing: To protect ½" (1.27 cm) fresh water supply pipe, use one PH-513 Pipe Heater per 12" of pipe. Locate placement of the first PH-513 Pipe Heater up against the fresh water tank and along the piping. Repeat as necessary with another PH-513 along the piping, leaving no more than a ½" (1.27 cm) of exposed pipe, until the entire tubing between the holding tank and through the floor into cabin is protected. Note: PH-513 Heat Panels can only be installed on rigid Pex style tubing.
If you have vinyl or vinyl reinforced tubing, you will be using our UltraHeat Smart Cable. “Smart Cable” is a Self-regulating / self-limiting heating cable, often described as heat trace cable or heating tape, however this cable automatically adjusts heat output as needed, based on surface temperature. Ideal for freeze protection and low temperature process maintenance such as your RV’s fresh water supply tubing in need of heat protection, were the smaller volume of fluids within these lines are normally the first to freeze up and restrict flow in cold weather. Just securely zip-tie the cable along the length of the tubing ensuring the entire length of tubing along with all fittings and connectors are in direct contact with the cable to aid in preventing freezing. If you elect to take it a step further, wrapping the tubing in foil (sold separately) and/or insulating the tubing and cable with something like pipe wrap insulation will allow operation in even lower temperatures.
Elbows can be 90°, 45°, 22.5°, short sweep, long sweep, etc. Each one of these elbows will require its own individual heat panels, either for 1.5" or 3" (3.8cm or 7.6 cm) piping.
Pre-clean the dust, dirt and other foreign matter from the surface where the heat panel(s) will be applied, using soap and water. Rinse with clean water and let the pipe surfaces completely dry.
Next, clean the same surface area using only isopropyl alcohol (90% alcohol minimum) with a clean cloth or rag. Allow the surface to completely dry or flash-off. The surface MUST be clean and dry before proceeding to the next step.
Caution: Do not use any other type of solvent than isopropyl alcohol to clean the pipe surfaces.
Place the Pipe Heater onto the Pipe Surface.
Peel all the release papers off the back side of the pipe heater exposing the full adhesive side of the heater.
For Drain Pipes: Place the center of length of the pipe warmer on the bottom of the pipe so that the panel aligns with the length of the drain pipe. Press the center up so that the center run makes contact with the pipe surface. Then roll each side up in to place and firmly press the entire backing surface to seat the panel into place. Be careful not to stretch the pipe heater beyond its original size. Do not spiral wrap UltraHeat® Pipe Heaters. The heating panel should be on the bottom of the drain pipe so that heat rises into the drain pipe from the bottom.
For Single Fresh Water Supply Pipes: Place the center of PH-513 heat panel on the fresh water supply pipe so that the long edges of the pipe heater will align with the length of the pipe, then roll each side around the tubing, the edges of the heater will slightly overlap. Firmly press the pipe heater down so that the entire pipe heater makes contact with the pipe surface. Be careful not to stretch the pipe heater beyond its original size.
Caution: Do not spiral wrap the PH-513 Pipe Heater on a single fresh water supply pipe.
For Double Fresh Water Supply Pipes: Follow these instructions when installing RV pipe heaters on double fresh water supply pipes or any two fresh water supply pipes that run parallel to each other so they are touching. Spiral wrap the PH-513 Pipe Heater around the outside of both fresh water supply pipes so they are bound together. Be careful not to stretch the pipe heater beyond its original size.
Press down firmly on all parts of the pipe heater once in place. This will activate the pressure sensitive adhesive on the heat panel
For Double Fresh Water Supply Pipes using the smart cable: UltraHeat Smart Cable can be ran in parallel with two supply lines, sandwiching the cable between the tubes, and zip-tiding them all together.
Placing the Elbow Heater onto the Elbow or Pipe Surface.
Peel all the release paper off the back side of the elbow heater exposing the full adhesive side of the elbow heater.
For Pipe Elbows:Start by placing the center point of the length of the elbow heater on the middle of the outside curve of the elbow so that the ends of the elbow heater are perpendicular to the elbow. Wrap the end of the elbow heater without the wires around the elbow to the inside curve of the elbow. Next wrap the end of the elbow heater with the wires around the elbow so that it overlaps the other end. Firmly press the elbow heater down so that the entire elbow heater makes contact with the elbow's surface (this should look something like a Band-Aid on a finger).
