We are working on moving a manufactured home off of our property, and in the process exposed water line that was underneath a four season porch. The line is plastic, has insulation wrapped around it, and it seems there is this wire that follows along the water line.

It is blue, has shielding on the outside (never seen that before), and has two conductors inside, which are not twisted like a phone wire would be. The end I found was not connected to anything, it was capped with a weathershield cover.

I've never seen something like this. It doesn't seem to be a tracer wire (shielding wouldn't make sense). This line is not underground, but is exposed to elements underneath the home in a crawl space. What is this wire for?

Picture showing the two conductors in the cable Picture showing outside of cable and how it is attached to water line

1 Answer 1


That looks like heat tape - it keeps the line from freezing.

  • 1
    I agree batsplatsterson make it an answer and I will up vote. The black center with the wires at the end are usually sealed not open, the metal braid is to prevent critters from chewing.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 13, 2018 at 18:59
  • One end should be powered, and the other capped with a shunt. In this status, it's not working.
    – DaveM
    Aug 14, 2018 at 0:43
  • Note that the OP said the manufactured home is being moved, it is of course disconnected. Aug 14, 2018 at 1:26
  • After crawling underneath the home, I did find the end that was attached to a power plug with probably a thermostat. However, the end in the photo was like that, had nothing to do with the home being moved, so it probably never did work. Lucky the line never froze. Oct 1, 2018 at 14:14

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