Frequently Asked Questions

About Radiant Solutions Company

Right now we are online only.

You can purchase Radiant Solutions Ice Dam Prevention Products here on our website, at one of our Authorized Reseller’s websites, on eBay, or on Amazon.com.

None.

The terms heat cable, heat tape and heat trace are all used interchangeably to described heated cables used to protect pipes from freezing, preventing roof and gutter ice dams from forming and safeguarding temperature sensitive components.

No, we do not.

We sell ice dam prevention systems that include ice dam heat tape and controls, but we do not provide the service of removing ice dams once they have formed.

If you have an ice dam and need to contract a service to remove your ice dam, we issue a word of caution: Make sure they are using steam to remove your ice dam. No other method is as safe and efficient. Furthermore, many companies say they are using steam when they really are only using a High-Temp pressure washer –this is not safe for your roof. For information about this, see The Ice Dam Company‘s article about the differences between using a true steamer and a high temperature pressure washer.

Additionally, you can learn more about proper ice dam removal and steam at IDSAFE.info .

We don’t install heat tape, but we know who does.

We work with licensed roofers, electricians and other contractors as Authorized Installer’s of Radiant Solutions Products. We have authorized installers all over the country.

If you are interested in finding an authorized Heat Tape PRO™ installer in your area, click here to submit your info.

 

Yes.

We are very cool.

Product Features

Heat Tape purchased in big-box stores is constant wattage heat tape. “Constant Wattage” means: it is always on. It is always drawing full power and is costing you peak energy expenses, which –over the length of a season– can add up huge. Thought you were saving money on that heat tape you got at that home improvement store? Guess again.

Radiant Solutions’ Heat Tape PRO™ heating cable is Self-Regulating. This means, as the temperature gets colder, the cable creates more heat by drawing more power and when it gets warmer it creates less heat by drawing less power. This allows you to consume only the energy you need to help protect your roof from damage caused by ice dams.

How can it do this?

The core of our ice dam heat tape is two bus wires encased in a material that is, in part, carbon. As ambient temperatures decrease, the material shrinks pulling the bus wires closer to each other, creating the electrical reaction which makes the cables heat up. When ambient temperatures remain warmer, the inner core doesn’t shrink, preventing higher temps from occurring within the cable.

Can’t I just accomplish this with constant wattage heat tape and a “switch” or thermostatic control?

No, not really. Because any control or switch is still going to tell your constant wattage cable to be either off or on at 100% power. It is very binary in how it behaves. Conversely, Self-regulating Heat Tape will output variable temperatures based on the external, ambient temperature. So when it’s 31ºF or 10ºF constant wattage heat tape will always be on full heat, where self-regulating heat tape will only use just enough power to be at the temperature you need to prevent ice dams from forming.

There’s also some safety considerations.

Since constant wattage heat tape needs to perform in ranges of cold, you can imagine the operating temperature is pretty warm. Additionally, since it it’s temperature isn’t variable like self-regulating heat tape, that heat is always on full whether it’s 50ºF or 10ºF. This heat can lead to increased risk of fire, especially in warmer ambient temps and dryer conditions.

 

Each cable has a 4-foot unheated lead.

This lead-length is in addition to the the listed heat tape length, so a 50-foot cable will actually be 54 feet long with 50 feet of it heated and the remaining 4 is an un-heated cord with plug.

Yes.

radiant solutions heat tape lighted plug

The plug-in heads of our Heat Tape Pro Ice dam Heat tape are lit via an LED when it is plugged in. This pretty cool when you want to see if your heat cable is plugged in and working. Just glance out at the outlet and see if you see the light. Even better: when used in conjunction with a ThermoCube, you will be able to see if your heat tape is currently active and heating.

Roof & Gutter Installation

Check Out Our Heat Tape Calculator!

You can use our Heat Tape Calculator to help you determine the length of heat tape you need, the number of GripClips, basic cable clips, and the number of Downspout Hangers you need.

We don’t install heat tape, but we know who does.

We work with licensed roofers, electricians and other contractors as Authorized Installer’s of Radiant Solutions Products. We have authorized installers all over the country.

If you are interested in finding an authorized Heat Tape PRO™ installer in your area, click here to submit your info.

 

Yes!

Installing our heat tape on your standing seam roof can be very effective in combating ice dam formation. There’s two main products used to install heat tape on your standing seam metal roof: The S-5 SR Heat Tape Clip, and the standard ice dam heat tape clip.

