April HotNews Newsletter

The Ideal Time to Install Radiant Heat

Even though spring is just rubbing its eyes and beginning to stir, this is actually a great time to prepare for the next winter by installing a radiant heat system. Early bird discounts may apply to self-regulating roof deicing systems as well as ClearZone snow melting systems.

Installing a heated driveway or snow melting system in early spring puts you at a distinct advantage versus installing one later in the year. During the summer “construction season”, contractors are often unable to complete all of their projects. So, when fall comes, builders compete to purchase the necessary products to complete as many projects as possible – and the availability of dependable contractors may be limited. However, finding a contractor before the fall rush allows you to take your time interviewing and selecting the professional you deem best for your project.

Heated driveway with pavers being installed
A radiant heated driveway being installed.

In terms of finding the best installer for your radiant heat system, Warmzone also keeps track of experienced installers who have installed radiant heat systems successfully. And keep in mind, radiant heat applications are extremely flexible and adaptable, offering homeowners many options to achieve their goals, so don’t be fooled by expensive quotes with limited options.

Whether you’re pouring new concrete or repairing existing pavement, radiant heat installation is an excellent home investment that not only preserves and protects your property, but also helps to prevent slip and fall accidents, as well as injuries from shoveling. Snow melting systems can also save you the time, and eliminates the added expense of hiring a snow removal professional to plow your driveway. With radiant heated driveways and walkways, you get fully automated snow removal, and the opportunity to experience dry pavement all year round. And the fully automated systems operate silently on renewable energy.

Heated driveway system in concrete
Heated driveway system in concrete

In addition to providing industry leading snow melting, roof deicing and floor heating solutions, Warmzone’s customer services are unmatched.  Each and every radiant heat solution you purchase from Warmzone comes with a professional consultation, including an AutoCAD system design, so you’ll know the proper layout and materials, proper load calculations, breaker sizes, number of breakers, and performance expectations for your project prior to installation.

Free installation training courses are also provided by Warmzone. These services are second to none in the industry, and are included for each Warmzone customer. For more information about radiant heat systems, contact a friendly expert today at 888.488.9276.

Warmzone Prodeso Floor Heating Systems

Advances in tile manufacturing in the past few decades have improved the quality and choices available to consumers. New colors, new materials, larger format, thinner tiles and digital printing have all contributed to a steady growth of the use of tile as a surface. When compared to other flooring options such as carpeting and wood floors, ceramic tiles are normally preferred because they are easy to clean, resilient, and hygienic. Unfortunately ceramic tile and natural stone, if not installed properly, are subject to cracking, delaminating, and are cold to the touch. Use of electrical floor heating can minimize the cold, but can submit the tile assembly to additional stress that can lead to cracking and delaminating.

Traditionally most electric floor heating, and anti-fracturing membrane manufacturers have recommended covering the electrical heating cables with a self-leveling cement layer or a thin-set layer followed by an uncoupling crack isolating membrane and then finally installing the tiles. This process needlessly increases time, difficulty, thickness, height differentials, weight, and cost of the overall installation.

Prodeso floor heating membrane

In keeping with our commitment to offering the finest and latest radiant heat technologies, Warmzone announces the offering of Prodeso® membrane floor heating systems. The Prodeso membrane is a polypropylene uncoupling, crack isolation, waterproofing membrane, with rounded square shaped reliefs. These reliefs form channels specially designed to embed and hold the ComfortTile heat cable – and is an excellent choice for heating tile floors.

ComfortTile floor heating mat, cable and thermostat

The heat membrane features a polypropylene thermo welded woven underneath to increase the bond between the subfloor and the membrane, and comes in rolls that can be laid out directly over the subfloor prior to the ceramic tile or other floor surface being installed. The design of the membrane provides an innovative uncoupling and waterproofing system for heating floors and other surfaces without movement or expansion joints in the screed.

Simplifying the installation process, the uncoupling membrane is laid directly over the entire surface intended for the installation. The electric heating cable can then be installed in the channels formed between the rounded square reliefs of the patented membrane, resulting in quick, easy, and accurate cable placement. It is NOT necessary to use self-leveling cement to cover and protect the heat cable before starting a tile installation. This results in significant savings of material, time, cost and overall weight. The floor surface can be immediately installed over the membrane and cable.

