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The Differences Between Pipe Heaters and Heat Tape


The Differences Between Pipe Heaters and Heat Tape

Heating your RV pipes and drainage systems is crucial if traveling through freezing temperatures. And with fantastic products like pipe heaters and heat tape, you can avoid harmful blockages and plumbing nightmares on the road. Explore some of the differences between these essential devices and discover which will best protect your RV.


What Is a Pipe Heater and How Does It Work?

Exploring the differences between pipe heaters and heat tape requires understanding both products and how they work. To start, pipe heaters are small warming devices that you can fasten around the elbows and along the length of your pipes.


Essentially, an RV pipe heater produces enough heat to prevent the liquids in your pipes from freezing. These devices are most effective on drainpipes connected to water and waste holding tanks. Moreover, they’re incredibly effective if you need to warm the low-point drainpipes, as these are typically the first to freeze.


When these low points between your termination or gate valves freeze, it causes harmful blockages that prevent drainage. It’s worth noting that even if your RV tanks are heated, the liquid will not drain from them if your pipes are frozen. So, it’s wise to consider using these products if you don’t already.


What Is Heat Tape and How Does It Work?

In its most basic definition, heat tape is a tool that resembles industrial tapes and, in some cases, electric extension cords. And unlike devices that become hazardous when overheated, heat tape is designed to produce warmth when installed and maintained properly. And in the context of your RV, this tool can help heat various areas of your piping and drainage systems.


For instance, some prefer to use heat tape on their RV’s water hose. Others get the best use of it by wrapping it along water supply lines. In any case, heat tape is flexible and industrious, so it’s great for those looking to get a bit of extra coverage in below-freezing temperatures.


When Is It Best To Use Each?

Of course, both of these products are excellent for ensuring that you don’t run into any plumbing or blockage nightmares on the road. The differences between pipe heaters and heat tape truly lie in when it’s best to use each one. To illustrate, pipe heaters are an excellent option for those who need to warm focused areas like their system’s drain pipes.


Inversely, heat tape can warm water supply lines (Pex and high pressure hoses) and small areas where it would be hard to fit a pipe heater. Both of these devices when used together can help you circumvent freezing pipes and blockages that might be harmful to your RV.

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