Heat Trace Cables: Everything You Need To Know

Heat trace cable are one of the most advanced technologies, and they are used in a variety of industries. Here’s what you need to know about heat trace cables at Marathon Heat.

What is heat trace cable?

The process of heating oils, pipelines, storage tanks, etc. can be hindered by ineffective heating techniques, which directly result in higher maintenance costs as well as more time for the whole process for the industries involved. Marathon Heater’s Heat Tracing Cable, which is utilized in a variety of applications to ensure optimal temperature maintenance and processing efficiency, is the solution to this problem. We can design and supply electrical heat tracing systems for process temperature maintenance in commercial, industrial, and hazardous area applications.

A method of applying heat to a body or to a product (liquid, powder, or gas) contained within a system (pipework, vessel, or equipment) for storage or transportation is called heat tracing, also known as heat tape or surface heating. It is used to compensate the heat loss, maintain the process temperature and protect pipes from freezing as well. Trace heating takes the form of an electrical heating element that run in physical contact along the length of a pipe. When the temperature of a pipe or vessel exceeds the ambient temperature, heat loss occurs. Thermal insulation slows heat loss but does not eliminate it. Heat tracing uses electricity and insulation to maintain or raise the temperature of pipes or other vessels, replacing any heat lost to outside temperatures and thus providing an effective solution for heat loss prevention.

Different types of heat tracing cables

Heat tracing cable can be split into following categories: Self-regulating, Mineral Insulated (MI), and Constant wattage heating cable.

1. Constant Wattage Cable: It sends a steady stream of power through the cable.

2. Self-Regulating Cable: Temperature can be self-regulated by adjusting power along the cable.

3. MI (mineral insulated) Cable: They consists of one or two conductors of copper or alloy embedded in dielectric MgO (magnesium oxide) insulation.

How long do heat cables last?

EHT generally lasts for 2–3 years. Their lifespan also depends on how they are used and operated. As a result, their lifespan may be extended even further. However, implementing heat-tracing cables can still be dangerous, just like using any electrical system. It is preferable to have your heat trace systems professionally installed for the safest results.

Few tips for increasing the lifetime of EHT:

• Proper installation of insulated jacket.

• Higher efficiency of the outer jacket

• Precise and hazard free fitting of cable over the surfaces such as pipes, tanks, etc.

• Thermocouple as well as RTDs for temperature control.


• Outer jacket: This outer jacket helps protect the cable against mechanical shock as well as moisture absorption.

• Inner jacket: This acts as the layer that provides insulation between the outside and the current conductor. It also has bus wires, which connect the cable to the power source.

• Heating element: It is made up of A1-grade wire or nickel-chromium 80/20 material. All the current flows through these wires, which are responsible for the heating of the core.

It is important to note that the negative and positive bus wires don’t touch each other during the construction. Heat trace cables can also be manufactured to the desired dimensions based on the requirements of the customer. The size and surface area of the heat trace equipment can also be modified to meet the physical requirements of the application. Electric Heat Tracing Solutions For Highly Viscous Fluid – Chocolate Industry

How does heat trace work?

As the name suggests, trace heating follows the path of another surface (such as a pipe, floor, etc.) that is connected to an electrical surface or wire. In turn, this maintains and distributes heat to the areas that need it the most.

• A pipe’s surface is covered with heat trace cables, which are often held in place using high temperature tape.

• To reduce heat loss, an insulation jacket is placed over the pipes and heat cables after they have been installed.

• An RTD temperature sensor or a typical thermostat can be used to control them.

• They can be connected to either two-phase or single-phase power supplies (in pairs).

• All the electricity flow through the core itself.

Installment of heat tracing cables


Its main purpose is to protect and insulate against inappropriate temperature variations from the outside, but it can also be used to boost productivity. There are numerous uses for heat tracing cables, some of which are listed below:

•Protect pipes from freeze damage during winter conditions.

•Allows for optimal control of the flow and viscosity of transported liquids.

•Regulate the temperature within pipes.


•Ramp, roof as well as gutter heating. 

•Tank heating – commercial, industrial and hazardous area

•Heating cables for polymers, acids, heavy fuels and chemicals.

To distribute heat evenly across the surface of any application, Marathon Heater manufactures efficient as well as reliable Heat tracing cables. We’ve been providing skilled technical assistance and are the top manufacturer of heating cables. Find out more about how heat trace cable can help you by email at