Roof and Gutter Heating Cable

By Robert Robillard on Home Maintenance

Roof and Gutter Heating Cable

Using the DS-8C Rain / Snow Sensor Controller

The DS-8C has a corded interleaved sensor grid that senses freezing rain or snow. The DS-8C precipitation sensor is very sensitive and can detect a single snowflake or raindrop.

The brass cylinder protruding from the bottom of the DS-8C enclosure is the temperature sensor.

TIP: For reliable rain and snow detection, the moisture sensor should be installed in the gutter, facing up, against the fascia board with a 1” “C”-style conduit clamp.

Allow part of the sensor grid to be exposed to snowfall. This allows the sensor to initially trigger when the snow starts falling and remain triggered as long as the roof/gutter heater continues to drip melted snow buildup from the roof edge when temperatures are below freezing.

TIP: For proper temperature detection the DS-8C enclosure must be mounted outdoors, away from furnace vents, dryer vents, and other sources of heat.

Note that, when powered, the DS-8C moisture grid will always remain hot. This is normal. This allows the sensor to continuously melt/evaporate both rain and snow from the grid.

TIP: The sensor has ten feet of cable is pre-terminated to the sensor head. This cable may be shortened on the controller end as required. Do not add additional cable to the interface.

Roof and Gutter Heating Cable

Maintenance of Your WarmUp System

Prior to the winter season, make sure to clean out your gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris.

Warmup recommends checking the insulation resistance of the roof and gutter heating cable sheath with a 2500 VDC meggar. This reading is taken at the power connection end of the cable between a buss wire and the grounding braid. The minimum acceptable reading is 20 megohms.

The wire, controller and sensor installation should be checked every Fall.

The following checks should be done:

  • Meggar test
  • Inspect heating cable and connections for signs of damage.
  • If physical damage is found, replace the damaged sections.
  • If the installation fails the meggar test and physical damage cannot be found, then the complete circuit should be removed and replaced with new roof and gutter heating cable.
  • Clean the sensor grid with water and a rag at least once every 4 months.

Note: Over time, corrosive elements left behind when water is evaporated out of the moisture grid will eventually damage the grid rings. The moisture grid can be easily replaced by ordering and installing a new “Moisture Grid Assembly”.

  • Test the operation of the DS-8C prior to the winter season.
  • Replace any damaged sections and connections.
  • TIP: You can trick the system into starting by wetting the sensor and spraying component cooler onto the grid.

TIP: To test the system, you can trick the system into starting by wetting the sensor and spraying component cooler onto the grid.

Warmup Roof and Gutter Deicing System


Be Proactive

If you’re unable to rectify the issues that cause your home to have ice dam leaks, then take a proactive step and install a self-regulating cable system that will melt snow and ice and keep a drain path for water to flow freely away from the house, from the roof and gutters.

I consider this roof and gutter heating cable system an investment and cheap insurance.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed!

About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

All posts by Robert »

Not what you're looking for?

Search for more articles here. Enter keywords like roof leak, bookcase, deck, etc to find your topic.

© Copyright 2019 A Concord Carpenter · All Rights Reserved