How to Test Heat Tape

Written by kenneth crawford
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Many people use a heat tape under their mobile home or house plumbing pipes. A heat tape is usually on the main water supply pipe coming into your home and prevents the pipe from freezing. It is a good practice to test the heat tape at the beginning of each season to be sure it is working correctly. The heat tape plugs into an outlet under your home, much like any other power cord to an appliance. An ohm meter is necessary to measure the resistance in your heat tape to determine if replacement is necessary.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Ohm meter

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  1. 1

    Unplug the heat tape from the electrical socket.

  2. 2

    Adjust your ohm meter to zero and touch a probe to each of the flat prongs on the electrical tape plug. You should receive a reading between 700 ohms to 800 ohms. If you do not get this reading on your scale, replace the heat tape.

  3. 3

    Touch one of the ohm meter probes to a flat prong, and the other probe to the round ground prong. The reading should show infinite resistance. If it fails the test on either flat prong, replace the heat tape.

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