Originally Posted by skyfree
Sorry for reviving this old thread again, but I just found that ETI will not install the heat tape any more -- even if you supply it. They said they have done it for a few customers in the past but don't feel comfortable with the idea after speaking with some suppliers. They suggest not getting the spray foam applied, having a heating contractor do the pads and tape, and then come back for the spray foam or have it done locally. To clarify, they still do the pads, just not the tape.
Went back and forth on this one but we decided to stick with the heating pads and spray foam. For only $200 extra having the heat pads seems better than nothing even if it's not a 100% solution. We probably don't even really need them, but it's cheap so why not.
I'm having the same issue. 5-6 months ago I was told by ETI that they would install the heat tape that I would provide. I didn't formally have them add it to my build sheet though, so no dice now. Lesson learned. Add it to the build sheet at the time that it's allowed.
Quite frankly, and maybe I'm wrong, but I'm not quite sure if ETI has fully thought this particular heat tape issue through. I'd rather have heat tape than heating pads. I've heard in these forums that just the foam without the heating pads gets you use of the trailer down to the mid-20's. Supposedly, somewhere below the mid-20's you want heating pads because the fresh/gray tanks freeze below that, but that's also the point where, according to yardsale's experience, you also want heat tape because otherwise your black and gray discharge valves freeze. Given that the valves are fully exposed to the cold without any insulation, I'd actually be surprised if freezing wasn't happening inside those valves as soon as the temperature dips below freezing. It's just that people typically dump during the day when the temperature is higher, so they don't notice the valves freezing at night. I'd be concerned though that repeated freeze/thaw cycles would damage those valves, so I'd rather have heat tape to mitigate that issue than heating pads which only seem to be useful at temperatures at which I'd also want heat tape.
I'm not surprised ETI doesn't offer their own heat tape option given that 12 volt thermally regulated heat tape is very expensive and seems to have only a single producer (Heatline). In my opinion though they should still offer "customer supplied heat tape" as an option because heat tape seems like a fairly easy thing to apply, and by not supporting it ETI is now going to lose the opportunity to make money on the underfloor foam, heating pads, and heat tape installation for anyone who really wants heat tape. Also, from a customer perspective, I'm sure it will cost at least double to have someone else add these things to the trailer once otherwise completed.