I'm renovating 2nd floor bathroom and starting with the shower stall. Overall bathroom is 8 ft by about 5ft. I live in lower New York state so winters here can be pretty cold.

I’ve installed some pex / sharkbite plumbing into my attic and want to attach a heat cable. It is one pipe going from my shower handle at one end of my shower stall up into my attic and ending at my shower head at the other end of shower stall. Shower head is on outside wall.

I bought a 6’ long heat cable but it is just a little too long. This heat tape/cable is intended to be taped to the pex pipe along the base. With the 1 foot of excess can I just doubled back on the top side?? Also the pipe is attached to attic floor joist with metal clamps, is it ok from safety perspective to put heat tape on pipe that is attached to wood?? Any help would be appreciated.

  • 1
    What do the heat tape directions say? Usually it says don't double back or overwrap as it will cause the heat tape to fail prematurely. You're not the first person that didn't have the exact length
    – Tyson
    Nov 7, 2016 at 2:04

1 Answer 1


I would not double back. I would consult your heat tape/cable directions. If you no longer have the directions, I would google the make/model of your heat tape/cable to see what the manufacturer recommends when it is too long for what you need.

In general, if it has a plastic piece at the end (as the one I used did), I would not cut it. If you can't cut it, just put it a little longer and use a small electrical cord staple to affix it to the joist beyond the pipe.

It should be perfectly safe to put the tape/cable next to wood, most of these heat tapes/cable are designed to keep the temperature just above freezing, and are self-regulating to prevent them from getting too hot (as long as you don't cut them when they shouldn't be cut :-). I would definitely do a little research to get the manufacturer recommendations.

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