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Water tank and pipes need heat
#1
I have come to realize that the pipes and the tank for fresh water need some heat.   All of it is completely exposed under the floor boards.

So...looking at how this gets wired....the issue is that each of the heating pads (13 in all.. 12 for the pipes and one for the tank) must be wired in parallel.  (Apparently these pads cannot handle higher voltage than what each produces by itself).   Yuck.    This means that all together it adds up to 15 amps.   Over 44 feet..that means 6 gauge wire.    The plan being to run the round trip to the tank itself in the 6gauge...then connect each of the other 12 pads to the “main” wire.

So, I have been warned against using scotch locks....but, the other choice is to cut and connect by combining two wires (6 gauge with the smaller 14 gauge).. into one end of a butt connect.   Does that even sound secure?   

How would you protect this under the RV?  Finally...all the pipes underneath are all already encased in pvc conduit....so, I cannot see enough clearance to put another outer case on this.



1989 Honeywell motorhome
Ford E350 chassis.  460 engine
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#2
Is it an option just to winterize till the danger of freeze is done? I (for years) just dealt with winter camping by draining/rv antifreezing everything and going to bottled/jugs of water.
If my body is ever found on a jogging trail, I was murdered somewhere else and dumped there. I don’t frequent such parts of town. 
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#3
Doesn’t make sense for me to be dumping my fresh tank because of a hard freeze. Not that the water cost so much..but the $10-$20 in gas to go get more water plus the cost of another tank of water.

I’ll sit way out for weeks...usually it is a toss up which will drive me back to town...trash or water.

So, back to original question. Anyone use butt connectors for this sort of application? Especially where the wire gauge is soooo different. How to make this whole thing solid and protect it from the road under the RV



1989 Honeywell motorhome
Ford E350 chassis.  460 engine
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#4
Are these pads the 12v type or the 120v type?

Reason I ask is something you typed that has me wondering what you mean exactly:

Quote:"Apparently these pads cannot handle higher voltage than what each produces by itself"


Either way, it takes a lot of power to keep hundreds of watts worth of heating pads powered up all night. But maybe you have a generator and will power them with that.
Wondering about Wandering.
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#5
yea,i have 2-1 with different sized wires,twist them together then into the connector,3m connectors with heat shrink and/or heat shrink over the connection

not sure they make them for 12v but for houses they have wire you wrap around your pipes
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#6
You can actually buy RV tank heating pads in either 12v, 120v, and BOTH 12v and 120v.
Wondering about Wandering.
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#7
(11-30-2019, 01:34 PM)Blacktank Wrote: yea,i have 2-1 with different sized wires,twist them together then into the connector,3m connectors with heat shrink and/or heat shrink over the connection 

not sure they make them for 12v but for houses they have wire you wrap around your pipes
To go a bit off topic here, I was looking at stuff on walmart.ca and amazon.ca yesterday to protect the pipes in a well pumphouse.  I got the impression that you ran the wire along the pipe rather than around it.  Is this incorrect?
Thanks.

Later.
I did some looking and the answer for the product I am looking at, is it runs along the pipe.
Water Pipe Heat Tape With Built In Thermostat Keep Your Lines From Freezing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPlws73_bZA
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  • RoamingKat (12-01-2019)
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#8
I would put dielectric grease in the connector first to impede water intrusion. That is what the connectors for yard watering systems and yard lights use. Should be available at your local big box store but may not be available in a size big enough for what you are using. I know of no other way to splice three wires for waterproofing. I would also put electrical tape and a tie wrap around the tape to keep it from unraveling. Try to make the splices in a place where they can be protected from direct road spray.
Brian

2000 Roadtrek 200 Versatile "The Beast" (it has been tamed hopefully)  I feed it and it doesn't bite me.   Angel
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  • RoamingKat (12-01-2019)
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#9
Liquid electrical tape?
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Star-Brite-4.../206513456
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  • RoamingKat (12-01-2019)
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#10
These are all 12v. .6 amp on the pipe (12 of them) and the water tank heater is 3 amp

I had actually thought to set an alarm to wake me up to turn it on during those nights below 32.
Since I am not in weather that is freezing during the day, I figured about 4 hours ... or 60 amps.
My system is 400 amps. Combine that with the 60 amp for the fridge running all nite (5 amps x 12). I would still be ok.

I have a total of 1175 watts of solar, so getting back up to full power is not a problem most days.

Thank you for the ideas. Dielectric grease...good idea, also liquid tape. I will try out both.



1989 Honeywell motorhome
Ford E350 chassis.  460 engine
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