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Author Topic: Heat tapes I think!  (Read 521 times)

Jerry Emert

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Heat tapes I think!
« on: October 31, 2019, 06:20:08 PM »
How do you operate these things?
Jerry, Chief USN Retired
2003 Patriot Thunder Lexington 40' 3 Slides
C-12 Ser#  2KS89983
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Mike Shumack

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Re: Heat tapes I think!
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2019, 08:26:55 PM »
Are those electrical devices (heat tapes?) "hardwired"?  They look like a GFCI breakers (with the test and reset buttons). If they are hardwired - how would you turn off the heat tape?

On my coach the (2) heat tape cords are just hanging and have to be physically plugged in to the unused GFCI outlet (which is located on the wall in the same bay next to where the heat tape cords are hanging).

- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder 525, Vicksburg, CAT C13, Allison 4000MH, HydraLift
Orlando, FL

Jerry Emert

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Re: Heat tapes I think!
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2019, 09:15:28 PM »
These are the same as you describe.  I plugged them in but it looks like switches/buttons on the front of them.  The buttons don't seem to do anything.  Not sure if they are working or not.  I was hoping someone would know if there were indicator lights on them or if you had to turn on by use of the buttons?  Going down to 28 tonight.  I know there is almost no chance of damage for that amount of time but better safe than sorry!
Jerry, Chief USN Retired
2003 Patriot Thunder Lexington 40' 3 Slides
C-12 Ser#  2KS89983
4000MH

Mike Shumack

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Re: Heat tapes I think!
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2019, 09:38:13 PM »
You should test the outlet for power. If the outlet is dead and you plug in the heat tape, the test button wont do anything.
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder 525, Vicksburg, CAT C13, Allison 4000MH, HydraLift
Orlando, FL

Joel Ashley

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Re: Heat tapes I think!
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2019, 10:09:04 PM »
The instructions stamped at the bottom of each indicate they are circuit protectors of some type, used like GFCI’s as Mike notes.  They may be part of heating circuits that, like the 12v ones used on our fridge ice maker solenoid valves, include thermosensors that automatically close switches at 40 degrees or so.  I’d guess the white would be a test button and the red a reset.  If it’s automatic, all you need to do is keep the rig plugged in.  There may also be circuit breakers marked as such in the 110v panel(s) and any coach wiring diagrams.

I recall David Richelderfer has heat tapes with on/off remotes?

Joel
Joel and Lee Rae Ashley
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David T. Richelderfer

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Re: Heat tapes I think!
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2019, 02:53:20 AM »
This is what the setup looks like in our coach.  Interestingly, I had never seen the two black boxes before because they are up near the ceiling of the basement.  There is a toggle switch labeled Heat Tape which activates the two-plug receptacle in which the heat tape plugs are inserted.  When I flip on the toggle, the red lights, one on the toggle plate and one each on the two black boxes, come on.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 01:45:35 PM by David T. Richelderfer »
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Joel Ashley

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Re: Heat tapes I think!
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2019, 10:10:47 AM »
David:   Try Paint with Windows -    http://beaveramb.org/forum/index.php/topic,6798.0.html

and I use “Image Compress and Resize” by Dkit, inc. in the App Store for my Apples.

PM me if you still have problems.
Joel
« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 10:21:18 AM by Joel Ashley »
Joel and Lee Rae Ashley
Clackamas, Oregon
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C9 400HP Cat
towing a 1997 Ford Explorer Limited, aka "Pearl"

Bob Stone

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Re: Heat tapes I think!
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2019, 07:32:18 PM »
I have a concern about using the electric heat tapes instead of the Aquahot to prevent freezing in the water bay. The most expensive item to suffer from freezing is the Aquahot. A three inch air inlet for the burner air leads directly from the outside to the heart of the Aquahot. If the Aquahot is not turned on, either diesel and/or electric the water heating coils could freeze causing catastrophic damage to the Aquahot.
Bob Stone
'05 Monterey Laguna IV  Cat C-9

Mike Shumack

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Re: Heat tapes I think!
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2019, 11:44:21 PM »
The heat tape is not used in place of the AuquaHot, it is used "along with" the Aquahot to keep some pipes warm that the Aquahot heating doesn't reach well.

