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Electric De-icing Cable


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Does anyone (Yankees) have any thoughts regarding electric roof heat cable. Surface mount type, typically at eaves and valley(s). In Michigan they are used to prevent water back-up from ice dams.

My concerns and questions are: installed with gfci's?, effect on shingle warranty?, impact on home insurance?, life expectancy of cable?, could they be a fire hazard?, etc.. I'm kinda interested in opinions as well as anecdotal stories.


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I see 'em all the time and grudgingly comment on them working to reduce backup during ice dams.

I ALWAYS comment on them being a potential hazard; I am aware of 2 major residential blazes that were directly attributed to deicing cables.

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I never have been able to figure out how the NEC code-making panel 2 (the panel which addresses article 210) comes up with that which they do. Sometimes I think it's like throwing darts in the dark. From reading past issues of the NEC the only reason I can think of is that the receptacle is not "readily accessible". I guess that means you won't be likely to plug into the unprotected receptacle with an extension cord to power a weed wacker or other similar equipment. Just a guess though.


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