Now that you have identified the type of heating tape that you have, you’ll be pleased to know that you can cut a self-regulating heating tape anywhere.

If, however, you have a constant wattage heating tape, you will need to know how it has been constructed. Basically, your spiral-wound constant wattage heating tape has ‘nodes’ cut-out of it. Nodes are points along the heating tape where the fine wire heating element make contact with each of the two conductors in turn along the heater. The nodes are cut-out approximately every metre, on alternate buswires. Each section between two alternate nodes is a heating zone. If you cut between the nodes, the distance between your cut and the next node is designed not heat-up (this acts as your ‘cold-lead’ into your junction box). A ‘flat-foil’ heating tape will have been riveted through the foils. The heating element is a flat, glass-woven ‘layer’ underneath the foils.