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How to Prevent the Freezing of Aboveground Sewer Pipes

Alexander Poirier

In some locations, pipe freezing is a hazard that threatens homeowners every winter. With the proper preparation, however, pipe freezing can be prevented on all types of above-ground pipes, including water and sewage lines. Heat tape uses an electrical current to warm the pipes and prevent them from freezing.

To use heat tape, users must simply attach the product to their pipes, insulate the taped pipes and plug the heat tape into an electrical outlet.

  1. Inspect the pipe you will be wrapping for leaks. A leak can easily short out the heat tape product.

  2. Apply the heat tape to the length of the pipe per the manufacturers instructions. Some manufacturers instruct users to wrap the tape around the pipe while others request that users simply run the tape along the length of the pipe.

  3. Secure the heat tape to the pipe with electrical tape. Apply the electrical tape every 6 inches.

  4. Wrap the pipe in the pipe jacket or insulation along the entire length of the pipe.

  5. Secure the pipe jacket or insulation with electrical tape if necessary.

  6. Plug the heat tape into an electrical outlet that is located in a safe, dry place.

  7. Warning

    To prevent a fire hazard, never cross the heat tape over itself.