pipe ice melt probe

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Larry_Lai, Dec 28, 2014.

  1. Larry_Lai

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 28, 2014
    hi all,

    I need some help from the EE here. My home base project is to design a simple device to melt ice in low melt point PVC pipe with limitations...

    - PVC pipe melt temp around 100C, length about 2 metres.
    - use heating element in the tip of probe to enter from one side of the pipe to melt the ice. The heating element should not melt the PVC.
    - ice is not through out the whole pipe. So a mechanism is required to control the temp of heating element.
    - the device shall be hand carry if possible so better be battery powered, but if required AC power is ok.

    Any good idea? I assume only the tip of the probe needs heating done. It would be great if someone can show me some calculations...

  2. MaxHeadRoom


    Jul 18, 2013
    I have used heat trace wiring, this is wire that heats up to a certain wattage along its length and is self regulating to avoid hot spots etc, Raychem Chemelex was the name of the product I used in PVC pipe.
  3. wayneh


    Sep 9, 2010
    You want to melt ice, or prevent it from forming? Will the water be moving once the ice is melted? Why are you using a small probe penetrating the tube instead of an external solution (like heat trace or a hair dryer or whatever)? What mass of ice are you wanting to melt?
  4. Larry_Lai

    Thread Starter New Member

    Dec 28, 2014
    @Max thanks I've left a message to Chemelex.
    @wayneh it's a drain pipe of a refrigerated system I need to melt with ice forming at the drain pan about -25C under the evaporator coil, which is in the "cold side" not accessible other than from the outlet of drain pipe which is about 1.5m long. I don't want to introduce hair dryer because excess hot air may warm up the refrigerated area. So I guess I need an in-pipe thingy to go along the pipe and melt the ice at the far end...