Flexwatt vs pipe tape: which works better? Obviously, different heat tapes suit different keepers. But with everything considered, Flexwatt proves the better choice. An ideal sweater box or shoe box rack would have every shelf wired and heated individually for greater enviromental control. Empty shelves would not have to be heated, males could be kept cooler than neighboring females, and the whole unit would run off of a single wall outlet.
Flexwatt allows for just such a system, but pipe tape fails in many areas. First, Flexwatt can be purchased in any length and can be cut down to the millimeter to fit any size or shape shelf. Pipe tape comes in standard lengths, and its length cannot be modified. Second, Flexwatt delivers a more gentle heat, which makes its regulation with thermostats and rheostats much easier. Pipe tape delivers more powerfull heat into concentrated area; it regularly overheats when regulated by rheostats. Third, since Flexwatt can be cut to size, every shelf in a rack can be wired individually with its own piece of tape. Each piece can then be plugged into one or more outlet strips, each connected to their own rheostat or thermostat. By unplugging a shelf or by plugging it into another outlet strip (controlled by a different rheostat or thermostat), the keeper can individually control heat output to every shelf on a shoe/sweaterbox rack. Pipe tape, on the other, hand must be used in one continuous length, block heating the entire rack system or mulitple shelves. Consequently, upper shelves receive more heat than lower ones due to the simple fact that heat rises. Ultimately, use of pipe tape means loss of enviromental control for the keeper.
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