Gutter Heat Cables - Roofing - Contractor Talk

Gutter Heat Cables

 
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:28 PM   #1
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Gutter Heat Cables


Anyone here install much of this stuff? I get an inquiry every now and then, but pretty seldom. Once I tell them that I don't have a demand for it and therefore have never sold it they just skip it and forget the subject.
If anyone here is installing, is there a place you buy in bulk and splice a plug on one end and seal the other as needed? Obviously we install gutters in various lengths, so I'd think a made to length gutter would use a heat tape to match.
Any input is appreciated.
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Old 09-24-2011, 07:18 AM   #2
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Re: Gutter Heat Cables


I have never used one but I believe they do sale splice kits.

Each time I have installed them I also installed and exterior outlet/s as needed.
The cables I have seen sale in lengths from 20' too 100'.
So one outlet properly located can cover up to 200' lf of cable.

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Old 09-24-2011, 08:04 AM   #3
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Re: Gutter Heat Cables


There are only splice kits for the self regulating cable. The price difference is huge between the cheap and self regulating cable. The cheap stuff can cause a fire if it crosses or runs bundled together .
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:36 PM   #4
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Re: Gutter Heat Cables


Heya Cresent,

We were installing ice melting products from Bylin Engineered Systems (888-313-5666) which we'd buy direct from NE Rep. We've found a lot of resistance to pricing and economy so we are not actively promoting it right now. Weatherization is the best solution if possible but the products do work well if used.

On our own house we've had their 240 VAC system on the edge of our living room roof since 2007, one where we had put in sliding doors from previous windows out to a deck (roof is timber framed with no way to effectively and cost effectively weatherize).
The doors would receive a ton of splash up from the deck and rain. In winter there would be icicles to the deck. We wanted a gutter to keep the water off those door frames (premature seal/door failures is common outcome of this situation in our area of VT) so we put in a seamless gutter and we ended the regulated cable loop through the gutter to the footing drains. This from their ambient temperature sensor box that turns system on and off as needed. For your app you can splice multiple runs to this sensor box if runs are feasible.

This year we put on a seamless metal roof to replace failing shingles and I'm reworking the (unnecessary) cable run to just heat gutter so snow sliding off and catching in gutter and/or runoff in general in winter will still drain to footings and not pile up/splash up on sliders (which we use to get to BBQ in winter too). This would just involve cutting cable to new length and re-shrinking and taping end of run. Same as install.

Pros/Cons
  • You would be able to buy any length of regulated cable you needed.
  • It can't over heat.
  • You can offer a sensor that would keep system from running all the time.
  • It is available in 110 VAC as well (ours is already there and 240).
  • They can figure out the amount of cable per job you need plus sensor hook up and gutter drops if needed.
  • You'd have to put power to those sensor boxes, but you can use paint-able conduit instead of having lines just stapled to siding from a plug.
  • You can expand, reduce or remove system components as needed over time and changes without worry of over/under heating system.
  • They don't franchise or certify, but they don't typically sell direct to homeowners either so it's not something they'll get at Home Despot.

Who knows, the product offerings may take off more successfully in your market. I hope that info helps your search and decisions.

Dave
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Old 09-24-2011, 02:31 PM   #5
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Re: Gutter Heat Cables


Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnR View Post
. The cheap stuff can cause a fire if it crosses or runs bundled together .
That was another concern that I failed to mention. Nobody needs that liability.

DCM - Thanks for the info. I'm not all that hot in selling/installing the stuff and I definitely wouldn't get involved in running power to them. That would be on the homeowner and the electrician of their choice.
I just like to be informed as I can when I tell them why I'm not selling the stuff!

Last edited by CrescentGutter; 09-24-2011 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 09-25-2011, 06:35 AM   #6
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Re: Gutter Heat Cables


We offer the sensor to shut them off & on them selves but don't recommend using them (have had problems with them) , instead we install ours to be switched on & off manually.

I do the roofing portion and sub the electrical out to a certified electrician.

As far as getting to the outlet, you determine the starting point of your cable with where the outlet/s are easiest to install, so the couple to a few feet of cable in front of the heat sensor in the cable is all that's needed to reach each outlet.

On my last install I only had one area to do which was roughly 28 LF from the bottom of the down spout to the furthest point on the roof needed.
Electrician (Shaun) installed the outlet on the exterior wall directly around the corner from the downspout (He marked the breaker to show we had heat cables running off there).
I then plugged a 100' cable in, wrapped corner neatly, went up the inside of the down spout, etc.

The job before that, the placement of the outlet was in the eave.
Before that we had three, all in the walls of dormers and kept them as far back as possible to make them the least noticeable.

If you take the time to map out your path it's a fairly easy process.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:52 AM   #7
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Re: Gutter Heat Cables


Sly's got it. We buy from Weather Guard and use the Reychem product. Generally we install the standard plug in that has a connected GFCI on it but it also needs to be installed in a GFCI. Had very good luck with the product. They also offer an automatic switch that run's in the gutter and detects air temp and moisture present, but as sly said we have had a problem with them before also. Again the self regulating cable is very expensive but well worth it. We have had number of them last for close to 10 years and they are still going.

here is a link to Rechem for more info.

http://www.tycothermal.com/usa/engli...m/default.aspx

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