If your elbow is of the type that is longer and swooping, mounting the elbow heat panel length wise along the back curve is also acceptable. Be careful not to stretch the elbow heater beyond its original size.
For Short Drain Pipes (3 to +11 inches/7.62 to +27.94 cm):
A). For shorter pipe runs, start by placing the center point of the length of the elbow heater on the bottom of the drain pipe so that the ends of the elbow heater are perpendicular with the length of the pipe section. Wrap the ends of the elbow heater up towards the top of the drain pipe, one side at a time, starting with the end without wires. The ends of the elbow heater will slightly overlap.
B). If the section of drain pipe is long enough for the elbow heat panel to fit, it may be installed horizontally along the bottom of the pipe. Placing the center of the heat panel along the bottom and wrapping up the sides.
Press down firmly on all parts of the elbow heater once in place. This will activate the pressure sensitive adhesive on the Heater.
Caution: When properly installed the UltraHeat heat panels will be very difficult to remove without destroying them.
Select the Appropriate 13.5 VDC Power Source.
It is recommended that UltraHeat's DC Heaters be powered from the DC fuse panel of an RV's 12 volt power converter. Heaters should not be powered directly from the battery.
We recommend all DC power circuits for UltraHeat heaters should be dedicated to powering tank, pipe and elbow heaters only.
Pipe & Elbow Heaters can be combined on the same power circuit with DC Tank Heaters in the same drainage system (i.e. Gray, Black or Fresh) as long as the following conditions are met:
All heat panels must be wired in parallel only, all "hot-wire" leads (colored red) must be connected together with the positive wire, and all negative wire leads (colored white) must be connected together with the ground wire.
The total current draw of all tank, pipe and elbow heaters to be combined on one DC circuit must be less than what any or all of the components (wire gauge, switch or fuse) within the circuit have a maximum rating for.
Caution: Do not combine DC Heat Panels on power circuits with devices that use electric motors (water pumps, furnace blower motors, etc.)
Install the 13.5 VDC, 20 Ampere fuse or circuit breaker
Each DC power circuit for UltraHeat heaters must use a 20 Ampere rated fuse or circuit breaker.
Install a 20 Ampere fuse in an open fuse slot of the DC fuse panel. If you do not have enough open circuits in your current fuse panel for the number of UltraHeat Heaters you want to install you can add an external DC fuse panel or an inline fuse connected to the output side of the power converter.
Run Circuit Wire from the Fuse or Circuit Breaker to the 13.5 VDC Power Switch.
Each DC power circuit must use a minimum of 12 gauge, stranded wire in order to comply with National Electrical Code for 20 Ampere rated circuits. It is acceptable to use a larger gauge of stranded wire (10 AWG, 8 AWG, etc.) for a 20 Ampere rated circuit.
Use a female slide connector (sold separately, packaged in UltraHeat switch kit) to connect the circuit wire from the fuse to the input side of the power switch (also packaged with the UltraHeat Switch Kit)
Run Circuit Wire from 13.5 VDC Power Switch to the UltraHeat RV Pipe Heater Positive Lead.
Use a female slide connector (also packaged with the UltraHeat Switch Kit) to connect the circuit wire to the output “load” side of the DC power switch.
Use the crimp cap connectors that were packaged with your Pipe or Elbow Heater to connect the heater's lead wires. Connect the positive circuit wire coming from the DC power switch to the red positive lead wire on the heat panel.
larger connectors are maybe necessary to properly connect multiple heater lead wires to the circuit wires, larger crimp cap connectors are recommended and not included.
Run Circuit Wire from the UltraHeat RV Pipe Heater Negative Lead to Ground.
Connect the circuit wire to be used for the ground side or negative return of the circuit using a crimp cap connector to the Heat Panel’s white negative lead wire. Run the circuit wire back to the RV's DC grounding bar which is normally located near the power converter.
It is also acceptable practice to connect the negative circuit wire directly to the RV's frame to use as a ground for the Heat Panel. It is recommended that a crimp-on eyelet, a star washer, a bolt and nut or other appropriate hardware be used to attach the negative circuit wire to the RV's frame. Removing a small amount of the paint on the RV's frame where the ground connection will be located will help insure a good ground connection. Once completed and system is tested, fully cover this frame connection with a silicone sealant to protect against rust.
Caution: Do not cross wire higher AC voltage on the 13.5 VDC UltraHeat Heat Panel power circuits, this will cause permanent damage to the heater.