How often should I replace my heat cable?

Roof and pipe heat trace cables will keep the ice away from your home, but they won’t last forever. Frequent winter storms can take their toll. Our readers weighed in on when you should look at replacing your cables.

Ahmed Mir

Ahmed Mir

Ahmed Mir, Founder, editor, and head of marketing at Sip Coffee House.

Every Three to Five Years

Heating cables generally last around three to five years so you would want to have them checked to be replaced around that time. Some people think that heat cables should be taken down every spring and while it is possible, I would not recommend that. The installation is quite involved. They are held in place by durable clips. And once they are placed, they are meant to stay for years.

Pipe Heat Cable Can Last Longer

Heating cables often only last three to five years. However, if heating cables are installed correctly on your pipes, then you can often get 10+ years out of them. It depends on the quality of the cables and the installation.

Jake Romano

Jake Romano

Jake Romano, Project Manager at John The Plumber.
Jen Stark

Jen Stark

Jen Stark is the founder of Happy DIY Home.

Good Maintenance Will Extend Your Cable Life

Generally speaking, you’ll have to replace your heat cable every three to five years. Depending on where you live, it could be closer to two years with general wear and tear. Additionally, you should only leave them on during the night and when the weather falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, both night and day. Keep them on if it’s icy out. You shouldn’t leave them on 24 hours a day if you can help it, but you can during storms.

You also want to make a point to routinely inspect your heat cables and remedy any issues you may see. Doing so and having a good general maintenance routine can push your heat cable lifespan closer to five years instead of two.

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