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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > 12v heat tape? Source?

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TexasTraveller

Plano, Texas

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Posted: 04/09/08 12:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DOH! ok... so I was thinking of an 110v AC product... called FLEXWATT tape... which you must wire up yourself IF you're good at soldering, insulating, and can lay your hands on a reliable rheostat... but it comes in 3", 4", 11" & 17" widths and can be cut in just 1 foot increments... can be purchased at: supplier. Other articles: How to wire, and forgot rheostat, MFG: Calorique bought Flexwatt

OK... so back to the drawing board. What YOU are looking for is "12v electric heat tracing". wiki article on trace heating

Here's a 12v / 24v heat tape I found when I Googled "12v heat tracing"... according to the website it's available by the foot... and draws something like 3w/foot... which ain't too bad!
http://www.heatline.com/kompensator.htm


I'm sure there are others... let us know what you end up using...

Amy.

TexasTraveller

Plano, Texas

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Posted: 04/09/08 12:26pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

LOL... I guess this would have been more helpfull last fall! Sorry 'bout that.

bearsnob

Oregon

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Posted: 04/10/08 02:34am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All the 12 volt heat tape I've seen is not thermostatically controlled. Don't you have an inverter if you dry camp that much? If not, get one and run the standard heat tape which is cheaper and does have thermostatic control. For a small space like you describe, if you do the job right with enough insulation around the plumbing and heat tape, the thermostat won't be turning on all the often. A decent inverter is 90 percent efficient and has minimal current draw when there is no load. An alternative would be to go with the 12 volt heat tape and use a cheap line voltage thermostat to turn on and off the tape. The potential problem with that method is that the line voltage thermostat will only go down to about 55 degrees. So you will have to find a location for it that will be about 50 degrees when the outside temp drops to about 22 degrees.


Bill, Carol & Striker The Cat
2005 Everest 323k, Anderson gooseneck adapter
2007 Dodge Crew Cab, 5.9L, auto, drw, 4wd, 3.73 axle, B&W gooseneck hitch


TexasTraveller

Plano, Texas

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Posted: 04/09/08 01:04pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bonefish wrote:

Wrong....It is resistance that causes heat and AC current will generate heat that meets resistance. Check out an AC transformer some time or a AC electric heaters. They do not convert AC to DC to generate heat!


Yah... I didn't mean to post that I was 100% sure about the mechanics... not sure exactly how an AC electic heater works, but I'm guessing it has something to do with the material. After browsing around the web, seems like there are some pretty fancy compounds being used in heat tapes these days. The site I found actually used some sort of self-regulating carbon material... pretty cool stuff...

Bonefish

Midland, TX

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Posted: 04/09/08 04:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

An 120v light bulb give off heat and light because the filament (tungsten) causes resistance to the AC current. Nothing high tech nor does it take any special electronics to do it. Heaters work the same way but they just give off very little light (red glow).

Don't know why you want to use DC but like someone suggested above use a low wattage DC light bulb to keep lines from freezing. Just make sure it doesn't melt or burn up something. No Halogen lights.

Incandescent (not LED) rope lights are a good suggestion for just keeping pipes warm enough to prevent freezing. It would be the same as a heat strip and a whole lot cheaper. You could be the hit of the campground with a cheesy lit up poo hose while everyone else is froze up.

Bonefish





Bonefish

Midland, TX

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Posted: 04/09/08 12:33pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

TexasTraveller wrote:

Dang! I know there is a DC product out there... which makes sense, since DC current is what generates heat in a copper wire I'd imagine that any AC product must convert back to DC in order to generate the heat? we have used the mats in home-made incubators but I know they made a cable too... but I can't find it & can't recall the name right now... I'll keep looking & let you know when I figure it out...


Wrong....It is resistance that causes heat and AC current will generate heat that meets resistance. Check out an AC transformer some time or a AC electric heaters. They do not convert AC to DC to generate heat!
Bonefish

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