The Retro-Line Mini self-regulating heating cable system is supplied in a pre-determined length, accompanied by all the essential components needed for a fully equipped system. Retro-Line Mini is an easy, safe and reliable solution for protecting small diameter water pipes from freezing. This includes, but is not limited to residential water supply service tubes, sump pump discharge lines, and building-to-building connections that may comprise either metal or non-metal piping materials. In the case of polyethylene pipe applications, Retro-Line Mini is supplied with a compression-style fitting for a convenient connection to the pipe. Alternatively, Retro-Line Mini can be ordered with a threaded male adapter, allowing for easy integration of the heating cable system with different pipe types and sizes, such as ABS, PVC, PEX, copper, galvanized, and steel.
The Retro-Line Mini in-pipe heating cable system can be set up as a continuous water line freeze protection system or as a precautionary measure for use only when pipe frost protection is required. Even in scenarios where pipes are expected to remain dry for short or extended periods, such as sump pump lines, the Retro-Line Mini poses no risk of overheating or damaging the pipe. This makes the Retro-Line Mini an efficient freeze protection solution suitable for all pipes, even those containing no liquids. Retro-Line Mini is a self-regulating heating cable system you can rely on for efficient and reliable freeze protection.
The Retro-Line Mini is constructed using high-quality, industrial-grade heating cable, characterized by its durability and flexibility. Unlike outdated heat tape, it offers a level of installation flexibility that is unparalleled. Short Retro-Line Mini systems can be effortlessly inserted into the pipe, while longer systems may require the use of a fish tape, twine, or a small rope. Retro-Line Mini systems exceeding 40 feet (12 meters) are provided on a dispensing reel to safeguard the heating cable and fittings against mechanical damage while facilitating a straightforward deployment into the pipe.
With all Retro-Line Mini systems exceeding 30 feet, a 6-foot leader is provided, serving as your point of attachment for pulling the Retro-Line Mini into place. Should you not require the leader, simply remove it and push the Retro-Line Mini into the pipe. To facilitate the insertion or pushing of longer cable lengths, a non-toxic (potable) lubricant can be employed for added ease.
Another notable advantage of the pipe heater wire’s durability is that the cable’s lower end doesn’t require fastening, as it will remain securely in place without any movement or sliding even when water flows through the pipe and around the heating cable. This is a proprietary feature, as it ensures the heat trace cable’s full serviceability. If the need arises, the system can be easily removed and replaced. In most installations, and unlike outdated heat tape, all installation work can be performed at the pipe’s entry point, without the necessity to access the downward end of the heating cable.
In contrast to outdated heat tape, the Retro-Line Mini self-regulating heating cable system incorporates advanced and proprietary end seal technology, making it the most reliable internal trace heating cable available. Retro-Line Mini is suitable for installation within potable water supply systems with a water pressure of up to 230 PSI. For higher-pressure systems, consider CARAPACE, RETRO-FM, or get in touch with Heat-Line to consult with an application specialist about other heating cable system alternatives.
Retro-Line Mini utilizes the innovative self-regulating heating cable technology, which sets it apart from outdated heat tape. The Retro-Line Mini system effectively adjusts heat and energy output to colder points along its length while reducing output to warmer areas. You can be confident that the Retro-Line Mini heating cable will never overheat, eliminating the risk of melting or fire, thanks to its self-regulating pipe heating cable technology. The Retro-Line Mini provides dependable freeze protection without any cause for concern. It’s a trusted heating cable system for homeowners, engineers, and building maintenance professionals, ensuring safe and reliable freeze protection.
An often overlooked feature and certification of the Retro-Line Mini pipe heating cable products is its NSF/ANSI 61 certification for Drinking Water Safety. This means that the Retro-Line Mini system adheres to all the necessary health effects criteria outlined by NSF for plumbing heat tapes and products used in potable water supply systems. This certification and feature set the Retro-Line Mini apart from other outdated heat tape manufacturers.
To further enhance the energy efficiency of your Retro-Line Mini water pipe freeze protection system, it’s advisable to incorporate thermal insulation and a thermostat. The addition of thermal insulation minimizes heat loss from the heated water pipes, while the thermostat allows you to regulate your Retro-Line Mini system based on the pipe temperature. Combining these accessories can further increase your energy efficiency by up to 80%.
For pipe diameters larger than 1 inch CTS, consider Retro-Line. For non-pressurized sewage pipes, large culverts, and drains, explore Retro-DWS. For pressurized sewage forced mains and large-diameter potable water supply pipes, check out Retro-FM. For applications that also involve polyethylene water pipes, consider CARAPACE. For high-pressure or constant-pressure water supply pipes, refer to CARAPACE.
