Do I Need A Thermostat For Frost Protection Heat Tracing

By Terry McDonald on 11th December, 2013

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Do I Need A Thermostat For Frost Protection Heat Tracing

Heat Tracing Thermostats

Yes you need a thermostat. No you don’t. 

Puzzled? You should be. The truth is a thermostat can and probably should be used for frost protection heat tracing systems but you can also install systems with no thermostatic control. 

Our philosophy is that a thermostat should be used for frost protection systems and it should be used to switch on the heat tracing if the ambient temperature falls below 5C. After all, what is the point in having the heat tracing energised when there is no risk of the pipe freezing? Yes you could switch on the heat tracing manually but then you are relying on human input and we all know that isn't always 100% reliable. 

So what about the accuracy of the thermostats I hear you ask. What if the thermostat fails? Both good questions. There are thermostats on the market which may be reading 5C when the actual temperature is -3C. Not a good scenario and a recipe for a "frost disaster" Equally if the thermostat fails, how do you know it has failed. Well depending on the type used, you may well not know it has failed until it’s too late.

Anyway, the moral of the storey is simple. Don't spend £££s on a heat tracing system and then fit substandard controls and thermostats. 

For simple frost protection applications T&D would recommend the Heatfast HF9101-V1. This model is factory set to switch at 5C meaning it is tamperproof. It offers mains failure and sensor failure alarms and has VFC relays to communicate with any Building management system. The thermostat can switch 25A and can directly accommodate up to three heat tracing cables and a mains power cable. 

If you are unsure about thermostatic controls for heat tracing, contact T&D. With over 25 years experience, we can help.

Category:  Heat Tracing

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