Heating cables (or conductors) have many applications in everyday life. They are used mainly for protecting pipes, gutters, outdoor terraces, ramps, roofs, parking lots and other facilities from freezing and icing during the winter period when temperatures outside fall below zero for a long period of time.
Heating conductors have other useful applications as well, like using the cable buried in the gravel of winter gardens, protecting the roots of plant from the frost. Herpetologists and lovers of cold-blooded reptiles use heating cables burying them in the sand of terrariums and cages of snakes, turtles, iguanas and other heat-loving insects. Owners of tropical vegetation that remains outdoors in winter, wrap palm trees, cacti and other plants with thick layers of nylon placing heating conductors inside. Owners of dairy farms, pig and sheep-breeding farms and all people raising livestock, use heating cables wrapping them around the pipes where animals drink water, protecting the pipes from freezing and bursting. Owners of parking lots in suburban houses and villas place heating cables in the concrete base of the parking lot to prevent these places from icing.
One of the main applications of heating cables is placing them in the horizontal and vertical gutters, thereby preventing the formation of extremely dangerous icicles that form when the roof, heated from the inside temperature of the building, begins to melt the snow accumulated on it. Then the water starts freezing again, trickling down the cold metal gutter.
Workers mounting air conditioning equipment, place a small piece of heating cable in the external body, wrapping it around the three-way valve, thereby preventing the external body from freezing. Thus the air conditioner does not stop working and continues to give warmth even at low temperatures.
Heating cables are a specific type of cables that convert electrical energy into heat energy, which serves to heat a variety of devices and equipment. Heating cables strongly differ from traditional cables and wires, the purpose of which is to transfer electricity with minimum losses and with negligible voltage drop (not more than 5%) along the line. Heating cables are used in the form of heating sections, i.e. segments with certain length (e.g. 50 cm), therefore this type of cable can be cut only between the two sections. These are resistive zonal cables. They contain two insulated parallel power conducting wires.
The insulation of the power conducting rails periodically has the so called “windows”. These insulated conductors are wrapped with a thin spiral with great resistance. In the „windows“ the spiral connects to the power-conducting wires and as a result the cable is a sum of resistances connected in parallel to the conductive wires.
There are many types of heating cables, and only one type was mentioned here. Cables used for underfloor heating are entirely different, another type of cable is used to heat the production line in the production of concrete products, there are also cables for heating spacecraft, etc.