Retro-Line Mini is an internal heat tracing system designed to provide reliable freeze protection. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Small diameter – problematic municipal service tubes
- Small diameter sump pump discharge pipes
- Well water supply lines, including dug, drilled and artesian wells
- Building to building water supply
- Commercial/ Industrial Facilities
- Suitable for jet pump and submersible pump applications
- Safe for use with metal and non-metal pipes
Suitable pipe types for Retro-Line Mini include but are not limited to:
- Polyethylene (ID and OD controlled)
- Ductile Steel
Retro-Line Mini can be found providing freeze protection in many of the following places:
- Homes, cottages, resorts and farms
- Homes and buildings on municipal water system
- Mining and Exploration Camps/Outposts
- Commercial/ Industrial Facilities
Retro-Line Mini is a unique high-quality product, which may be adapted to fit a variety of specialized applications not listed above. If you feel you have a special or unique application for Retro-Line Mini please contact Heat-Line directly and speak with one of our knowledgeable product specialists.
Special considerations should be made if the pipe contains any fittings which the heating cable is expected to pass through. The heating cable is not engineered to insert and push around any 90-degree elbow fittings. Should you have any abrupt fittings that turn 90 degrees or more, they must be replaced with pipe to create sweeping bends which will allow the heating cable to pass through. In the event you have any straight couplers within the pipe, the heating cable should be able to pass through. It is however recommended to expose these fittings and check the inside to make sure there are no rough edges or burrs which may potentially injure the heating cable during installation. Any current fittings can be replaced with Heat-Line approved Philmac fittings if the suitability of the current fittings is a concern. If you have questions or apprehension about current fittings, contact Heat-Line and speak with a technician to help determine suitability and options.
As Retro-Line Mini is an internal heating cable, special attention to the application should be planned prior to ordering a system. The length of the Retro-Line Mini system can be adjusted if too long, however, it is important to note additional heating cable cannot be added if the original system is too short. Please see the MEASURING TIPS tab for important information.
Measuring/Ordering Recommendations for Retro-Line Mini
Always measure prior to ordering, do not assume or estimate the length required.
- The Retro-Line Mini is an advanced internal self-regulating heat trace cable system factory finished and supplied job-ready to a pre-determined length provided at the time of order.
- Retro-Line Mini systems are priced in standard lengths of 5 ft. (1.5m) increments up to 100 ft. (30m), then in 10 ft. (3m) increments from 100 ft. to 130 ft. (30m to 40m).
- Le diamètre intérieur du tuyau doit être égal ou supérieur à 0,485″.
- Utiliser avec l’eau froide uniquement.
- A Retro-Line Mini system can never be lengthened. If a longer system is needed an entire new system would be required.
- A Retro-Line Mini system can never be cut shorter at the job-site. If a shorter system is needed it can be shipped back to Heat-Line to be shortened or it can be shortened at the job-site by following careful extraction instructions. Always contact Heat-Line for guidance prior to proceeding.
- While most Retro-Line Mini systems are manufactured in standard lengths, special lengths of any measurement can also be requested within the maximum lengths allowed. For example, if an 18ft. (5.5m) system was required for a drilled well application, instead of purchasing a 20 ft. (6m) system, a special order could be placed for an exact length of 18 ft. (5.5m).
- It is important to remember when measuring the intention is to provide freeze protection along the entire section of the water supply pipe or sump pump line that is in danger of freezing.
- In a lake and/or river installation, the Retro-Line Mini system should start in the heated building or room and end (terminate) in the lake at a minimum total water depth of 6 ft. (2m) at LOW water mark when a surface ice thickness of 3-4 ft. (1m -1.25m) is expected. The total depth of water required may decrease and or increase depending on the depth of ice.
- In a drilled well application, the heater can run the length of the pipe, but cannot enter the pitless adapter or it may sustain damage. If the pitless adapter is above grade, Heat-Line suggests installing a well tile around the steel well casing and filling with earth. There are other methods of protecting these applications; consult Heat-Line for specific application requirements.
- In a drilled or dug well application the Retro-Line Mini system should start in the heated building or room and end (terminate) at the well casing. In drilled well applications, the Retro-Line Mini system will end at the edge of drilled well casing just prior [2-3inches (51-76mm)] to the pitless adapter at the wellhead.
- Note that depending on the fitting type and size ordered with the Retro-Line Mini, the heating cable may measure slightly shorter than what was ordered. For example a 20 ft (6.09m) Retro-Line Mini with a 1 inch tee fitting will only measure 19 ft 4 inches (5.89m) from the end of the tee. This is because 8 inches of heating cable sits within the plumbing tee body.
