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Old 11-11-2004, 11:19 PM   #1
Wiring Flexwatt Heat Tape...

I am not the handiest man in the world, but I am going to be making my own rack, as I have seen the rack making page on Clay Davenport's site, and it cannot be thattt hard.
I just would very like to know how to wire 4 strips of 3" flex watt onto one cord, so it wouldnt take up all the dang outlets on my thermostats...
Any descriptions, along with pictures if possible would be great,
Old 11-12-2004, 12:29 AM   #2
Clay Davenport
You just run wires from one piece of the tape to the next and on the end of the line you use the cord with the plug.
I prefer to do it in this configuration.

But you can also wire them end to end depending on your needs. All you are doing is transferring the power to the next piece.
In that photo the wires are twisted together and soldered to the heat tape.
Old 11-15-2004, 06:53 AM   #3
Once you do it one time you will be amazed how easy it is. I solder my contacts as well as i feel that the clips are cheap..
Old 11-15-2004, 10:54 PM   #4
Where can you get the actual Flex Watt?
Old 11-15-2004, 11:13 PM   #5
Hmm, I don't have a soldering iron, so I'd be using the clips...
Old 11-15-2004, 11:26 PM   #6
You can get soldering gun at walmart for 7 bucks.. And I sell flexwatt.. Just shoot me an email...
Old 11-16-2004, 09:44 AM   #7
Hey Clay, I have a Question for you. I currently have a 9 shelf rack system with 4" heat tape ran under the tubs. Each shelfs strip of tape has it's own cord set that is plugged into a multi-strip and the mulit-strip is plugged into a ranco thermostat, so when a shelf is not in use I can unplug that particular shelf. Now obviously I only have one probe which is affixed to the heat tape on the top shelf( room is a consistant 70 deg. so temps hold pretty well down the rack), My question is how safe is this set-up??? The thermostat is keeping an eye on the top shelf, but if the seconed shelf for some reason were to over heat there would be no way the thermostat wolud detect this and shut everything down. Should I wire this in the way that you show in your diagram in the previous post( heat tape to heat tape). Would that fix my safety concern???
Old 11-16-2004, 09:54 AM   #8
Clay Davenport
It wouldn't make any difference.
You'd still have basically the same setup with only one cord. In your current setup, plugging them all into a strip outlet is essentially the same thing.
There would still be 9 individual heaters and the thermostat probe would only be monitoring one of them. If you have the sort of failure I have detailed on the website, and it did not occur on the heater with the probe, it would still super heat that shelf.
It's an unavoidable situation unless you want to put each shelf on its own thermostat.
Fortunately though, such failures are very rare, and you'll likely never encounter one.
Checking on the rack a couple of times a day during routine maintenance will be sufficent to avoid any major problems.
Old 11-20-2004, 02:24 AM   #9
I have another question

for you Clay , I just got some flexwatt in today instead of using clips this time I figured id just solder it. Well I tried cutting the plastic off the copper connector witha razor knife so I could solder the cord to where you would normally use the clips and I kept breaking the copper conector what did you use to remove the plastic and what method
Thanks Daniel Haney
Old 11-20-2004, 02:32 AM   #10
Clay Davenport
I just melt it off with the soldering iron.
It will take a time or two to get the hang of it without heating it too much. If you over do it, the copper will seperate from the plastic coating on the back. Not a real problem once the job it done and the connections are taped or siliconed.

Just move the iron quickly back and forth over the copper pushing the plastic coating to the side as it melts.
If need be switch sides before you get it clean to let it cool then go back and finish it.
Also let it cool a few minutes before you start soldering on it.

I tried a razor initially too and couldn't do it reliably.

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