The membrane is versatile and can be used on all types of indoor and outdoor applications. And the Prodeso system is safe under all conditions and weather, and can be used to heat a wide variety of floor surfaces. It even waterproofs the substrate in the case of overlaying on cracked or imperfectly cured floors with a risk of vapor stress.

Some Benefits of Warmzone Prodeso

Warmzone’s Prodeso® Heat System combines the benefit of an underlayment membrane with the comfort and convenience of electrical floor heating.

The Prodeso Heat Membrane can be installed over the entire subfloor as an uncoupling, crack isolating and waterproofing membrane.

Prodeso floor heating membrane
Prodeso radiant floor heating membrane and cable shown installed on cement base slab to heat a tile floor.
  • The innovative and patented Prodeso® heat system is a time saving, cost effective system to install a warm and comforting floor.
  • The floor heating cable is then installed in the channels of the membrane, ensuring quick and accurate cable placement.
  • Once the heat cable is installed you can begin installing the flooring immediately; no waiting is necessary. This allows you to install an underlayment membrane, the floor heat and tile (or other surface) all in the same day.
  • The Prodeso heat system will add only 5.5mm to your overall installation. That’s less than a ¼ inch, which is considerably less than many other leading systems.
  • There is virtually no heat loss, making this floor heating system extremely effective and energy efficient.
  • The patented Prodeso heat system allows you to have the comfort and convenience of under floor electrical radiant heating at an affordable cost.
  • Prodeso heat system thermostat allows you to program and control your floor heat cycles to accommodate your schedule, optimizing comfort and minimizing operating costs. The system gives you the pleasure of under floor heat where you want it, when you want it.
  • The Prodeso heat system is an easy to install floor heating solution, and comes with a 10-year limited warranty.

ComfortTile Heat Cable

To ensure the maximum benefit from your Prodeso floor heating membrane, it is recommended to use ComfortTile floor heating cable. ComfortTile heat cable is a premium, proven heat cable that is used for a wide range of radiant floor heating applications. The quality manufacturing is evidenced by the twin conductor heating cable that is matched with premium materials, enabling the ComfortTile heat cable to withstand the harshest conditions while providing superior floor heating performance and fast response times. The heat cable is only about 1/8 of an inch in diameter, and can be quickly and easily placed in the channels of the Prodeso membrane.

The Advantages of Radiant Heat and Snow Melting Systems at Home

Today a growing number of homeowners are investing in radiant heat to warm their homes. Indoors or outdoors, radiant heat is an efficient, environmentally friendly, versatile solution for your home heating and snow melting needs.

As you might expect, radiant heat works exactly as it sounds—it radiates through surfaces (think sidewalks, driveways and wood floors) to warm a specific area of your home. Warmzone offers several choices for radiant heat systems; the two most popular being:

  • Electric radiant heat—uses electric heat cable configured beneath a floor or driveway
  • Hydronic radiant heat—relies on specially treated hot water delivered through a network of pipes underneath an indoor or outdoor surface

Warmzone radiant heat systems are designed to deliver consistent, even heat throughout your home, according to your specific preferences. Radiant heat generates a feeling comparable to the warm, enveloping heat you would experience sitting at a campfire. That’s because these systems depend largely on heat transfer from one object to another. The science behind radiant heat systems effectively eliminates the draftiness and duct loss associated with traditional forced air, making them much more comfortable and much more efficient.

A switch from forced air to radiant heat can also improve the air quality of your home, which is especially important if you suffer from hay fever or equally unforgiving allergic conditions. Forced air systems force, or blow air into your living space, along with dirt, dust and allergens that can compromise your environment. With radiant heat, there’s no duct cleaning or dust to contend with. They’re also very green systems. Inside, radiant heat can be programmed to heat your entire home, or timed to heat specific areas as you move from your kitchen, to your living room and then bedroom to retire, conserving energy for pennies on the dollar.

Heated sidewalk and steps

This same science works wonders outside to keep snow and ice away from your home. An outdoor radiant heat system (snow melting system) involves the laying of pipes or electric cable just below the surface of a driveway or walkway. Their flexibility makes them effective under brick pavers, concrete or asphalt pours and are easily configured to accommodate odd-shaped or hard-to-reach areas. Warmzone sensor-activated radiant heat systems are designed to anticipate snowy conditions to heat walkways, driveways and other areas without resorting to harsh snow melting chemicals; chemicals that can kill vegetation, irritate puppy paws and contaminate ground water. They also eliminate the pain of shoveling and, over time, the expense of snow removal services.