Metal Roof Heat Tape ClipInstalling Heat Tape on a Standing Seam Roof with the S-5 SR Heat Tape Clip
The S-5 Heat Tape Roof Clip is a new, patented roof clip design specifically for standing seam applications with a focus on ease of install and effectiveness. It is used in conjunction with the S-5 Base, which needs to be purchased separately. The S-5 base is designed to clamp onto the seam of a metal roof as the S-5 Clip holds your ice dam heat tape into position. Can be set up in a single or dual-clip configuration. (See product page for more info)


Installing Heat Tape on a Standing Seam Roof with Standard Roof Clips

There are specific ways/configurations used when installing heat tape on a standing seam / metal roof using standard heat tape clips. The following (2.6 – figure 16.0 & 17.0) shows a snippet of the HeatTape Pro installation manual showing two different clip configurations, more info can be found in the manual itself: Heat Tape Pro installation Manual

Heat Tape on a Standing Seam Roof

Yes you can.

The installation configuration is similar to a standard installation, however you’ll need special copper roof clips to attach the cable to your slate roof. We recommend working with a contractor who is familiar with slate roofs.

Yes you can.

The installation configuration is exactly an asphalt shingle roof. You may want to consider special copper roof clips to attach the cable to your cedar roof. We recommend working with a contractor who is familiar with cedar roofs.

Yes you can.

However, the standard serpentine patterns designed to create water-drainage channels in forming ice don’t really apply to flat roofs, because we don’t have the same directional gravity pulling the water down like we do on a sloped roof.

Each heat tape application on a flat roof can differ based on many factors. The best way to determine a heat tape solution for your flat roof is to contact us, and we’ll help design a configuration that fits the best for your needs. Not only are we Ice Dam and Heat Tape experts, we know a lot about flat and rubber roofs from our sister roofing company in Minneapolis, MN.

Cutting your plug-in ready Heat Tape PRO would void your product warranty, so for this reason we do not recommend cutting this product.

Radiant Solutions sells Heat Cable Pro which is non-capped, non-finished heat tape cable that can be hard-wired into your electric service, or can be turned into  ‘plug-in heat tape’ by wiring it onto the Heat Tape Plug-In Conversion Kit. If installed by a licensed electrician, the product warranty on Heat Cable Pro can be maintained and valid.

 

Roof Types

Yes!

Installing our heat tape on your standing seam roof can be very effective in combating ice dam formation. There’s two main products used to install heat tape on your standing seam metal roof: The S-5 SR Heat Tape Clip, and the standard ice dam heat tape clip.

Metal Roof Heat Tape ClipInstalling Heat Tape on a Standing Seam Roof with the S-5 SR Heat Tape Clip
The S-5 Heat Tape Roof Clip is a new, patented roof clip design specifically for standing seam applications with a focus on ease of install and effectiveness. It is used in conjunction with the S-5 Base, which needs to be purchased separately. The S-5 base is designed to clamp onto the seam of a metal roof as the S-5 Clip holds your ice dam heat tape into position. Can be set up in a single or dual-clip configuration. (See product page for more info)


Installing Heat Tape on a Standing Seam Roof with Standard Roof Clips

There are specific ways/configurations used when installing heat tape on a standing seam / metal roof using standard heat tape clips. The following (2.6 – figure 16.0 & 17.0) shows a snippet of the HeatTape Pro installation manual showing two different clip configurations, more info can be found in the manual itself: Heat Tape Pro installation Manual

Heat Tape on a Standing Seam Roof

Yes you can.

The installation configuration is similar to a standard installation, however you’ll need special copper roof clips to attach the cable to your slate roof. We recommend working with a contractor who is familiar with slate roofs.

Yes you can.

The installation configuration is exactly an asphalt shingle roof. You may want to consider special copper roof clips to attach the cable to your cedar roof. We recommend working with a contractor who is familiar with cedar roofs.

Yes you can.

However, the standard serpentine patterns designed to create water-drainage channels in forming ice don’t really apply to flat roofs, because we don’t have the same directional gravity pulling the water down like we do on a sloped roof.

Each heat tape application on a flat roof can differ based on many factors. The best way to determine a heat tape solution for your flat roof is to contact us, and we’ll help design a configuration that fits the best for your needs. Not only are we Ice Dam and Heat Tape experts, we know a lot about flat and rubber roofs from our sister roofing company in Minneapolis, MN.

PipeFreeze PRO Product Questions

Pipe Freeze Pro heat tape is a self-regulating pipe trace heating cable. Self-regulating means, as the temperature gets colder, the cable creates more heat by drawing more power. When it gets warmer, it produces less heat by drawing less power. This allows you to consume only the energy you need to help protect your pipes from freezing. This pipe trace heat tape adjusts heat output to equal the heat loss of the pipe it is installed on. As pipe temperatures fall, our heat tape calls for more power because the carbon-populated core of the cable shrinks microscopically, decreasing the space between the carbon atoms and thus increasing the conductive pathways between the two main bus wires of the cable. More pathways equals more electrical resistance, which in turn equal more heat.