Above Ground Pipes
- In applications where pipes will be exposed to the atmosphere (free air), installed over rocky terrain or under buildings, insulation is required to maintain heat within the pipe and ensure energy efficiency and reliability.
- In applications where the existing problematic potable water supply pipe is exposed and above ground, the simplest method of measuring is with an external measuring device such as a measuring tape and/or flexible ruler.
- In some applications where the nomenclature (writing) on the exposed pipe is visible, there will be measured increments marked on the pipe. You can use these increments markings to find the total distance between the two points, thereby providing a length of the Retro-Line Mini that is required.
- In applications where the existing problematic, potable water supply pipe is buried it is beneficial to internally measure the length of heating cable required with an electrical or plumbers fish tape.
- Not only is properly measuring the length of Retro-Line Mini important but also determining the pipe size and type. The Retro-Line Mini is supplied with a plumbing fitting to interface your water system. If wrong information about pipe and size is provided at the time of order then you will not be able to hook up the Retro-Line Mini system to your pipe.
As in all cases, if you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with the measuring and or installation of a Heat-Line product please consult directly with a Heat-Line application specialist or contact a qualified local tradesperson.
Q – What is the difference between Retro-Line Mini and Retro-Line?
A – Retro-Line Mini is suitable for internal freeze protection of small diameter water supply pipes and sump pump lines from 1/2 inch to 1 inch. Retro-Line is suitable for internal freeze protection of pipes ranging from 3/4 inch to 2 inch ID.
Q – What is the difference between Retro-Line Mini and Retro-DWS?
A – Retro-Line Mini is a cCSAus and NSF/ ANSI 61 approved system for internally heat tracing small diameter potable water supply pipes and sump pump lines. Retro-DWS is designed for safe and approved installations inside non-pressurized septic pipes or in large drains where mechanical protection of the heater is desired.
Q – What is the difference between Retro-Line Mini and Retro-FM?
A – Retro-Line Mini is a cCSAus and NSF/ ANSI 61 approved system for internally heat tracing small diameter potable water supply pipes and sump pump lines. Retro-FM is designed for safe and approved installations inside pressurized septic pipes and large diameter water supply pipes. The Retro-FM system is also cCSAus and NSF/ ANSI 61 certified, and is commonly recommended for potable water supply pipes 2 inch or greater in diameter.
Q – Will Retro-Line Mini restrict the water flow in the pipe?
A – The Retro-Line Mini internal heating cable system is designed for minimal, if any, impact on water flow through a pipe. In common water supply pipe applications, the Retro-Line Mini system has been shown not to provide any measurable effect.
Q – Can Retro-Line Mini be installed inside septic pipes?
A – No. Similar to other internal heating cable systems, Retro-Line Mini is not electrical certified to be installed inside septic pipes as methane gasses may be present. For septic pipe applications Heat-Line has developed the Retro-DWS for non-pressurized septic pipes and the Retro-FM for pressurized septic pipes.
Q – I have straight couplers in my pipe, will Retro-Line Mini pass through?
A – In the event you have any straight couplers within the pipe, the heating cable should be able to pass through. It is however recommended to expose these fittings and check the inside to make sure there are no rough edges or burrs which may potentially injure the heating cable jacket. Any current fittings can be replaced with Heat-Line approved Philmac fittings if the suitability of the current fittings is a concern.
Q – I have elbows in my pipe, will Retro-Line Mini pass through?
A – No. The heating cable is not engineered to bend its way around any 90 degree or 45-degree elbow fittings. Should you have any abrupt elbow fittings, they must be replaced with pipe to create sweeping bends to allow the heating cable to pass.
Q – My pipe has sweeping bends along its length, will Retro-Line Mini pass through?
A – Yes. The heating cable is engineered to bend its way through the pipe. As long the water supply pipe is making the sweeping bends without the need of an abrupt 90 or 45 degree pipe coupler the Retro-Line Mini unit will pass.
Q – What length of Retro-Line Mini can be pushed in the pipe?
A – It is not uncommon for a Retro-Line Mini system to insert and push into a pipe for distances as long as 130 ft.
Q – What length of Retro-Line Mini will I need?
A – The length of Retro-Line Mini heating cable that will be required can change from application to application. In most applications, the entire pipe length is protected to prevent any chances the water could freeze further down the pipe. With help determining the total length required, please see the HOW TO MEASURE tab or contact Heat-Line to speak with a product specialist.
Q – What do I do if I have extra Retro-Line Mini heating cable?
A – Care should be given when determining product length required however if the required length is less than what was ordered contact Heat-Line to speak with a product specialist for details on a procedure to reduce the length of heating cable within the pipe. DO NOT CUT HEATING CABLE
Q – Can Retro-Line Mini be cut if too long?
