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7 Tips for Installing Heat Tape in Open Downspouts

We receive calls from architects, contractors and commercial property owners from around the country about the best ap- proach to keeping ice from accumulating in open downspouts. Although one run of Heat Tape PRO will probably do the job, we generally recommend two given the amount of ice that can quickly pile up in these downspouts, resulting in serious liability including property damage and public safety concerns.

open faced downspout with heat tape installed
cable guard protects heat tape at top of downspout

Protecting Heat Tape for the Edges of Sheet Metal

A pocketed scupper passes through a parapet wall from a flat roof. CableGuard used where the cable transitions into the downspout. Protection here is smart because there are often sharp sheet metal edges present.

Oversized Clip with Double Cradle​

A common ‘Star Pattern’ on the flat roof, created by glueing Oversized Heat Tape Clips (DDK-719-2-10) directly to the membrane using SB-190 (SB190-C-0) Adhesive. Again, the transition of the cable is protected with CableGuard.

Oversized heat tape clip glued down

Oversized Clip with Double Cradle​

The Oversized Double Cradle Heat Tape Clip (DDK-719-2-10) can be glued to the vertical back surface of the open downspout with an Industrial-Strength, Exterior Grade adhesive like SB-190 (SB190-C-0). Space clips about 36 inches.

Gutter Separator Clips Space Heat Tape in Gutters

Separate The Heat Tape in the Downspout

Using our Heat Tape Gutter Separator Clips, space the two runs of heat tape in the downspout. Space separator clips about 36 inches, staggered between the heat tape mounting clips.

hard wired heat tape at bottom of downspout

Option A:
Hard Wired Heat Tape

If you are installing bulk heat tape cable from a spool, it will require a Power Connection Kit to hardwire the Heat Tape into a junction box. A GlowCap end seal can be added to serve as a visual indicator for when your hear tape is working.

plug in heat tape at bottom of downspout

Option B:
Plug-in Ready Heat Tape

Plug-in Heat Tape will need a nearby standard outlet. A ThermaCord can be added as an automatic thermostatic controller, turning your heat tape on when it’s cold enough to be needed and saving you energy when it is not.

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