Fortunately, whatever your needs are, Warmzone takes a top-down approach to radiant heat system delivery, and it begins with a phone call. When you call Warmzone, you can to talk to radiant heat professionals with years of experience, free of charge to discuss your radiant heat needs. Based on your input, we can determine what system is right for you.

Warmzone offers a vast selection of products and years of industry experience. We can put together the perfect radiant heat system to meet your needs and your budget. And if you are a die-hard do-it-yourselfer, you’ll appreciate not only access to the pros, but our vast library of materials, including articles and schematics to help you along the way. For more information you can reach our radiant heat professionals at 1-888-488-9276.

Protecting Your Roof and Gutters

Each spring, it’s a good idea for homeowners to check their roofs and make sure they survived winter’s icy barrage intact.  Look for damaged, loose and missing shingles, loss of granules on asphalt shingles, deterioration of the sleeves and flashing at vent pipes, and corrosion or damage of other roof flashing. (“Flashing” helps direct the flow of water around openings.) Also, take a look after any severe weather event.

Most roofs are designed to take the beating delivered by Mother Nature, but like everything else, roofs have an effective lifespan, so to prevent possible leaks and costly water damage it is recommended to inspect your roof twice a year. (Ideally, homeowners should inspect their roofs in the fall as well as in springtime.)

Clearing snow off of roof

Roofs in cold climate areas are susceptible to gradual deterioration over the years as a result of repeated freezing and thawing of snow in areas where pockets of ice accumulates. Roof damage can be very subtle, but tiny problems can grow into large, costly problems that not only affect the roof, but the inside of the home as well. That’s why careful inspection of the roof is so important.

The origins of roof problems and likely “leak points” are at its flashings (such as the drip edge, valleys, and wall-to-roof flashing). Penetrations such as plumbing vent pipes, chimneys and skylights are also more vulnerable to leaking. This means that a home with an elegant roof line that has multiple intersecting planes, a chimney and maybe a couple of dormer windows is more likely to leak than a simple gable roof on a rectangular-shaped house.

Most roof leaking is the result of an event, such as a strong storm followed by a threshold of deterioration after which the material begins to fail. Failure points can also be a result of manufacturing or installation defects. Also, ice dams are a common culprit when it comes to roof damage and water intrusion.

Snow and ice buildup occurs when runoff reaches the colder roof eaves and refreezes. Over time, the buildup increases, resulting in large rims of ice near the roof’s edge that cause water to pool behind it. The pooled water seeps under the shingles and refreezes at night, which can threaten the roof’s integrity and eventually lead to costly water damage inside the home.

Heated roof edge

Self-regulating heat cable and low-voltage RoofHeat STEP systems are two leading solutions for heating roof edges and preventing ice dams. These automated systems keep roof edges clear of snow and ice, and the heating elements can also be installed in the roof gutters to further facilitate runoff. Ensuring that water and ice are never trapped on your roof offers peace of mind, knowing that ice dams are not threatening your home. View more information and options for heating your roof.

The Importance of Taking Care of Your Roof

Helpful Roof Information

A quality roof is the key protective element of your home. A poor quality roof can wreak havoc with the interior once it starts to leak. Staining, mold, and rot can be the results of water intrusion. So when it comes to installing your home’s roof, keep these factors in mind:

  • Multiple-layer roof – A roof installed over an existing roof will have a shorter life.
  • Quality of roofing material – You get what you pay for. “Economy” roof materials have a shorter life
  • Installation – Sloppy or improper installation shortens roof life
  • Attic ventilation – An unventilated or poorly ventilated attic reduces roof lifespan.
  • Trees near the roof – Tree branches rubbing on a roof or the acidity from the accumulation of leaf debris on a roof can shorten the life of roof shingles.
  • Harsh climate – Severe weather, including hot summers as well as harsh winters. Dramatic temperature swings within a 24-hour period also shorten lifespan because of the rapid expansion and contraction of the roof materials.
Common Causes for Roof Leaking
  1. Poorly installed or missing flashings
  2. Incorrect installation of the roofing material
  3. Temporary repairs with mastic or caulk
  4. Ice and debris in gutters
  5. Improper deck over roof or low slope roof used as a deck
  6. Bolted-thru satellite dishes, solar systems
  7. Damaged plumbing boots
  8. Trees scraping or impacting the roof
  9. Ice dams
  10. Roofing material deterioration

To protect your roof from winter related damage, view our roof heating options page and contact a roof heating expert at 888.488.9276.

