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Old 02-17-2015, 10:44 AM   #1
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Has anyone used this product before? My supply house is pushing it. Seems like a good product but pricy.

I need it for a sprinkler pipe that keeps freezing in an attic space. It has to be gfci protected. Manufacturers recommends gfci breaker rated to trip at 30ma rather than reg gfci which I believe is rated at 5ma. Doesn't specify why but I'm assuming it is to avoid nuisance tripping. Other then the breaker and a tstat is there anything else I should know about this stuff?

Sprinkler system should technically be a dry system but someone screwed up the install and they don't want to pay to change it. Its been there for 10 yrs and a fitting finally froze/broke.
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:17 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by kgb62 View Post
Has anyone used this product before? My supply house is pushing it. Seems like a good product but pricy.

I need it for a sprinkler pipe that keeps freezing in an attic space. It has to be gfci protected. Manufacturers recommends gfci breaker rated to trip at 30ma rather than reg gfci which I believe is rated at 5ma. Doesn't specify why but I'm assuming it is to avoid nuisance tripping. Other then the breaker and a tstat is there anything else I should know about this stuff?

Sprinkler system should technically be a dry system but someone screwed up the install and they don't want to pay to change it. Its been there for 10 yrs and a fitting finally froze/broke.
If GFCI is required in that space then in must be 5ma not 30ma.

But is that in a commercial building? GFCI would not be required in that case.
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:28 PM   #3
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If GFCI is required in that space then in must be 5ma not 30ma.

But is that in a commercial building? GFCI would not be required in that case.
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:32 PM   #4
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be sure to check with the proper authority ( fire marshal) first. In my area the heat tape would not be allowed. How would they monitor it to verify its continued proper operation?
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Old 02-17-2015, 12:45 PM   #5
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I use it a lot. I buy 2-3 24-30 foot sections of the stuff and every other year I see at least one of them being faulty in the middle of the winter.

When they work they're great, when they're faulty or a cheap brand they are a pima.
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Old 02-17-2015, 08:47 PM   #6
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If GFCI is required in that space then in must be 5ma not 30ma.

But is that in a commercial building? GFCI would not be required in that case.

This is from the book that comes with the kit. Why wouldn't it be needed in a commercial building?Easy Heat (heat tape)-imageuploadedbyelectriciantalk.com1424220451.596829.jpg
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Old 02-17-2015, 09:13 PM   #7
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This is from the book that comes with the kit. Why wouldn't it be needed in a commercial building?Attachment 48321

My understanding is that all heat tape is required to be protected by a GFCI, no matter where it's located.

We have a LOT of heat tape at our facility, and every circuit is on a 30mA GFCI breaker.

I'm not sure what your application looks like, but I would recommend that if you're going to install heat tape for freeze protection, it should be insulated as well. Heat tape won't do its job unless insulated.

We do a megger check on all heat tape before its installed, after its installed, and after the insulation is put on. The insulators have screwed us (literally) several times on new heat tape installations.

Make sure you have a good loop at every support on the line.

This is a good how-to video:
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Old 02-18-2015, 02:55 AM   #8
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"Section 426.28 requires ground-fault protection of equipment for fixed outdoor electric deicing and snow-melting equipment. Rather than protecting the entire branch circuit, the ground-fault protection requirement is focused on protecting just the equipment itself. This affords the manufacturer and the user an option of providing both circuit and equipment protection or just the required equipment protection. This required protection for fixed outdoor deicing and snow-melting equipment may be accomplished by using circuit breakers equipped with ground-fault equipment protection (GFEP) or an integral device supplied as part of the deicing or snow-melting equipment that is sensitive to leakage currents in the magnitude of 6 mA to 50 mA. These protection devices, if applied properly, will substantially reduce the risk of a fire being started by low-level electrical arcing.
It is important to understand that this required equipment protection is not the same as a GFCI used for personal protection that trips at 5 mA ( 1 mA)."


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Old 02-18-2015, 02:56 AM   #9
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I think you should used a Gfep


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Old 02-18-2015, 02:57 AM   #10
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GFCI devices are not prevented from being used on de-icing equipment. But, many de-icing circuits inherently have leakage current greater than 5mA (the trip point of a GFCI),this usually happen with lengths exceeding 100'.

GFCI is a specific term for 'people protection'. GFPE is a generic term.

Square D calls their GFPE breakers Equipment Protective Device (EPD). The part number for a QO 30mA breaker is QOxxxEPD.



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Old 02-18-2015, 09:13 AM   #11
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they are also called rcd breaker and also exist in din rail config if you don't find one for your panel
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:46 AM   #12
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I used to be the factory rep for EasyHeat. Good company, good products, good service, Emerson company and sister to Nelson Heat Trace.

I would use self-reg, insulate it, use 30mA protection and install a basic thermostat.
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Old 02-18-2015, 12:47 PM   #13
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I just got a spool of 200' of Easy Heat SR 120v for my own home. I had to fork up $450. Pretty expensive little spool. I make the end kits and power kits myself with heat shrink, bell boxes, and squeeze connectors from stock laying around
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:25 PM   #14
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200 foot for 450$ is very inexpensive, most of the supplier here sold me at 5$ foot, lowest i could find in another brand is 3.80$
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:32 PM   #15
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200 foot for 450$ is very inexpensive, most of the supplier here sold me at 5$ foot, lowest i could find in another brand is 3.80$

I paid $3.50/ft for 220 ft of the sr51j. (5watts per ft). The tstat was over $100 as was the breaker. Definitely not cheap. Over $1000 in material.
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:44 PM   #16
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You need to check with the fire marshal. I think that heat tape used for freeze protection of a fire sprinkler system is required to be listed for that specific purpose.
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NFPA 13 (2007)8.16.4.1.2 “ Unheated areas are permitted to be protected by antifreeze systems or by other systems specifically listed for this purpose, including but not limited to LISTED HEAT TRACING SYSTEMS.
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:46 PM   #17
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My understanding is that all heat tape is required to be protected by a GFCI, no matter where it's located. ...
The term GFCI is specifically defined as 5mA ground fault protection. This term should not be used for GFP or GFPE which are equipment protection ground fault devices that have a trip higher that the 4-6mA trip that is required for the people protection GFCI device.
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:31 PM   #18
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The term GFCI is specifically defined as 5mA ground fault protection. This term should not be used for GFP or GFPE which are equipment protection ground fault devices that have a trip higher that the 4-6mA trip that is required for the people protection GFCI device.
I guess in my area, we've always referred to any protection of that sort as a GFCI or GFI. I knew personnel protection should be 5mA and equipment should be 30mA, but wasn't aware of the different terms.

Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:31 AM   #19
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Just picked up a BR single pole GFPE breaker for $100. Yet a GFCI breaker costs about $35 Go Figure.
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:38 AM   #20
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Just picked up a BR single pole GFPE breaker for $100. Yet a GFCI breaker costs about $35 Go Figure.

Cost me $138.
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