The Owners manual calls it "supplemental heating"
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder 525, Vicksburg, CAT C13, Allison 4000MH, HydraLift
Orlando, FL
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Bob Stone

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Re: Heat tapes I think!
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2019, 05:43:31 AM »
Thank you Mike for addressing my concern regarding potential freezing of the water heat coil in the Aquahot. My Beaver does not have the Supplementary Heat (heat tapes) so when David mentioned in his post a day or two ago regarding basement heat and I quote,



 “ So, if your coach is plugged into adequate shore power and your coach has basement heat tapes, then turning on the diesel burner may not be necessary for overnight temps only slightly below freezing.”


Again there is no mention of the heat tapes serving only as a supplementary heat source to the electric element in the Aquahot and thereby not having to burn diesel fuel. My fear is that an owner not familiar with the innards the Aquahot might assume that between the antifreeze in the Aquahot system and the heat tapes would be adequate on their own.
Bob Stone
'05 Monterey Laguna IV  Cat C-9

David T. Richelderfer

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Re: Heat tapes I think!
« Reply #10 on: November 02, 2019, 02:54:45 PM »
 “So, if your coach is plugged into adequate shore power and your coach has basement heat tapes, then turning on the diesel burner may not be necessary for overnight temps only slightly below freezing.”

So, if your coach is plugged into adequate shore power, then why wouldn't the electric element in the Aquahot be turned on?  That would provide some heating for the basement furnace and keep the Aquahot warm.

So, if your coach is plugged into adequate shore power, then the inverter should be on, keeping batteries charged up, and the inverter will also provide some heat for the basement.

And if the outside temperature is "only slightly below freezing," then not much heat is needed to keep interior pipes, etc., from freezing.  The coach will absorb enough heat from the daytime temperatures - which would be well above freezing - to keep its interior from freezing.

Watch the daily high and low temperatures.  It doesn't take much time from your busy day... maybe a minute or two.  And if the temperatures start to dip well below freezing, then turn on the diesel burner and/or place auxiliary heating units in the interior... again, assuming your coach is plugged into adequate shore power.

If your coach is not plugged into adequate shore power, then winterize it!
David, Leslie & Jasper
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Bill Sprague

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Re: Heat tapes I think!
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2019, 03:01:58 PM »
I you are not using your coach, it is freezing and you have a Hydro/AquaHot the only thing to do is pump RV antifreeze through it.  Running it with the electric element or on diesel keeps will keep it from freezing unless something fails.   The elements burn out, the diesel can mysteriously refuse to fire and the power can go out.  If any of that happens when you are gone, you get to buy a new AquaHot. 

Once you have the hose and $3 worth of antifreeze, it takes ten minutes.  Some avoid it because they assume a winterized AquaHot can't be used for heat.  It can.  Having antifreeze in the water heater part of it does not prevent use as a furnace. 
Bill Sprague
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Jerry Emert

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Re: Heat tapes I think!
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2019, 04:04:41 PM »
Thanks for all the advice!  I will winterize in a few days the same way I do every year...I will carry my happy a-- back home to Orlando!  This trip my wife left me in TN to go visit her sister in DC.  I'm stuck here and Mother Nature, apparently, didn't get the memo to hold off on below freezing temps until next week!  My winterizing has always been successful before, which is why I had no idea how those heat tape thingy things worked.  I have since found the plug they are supposed to be plugged into and the switch to turn them on.  And the bottom line is that they probably are not needed because it's only below 32 for a few hours and my FL butt has the HH diesel and electric on.  2 space heaters and the heat pumps as soon as the temp gets above 40.  And I sit here in the coach with my fuzzy hoody and sweats on!  So 5 more days until I can winterize!!
Jerry, Chief USN Retired
2003 Patriot Thunder Lexington 40' 3 Slides
C-12 Ser#  2KS89983
4000MH

Mike Shumack

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Re: Heat tapes I think!
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2019, 02:35:34 PM »
So did you get your windshield replaced?
- Mike

'05 Beaver Patriot Thunder 525, Vicksburg, CAT C13, Allison 4000MH, HydraLift
Orlando, FL

David T. Richelderfer

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Re: Heat tapes I think!
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2019, 02:54:37 PM »
What am I missing here?  If your FL butt has the HH diesel and electric on, then turn on the furnaces that heat the interior of your coach... and take off the fuzzy hoody and sweats.  Your coach does not have furnaces in the living room, bathroom, and bedroom... or they don't work?
David, Leslie & Jasper
Towing a 2002 black Chevy Avalanche
Using a Blackhawk Towbar & Evenbrake
RF Mogul Eagle 3 for DISH TV
Go Beavers, OSU Class of '71, Math
RVing since 1973
Constitutionalists, Golfers & Capitalists
Your luck is the residue of your management