Our recently purchased home has de-icing cable and we rely on it to prevent ice dams and water intrusion (had a couple of wet spots last winter). It was not a professional installation. I called to have them repaired by a professional, but they insist on a complete removal, discard and replace which we cannot afford. I'm going to check continuity and relocate some cable to help water flow.

The way the current cable is positioned within the gutter does not seem ideal. It is in some places higher than the rim of the gutter and in other places lays on the bottom of the gutter. I don't see any specific instructions online, but photos of proper installations look like they try to keep the cable off of the bottom of the gutter. I'm guessing to avoid debris buildup in the summer.

I'm also not clear on whether or not to weave the gutter cable through the zigs of the roof cable or whether they should be attached by metal clip. They are currently attached by metal clip, but most have failed. I've seen both methods recommended.

In summary: Should I run gutter ice melt cable in the bottom of the gutter or suspended above? Should I weave the gutter cable thru the bends of the roof cable or attach with provided clips?

  • Thanks for asking this. My place came wired for roof/gutter cables (there's a switch so labelled, controlling outdoor outlets), but without the cables themselves. So far I haven't needed them, but it's good to know how they should be used if/when that changes.
    – keshlam
    Commented Sep 28, 2014 at 22:07

1 Answer 1


It shouldn't make a huge difference but higher is better as you ideally don't want it to spend most of its time submerged. Using the provided clips is a better solution long run as this puts less stress on all the components of the system.

  • Weaving them is completely impractical. The clips are a much easier install. Last season I ran them in the base of the gutter without much issue except for leaves getting stuck in the gutter in fall. Next winter I will try one suspended near the top of the gutter.
    – Paul
    Commented May 3, 2015 at 14:45

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