Additional Information

What is the Life Expectancy of a Roof?

The life expectancy of a roof varies, depending on the type of roofing material, the weather, and quality of the installation. With this is mind, here are some lifespan averages for the different types of roofs (based on “average” conditions).

  • Three-tab Asphalt Shingles: approximately 15 years
  • Architectural Asphalt Shingles: 24 to 30 years
  • Metal (Galvalume): 30 to 45 years
  • Concrete Tile: 35 to 50 years
  • Built-Up or Modified Bitumen: 10 to 16 years
  • EPDM (rubber): 10 to 16 years

Many factors contribute to the lifespan of a roof. Here are a few conditions that affect roof longevity:

  • Color of Roof – A dark roof absorbs more heat, which shortens the lifespan.
  • Angle of Roof Slope – Higher pitched roofs tend to last longer.
  • Orientation of Roof Surface – A roof slope facing south is exposed to more UV rays than other roof facings, and therefore results in a shorter life.

Snow Melting System Details (Part I)

Finding the Right Snowmelt System Components and Services

Winter can be a treacherous time for business and homeowners when it comes to navigating the icy driveway, parking areas, and sidewalks. The best way to ensure safety around your house or business is by installing an automated snow melting system. These systems are reliable, easy to install and provide peace of mind for your home or workplace. When you work with trusted industry leader Warmzone, the systems include premier components, superior customer service, installation support, backed by years of radiant heat expertise.

Expertise and customer service is key when making such a significant investment, and at Warmzone, full design services are available to get you started off on the right foot. After discussing the project needs with you, a radiant heat expert will design a comprehensive radiant heat solution that is customized specifically for your property. The system layout includes a detailed CAD that outlines your system’s layout and materials, power needs, proper load calculations, breaker sizes, number of breakers, and performance expectations. After you have worked with an expert to design your system, it’s time to start your system installation.

Example of Warmzone radiant heat system AutoCAD
Example of a snow melting system design snowing proper cable layout and technical information.

Proper installation is essential to radiant heat systems; that’s why Warmzone offers free installation training and support. Whether you are a professional or a homeowner doing a DIY installation, installation training is available in person or online. Installers can also call our installation experts at 888.488.9276 if they have any questions.

Using Warmzone’s proven UL listed Clearzone heating cable, snow melting systems can be installed in almost any medium, including concrete, asphalt, and pavers. ClearZone is a high quality twin-conductor, single-point connection cable that can withstand the stress of fresh concrete pours and heat of hot asphalt. Warmzone’s standard CZ cable is rated at 220 degrees Fahrenheit and is designed to produce 30-50 watts per square foot. (For asphalt installations, a special ClearZone cable rated up to 460 degrees for up to 10 minutes is available.)

ClearZone heating cable in mat and rolled.

The durable and versatile heat cable is available off spools or in mats that can be easily rolled out for quick installation. Installation for your project begins with this heating cable being laid out and secured to a re-mesh. This re-mesh is supported by plastic Mesh-Ups that keep the heat cable elevated during the concrete pour. (It is important that the cable does not rest on the ground.) After the cable is laid out and secured, the concrete or asphalt is applied.

The next essential piece of an automated snow melting system is the automatic sensor (activation device). These temperature and moisture sensors can be pavement mounted or aerial-mounted. Aerial sensors are typically used for residential applications, while pavement mounted sensors are generally used for commercial snow melting projects. When the temperature reaches a set point (usually set at 39°F) and moisture is present, the sensor signals the master controller / contactor panel to send power to the snow melting system’s heat cable. There are benefits to both sensors, and each are well suited for particular projects.

To continue learning about how Warmzone’s snow melting systems, check out Part II of Snow Melting System Details below.


