Radiators can be used in many applications like cars and electronics; they can also be used in buildings; the main job of a radiator is to transfer heat from one place to another.
So, for example, they can be used to cool a place or an electronic part by transferring the heat generated to another place, and they also can be used to warm places by transferring heat to the place that needs to be heated.
When you install a radiator, you can fave the problem of wires getting in direction, the wires in some cases can’t be moved to another place or reconnected to another area; therefore, you will need to run cables behind the radiator; consequently, the heat produced from radiators will be transferred to the wires.
Is It Safe To Run a Cable Behind Radiator Pipes?
Radiators’ maximum heat that they can reach is between sixty to seventy degrees; meanwhile, the melting point or temperature for cables that are made of copper is one thousand degrees. Therefore, it’s impossible for the radiator reaches the melting point of the copper, so you can run cables behind the radiator without any problems.
Cables used in most appliances are made of copper; the copper has a high melting point, making it resistant to the heat produced from the radiator. However, the insulation used in the wires can be affected by the heat if it is exposed to high temperatures for long periods, and the insulation can get brittle over time. To solve this problem and extend the life span of cables behind the radiator, you can wrap them in another insulation like foam pipe, which will protect them from the heat effect.
What Can Happen If You Run a Cable Behind a Radiator?
When you run a cable behind a radiator, it will be exposed to the heat produced by the radiator for periods, which can cause the insulation of the wire to get brittle over time; the cheaper the insulation, the faster it becomes weaker over time.
To solve this problem, you need to apply another insulation over the wires to protect them from the heat and extend their life span; for example, you can cut a sheet of foam pipe insulation in front of the cables or wrap the wire with the foam to insulate it more from the heat effect.
Could it Start a Fire?
It’s impossible that running a cable behind a radiator starts a fire hazard because to start a fire; the wire need to melt down from the heat produced by the radiator, the maximum heat generated by the radiator is 60 – 70 degrees, which is very low regarding the melting point of the copper wires.
The melting point of copper is around 1000 degrees, which is impossible for the radiator to reach; therefore, the wire will not melt down, and as a result, there is no chance of starting a fire hazard. The only thing that will result from running a wire behind the radiator is that the wire insulation will get weaker over time due to the continuous heat exposition; the copper may have a very high melting point, so it doesn’t get affected by the heat, but the insulation of the wire can get affected, it will not melt down, but it will become brittle.
How To Protect Cables Behind The Radiator? 7 Tips
Determine The Radiator Temperature
The first step or move in protecting the wires behind the radiator is to determine the maximum heat the radiator can reach over time because this will help you choose the suitable type of insulation sleeve to protect the wire.
For example, some sleeves can tolerate up to 2200 Fahrenheit (approximately 1200 Celsius) for long periods and tolerate up to 2600 Farenhaite (approximately 1416 Celsius) for short periods; therefore, you need to determine the maximum temperature and how long it stays, and determine the average temperature which the radiator is usually around.
Measure the Wire Length
When cutting the sleeve, you have to measure first the diameter and the length of the wires, so you know how long you should be cutting from the sleeve. Then, the sleeve has to cover the wire perfectly to protect the wire completely from heat and avoid the heat leaking from any uncovered part.
The Sleeve Flexibility
The sleeve flexibility is very important when applying a protection sleeve to wires because some flexible sleeve may get loose over time, and the wire becomes not insulated, which will make the heat from the radiator reaches the wire.
Therefore, you have to ensure that when applying a flexible sleeve, it fits tightly and won’t get loose over time. For example, some wires require a flexible sleeve if they were to be moved with time; meanwhile, if the wire will be fixed in one place, you can choose a rigid sleeve to cover the wire with.
You need to ensure that the sleeve type is corrosion resistant because the environment can affect the sleeve over time; therefore, you need to consider the environmental factors that the sleeve will face, for example, corrosion. In addition, if the sleeve gets torn or worn over time, you must change it because the wire will become uncovered, and the heat can damage its insulation.
If your wires must be flexible, the sleeve might not provide them with the needed flexibility; a heat-resistant tape is a great option if you need to make the wires more flexible. Heat-resistant tapes are made of a heat shield and very durable material which protect against heat effects; you can wrap the tape around the wire to cover it completely.
However, heat-resistant tape has some downsides compared to sleeves; they can’t tolerate the same levels of heat the sleeves can resist; in addition, the wires must be clean of any dust or debris so the tape can be installed as they require clean surfaces to stick properly.
When fixing the wires to a surface, you might use fittings, ties, and clips; you have to ensure that they are also resistant because they will be exposed to the same heat the wire is exposed to.
If the fittings are not heat-resistant, they can melt over time, causing the wires to be loose or damage the insulation you applied to the wire, which will cause more problems. You have to choose suitable fittings when installing a wire in a place that has a high temperature.
The Electric Box
If you install the wires inside an electrical box, you will also need to isolate the box; the box can be covered with durable foil and a heat shield made of ceramic to protect the box and its contents. To fix the box in a place, you can use either stainless steel fittings or rivets to make sure they are also heat-resistant.
To sum up, you can run a cable behind a radiator safely without any risks because the materials of the wire have a higher melting point than the maximum temperature the radiator can reach; for example, copper wires have a melting point of thousand degrees; meanwhile, the maximum temperature that radiators can reach is between sixty to seventy degrees.
Therefore, the possibility of the radiator heat melting down the cables running behind them is almost zero; most of the appliances you use their wires are made of copper, which makes the cables resistant to the heat generated by the radiators; however, you can face only one problem when running a wire behind the radiator.
The insulation of the wires can get weaker and brittle over time when exposed to high temperatures for long periods, but this problem can be avoided by applying second insulation to the wires; for example, you can cut a sheet of foam pipe insulation in front of the cables or wrap the wire with the foam to insulate it more from the heat effect.
I am Inemesit Etim and I am honest, reliable, confident, and responsible in my work. I am a highly talented, detail-oriented creative content writer with 3+ years of experience writing helpful content that gives value to readers like you. My articles are a product of intense research, both from personal experiences and from reading through the experiences of others. I love home improvement and I am glad I can help you improve the quality of your home and living experience.