 Notice: Heat Tape purchased in big-box stores is constant wattage heat tape. “Constant wattage” means: it is always on. It’s always drawing full power and costing you peak energy expenses, which –over the length of a season– can add up huge. Thought you were saving money on that heat tape you got at that home improvement store? Guess again.


How does pipe trace heat tape self regulate”?

The core of our pipe trace heat tape is two bus wires encased in a material that is, in part, carbon. As ambient temperatures decrease, the material shrinks pulling the bus wires closer to each other, creating the electrical reaction which makes the cables heat up. When ambient temperatures remain warmer, the inner core doesn’t shrink, preventing higher temps from occurring within the cable.

Can I accomplish this with constant wattage heat tape and a “switch” or thermostatic control?

No, not really. Because any control or switch is still going to tell your constant wattage cable to be either off or on at 100% power. It is very binary in how it behaves. Conversely, self-regulating heat tape will output variable temperatures based on the external, ambient temperature. So when it’s 31ºF or 10ºF constant wattage heat tape will always be on full heat, where self-regulating heat tape will only use just enough power to be at the temperature you need to prevent ice dams from forming.

There’s also some safety considerations.

Since constant wattage heat tape needs to perform in ranges of cold, you can imagine the operating temperature is pretty warm. Additionally, since it it’s temperature isn’t variable like self-regulating heat tape, that heat is always on full whether it’s 50ºF or 10ºF. This heat can lead to increased risk of fire, especially in warmer ambient temps and dryer conditions.

Pipe Freeze PRO heat tape will be warm to the touch within 30 minutes of being plugged in.

No.

The nature of our advanced self-regulating cable design means that a thermostat is not necessary.

Pipe Freeze Pro heat cable senses ambient temperature along it’s entire length, meaning that the cable itself demands more power (and produces more heat) at areas where the cable is cold. The addition of a thermostat can add greater efficiency but it is not necessary for proper cable performance.

Yes.

However, self-regulating heat cable should not be installed on surfaces or pipes that exceed 184º F.

Yes.

Pipe Freeze Pro heat tape can be use to promote drainage through pipes such as concrete culverts and plastic culverts.

Culvert freeze protection pipe trace heat tape

Pipe Freeze Installation

Yes.

Our self-regulating heat tape (and all others) should be covered with standard 1/2” thick pipe insulation after it is secured to the pipe. This greatly enhances the performance of the heat cable.

Yes.

Pipe Freeze PRO can be in contact with the ground but it must be protected in order to prevent damage.

You can use any tape with a minimum temperature rating of 176º F, with fiberglass cloth tape being the most common. Self-adhesive aluminum foil tape an be used to fully cover Pipe Freeze PRO heating cables. The aluminum material helps spread conductive heat to the pipe. Standard tape, including electrical tape and duct tape, lose their adhesion when exposed to the heat generated by pipe trace heat cables over time.

The footage of heat tape needed to protect pipes against freezing depends on a few variables, most notably the pipe diameter. In general, pipes that are 1-1/2” or less in diameter require one run of heating cable, affixed at the 6 o’clock position. Larger pipe diameters require at least two cables run at the 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock positions. Click here to see our installation manual.

Pipe Freeze Pro self-regulating heat tape can be overlapped many times and in any pattern to get the job done. Simply wrap the heat tape around the valve in figure eights, spirals, zig-zags, our any other pattern that results in the heat tape covering all sides of the body of the valve.

⚠ Warning: If you bought cheap, constant wattage heat tape such as Easy Heat or Frost King, your installation options are limited by the fact that you CAN NOT overlap those heat cables in any way due to the risk of fire. Wrapping valves can be tricky for this reason if you are using constant wattage cable.

We have Pipe Freeze PRO heat tape installation partners around the United States and Canada. Click here to submit your information to us. We’ll respond quickly and let you know if your project falls within one of our service areas.

Yes.

Pipe Freeze PRO heat tape can be overlapped during installation.

⚠ Warning: Big-Box Store constant wattage heat cables can not be overlapped without the risk of electrical shorting, cable burnout or even fire.

No.

Heat tape cables should not be installed in any permanently hidden areas.

No.

Our self-regulating Pipe Freeze PRO heat tape can not get hot enough to melt pipes. It is quite safe and reliable for pipe freeze protection in a variety of circumstances.

Yes.

Pipe Freeze PRO heat tape can be used on all varieties of pipes including PEX, ABS, PVC, Nylon, Steel, Copper and more.