A – No. The Retro-Line Mini system manufactured by Heat-Line is a pre-assembled factory terminated advanced self-regulating heating cable system that is not designed to be field terminated and or tailored to length. Contact Heat-Line to speak with a product specialist for details on a procedure to reduce the length of heating cable within the pipe. DO NOT CUT HEATING CABLE
Q – My Retro-Line Mini system is too short; can I add a small section onto the end? If not, what can be done?
A – No. The Retro-Line Mini system manufactured by Heat-Line is a pre-assembled advance self-regulating heating cable system that includes a proprietary end-seal termination. As such the Retro-Line Mini system cannot be spliced together or altered in the field. If a greater length of the Retro-Line Mini is required you may purchase a single continuous product of the proper length, and or relocate a second power source and install an additional Retro-Line Mini system to complete the required freeze protection. DO NOT CUT HEATING CABLE or POWER LEAD
Q- Is there a maximum length of Retro-Line Mini heating cable systems?
A – Yes. The maximum circuit length of Retro-Line that is allowed on a 120V circuit is 130 ft. (40m) at 3 watts/ft and 100 ft. (30m) at 5 watts/ft.
Q – Where do I purchase the Retro-Line Mini heating cable system?
A – The Retro-Line Mini heating cable system manufactured by Heat-Line is available directly through Heat-Line and or any of our Heat-Line product distributors. For a list of Heat-Line product distributors in Canada and the United States please contact Heat-Line directly on our toll-free number at 800-584-4944.
Q – Can I (the homeowner) install Retro-Line Mini?
A -Heat-Line provides proper and easy to follow installation instructions with all of our products, and offers market-leading technical support. As a result, most Heat-Line systems, including Retro-Line Mini can be installed by homeowners; however, Heat-Line commonly recommends that a qualified tradesperson complete the installation process
Q – How much power does a Retro-Line Mini consume?
A – All Heat-Line brand systems including Retro-Line Mini employ Heat-Line’s advanced self-regulating heating cable technology which operates to deliver energy and heat output to areas of the pipe that are cold and reduces energy and heat output to areas which are warm. While the overall amount of energy consumed depends on multiple factors you can be assured that you are installing the most energy-efficient heating cable system available. If you would like to reduce your energy consumption further you can investigate the addition of a thermostat, timer, and or other control device.
Q – Is Retro-Line Mini safe for use with plastic pipes?
A – The Retro-Line Mini system is safe for use with all metallic and non-metallic pipes. The advanced self-regulating technology employed in the Retro-Line Mini product renders it safe for use with plastic pipes even when dry as it can never overheat and damage the pipe.
Q – Does the Retro-Line Mini come with a thermostat?
A – A thermostat is not included with the Retro-Line Mini product as they are not required for proper and safe operation; however, a thermostat can be purchased as an additional accessory. Depending on system applications, or where automatic operation is preferred, a thermostat can be used to switch the system on and off to help conserve power or to duty cycle the system. When combined with insulation thermostats can substantially increase energy efficiency.
Q – Do I have to use insulation with the Retro-Line Mini system?
A – Insulation is highly recommended when using the Retro-Line Mini system, especially if the installation is above ground in ambient outdoor air. Insulation helps reduce the overall heat loss and therefore reduce the amount of energy the Retro-Line Mini heating cable must consume. If the pipe is already buried, there is no need to dig up and expose the pipe to apply insulation.
Q – What type of insulation should I use with the Retro-Line Mini system?
A – Heat-Line recommends to use insulation that is best suited to the environment in which it is going to be installed. A common type of insulation employed with Retro-Line Mini heating cables is closed cell polyethylene insulation sleeves.
Q – Does the unit shut off when not required?
A – No. Retro-Line Mini self-regulating heating cable systems increase heat output with cold but more importantly, decrease heat output with warmth. As a result, Heat-Line brand products are very energy efficient to operate, but do not completely shut off as they can only idle their output to a minimum amount. To completely shut off the system it must be unplugged or installed with a thermostat. Heat-Line brand systems should be unplugged or shut off when not required (summer months) and tested each year before use.
Q – If the power fails, do I have to reset the unit?
A – Heat-Line products including Retro-Line Mini are designed to turn back on as soon as the power to the unit is supplied. Once re-energized the Retro-Line Mini system has the ability to increase its output to immediately begin to defrost any section of the pipe that has or was close to freezing during the power outage. In many instances defrosting the pipe can take as little as an hour or less.
Q – What is the indication light on the GFCI on Retro-Line Mini models for?
A – The indication light located on the GFCI device included with all GFC model Retro-Line Mini systems verifies that power is provided to the GFCI device and that the GFCI is allowing power to pass through to the heating cable device.