Snow Melting System Details (Part II)

Finding the Right Snowmelt System Components and Services

Aerial sensors are typically used for residential snow melting systems (and roof deicing systems). Warmzone’s WS-2C aerial sensor sets the industry standard with new enhancements that make it the most popular and trusted. The activation device has a universal power supply allowing it to auto select input voltage, a redesigned case, and increased moisture control sensitivity. This sensor detects moisture through an interleaved grid at the top of the unit, and temperature is detected by a sensor at the bottom of the unit.

The WS-2C is compact and easy to install, features an adjustable set point and has manual, automatic and standby capability. Another bonus of Warmzone’s aerial mounted sensor is its smart system compatibility. When you purchase the optional WS-AUX and CS-1 cable, you can control your system from remote locations through your telephone.

Aerial mount snow sensor
A WS-2C aerial mount snow sensor for automated snow melting systems.

Pavement mounted sensors are generally used for commercial projects. The ground-mount sensor is directly mounted in the surface of the area to be heated, which allows for increased energy efficiency without sacrificing effectiveness. When the set point is reached and moisture is detected, the sensor signals the master controller, which activates the ClearZone snow melting system. This unit is only used with a pavement mounted sensor, and is a small NEMA 1 wall mounted control panel. The panel s designed so it can be controlled from an external signal. It can be in standby mode to activate when needed, or can be turned on manually to melt snow drifts or ice that may have formed in shaded areas. Warmzone’s master controller is not only technologically advanced, but is also very affordable. The Warmzone controller provides maintenance free, UL listed, under pavement heating. After the storm, to ensure that the heated area is completely dry, the pavement mounted sensor is equipped with an “after-run” function to ensure complete dryness and no ice formation.

Pavement mount snow sensor
A pavement mount snow sensor for automated snow melting systems.

When you choose Warmzone for your snow melting needs, not only do you receive premier systems and components, you also receive online resources available at anytime – which include Warmzone’s instructional videos, articles, and glossary of helpful terms.

Still have questions about ClearZone snow melting systems? Check out this snow melting system overview and other documentation, or contact an experienced representative who can provide sincere, non biased recommendations based on your needs at 888.488.9276.

View ClearZone Snow Melting System Literature

Snow Melting Systems: Where do you Start?

Tips for Those Considering Radiant Heat

Purchasing a snow melting system like the ClearZone system offered at Warmzone is a great way to eliminate manual labor and make your home or business safer, but the process of finding, purchasing, and installing a system can seem complicated to any buyer. There are quite a few questions that can slow the purchasing and installation process. What products best suit my needs?  How much power is required? How is my system installed? Here is a quick breakdown of the procedure to help you make a confident and informed decision.

One of the first things that needs to be addressed when installing a snow melting system is to determine the square footage of the area to be heated. A rough draft of the area you wish to heat is typically needed to begin the estimate and design of your radiant heat system. If you are unsure of the exact measurements or don’t know how to calculate the square footage of your driveway or area to be heated, contact Warmzone at 888.488.9276. With state-of-the-art software that allows for a satellite view of the property, a qualified Warmzone representative can measure the square footage for your project over the phone. Warmzone also offers professional design services to provide you with a detailed layout of your system. The custom layout takes all factors into consideration, including, the specifics of your property, the climate of your location, average yearly snowfall, and power requirements. Designing a custom system for you ensures that the best solution is provided and makes the installation of the heated driveway you’ve been imagining easy and painless.

Professional design and layout of radiant heated driveway
Example of radiant heated driveway system AutoCAD.

When it comes to power for your radiant heat system, here are few basic guidelines. It is important to verify the existing voltage (110/120 or 220/240) and available amperage. To make certain of your home’s power, we recommend having an electrician come to your location to measure the amperage. However, you can also check your home’s power by accessing your main breaker panel. Most homes are equipped with either two 100 amp panels or one 200 amp panel, which should be located at the top of the main breaker box. When figuring out what power your system may need, consider that one 30 amp breaker will heat about 170 square feet, so a 350-square-foot driveway would require one 60 amp breaker, or two 30 amp breakers. But don’t be intimidated by these details. Warmzone radiant heat experts will assist your electrician at any time to help ensure that all of your project information is correct prior to any installation taking place.

Most homes have more than ample power to operate a heated driveway or sidewalk(s). However, in the unlikely situation that there is limited power available, a technique called zoning can be used.

Zoning allows those with minimal power to still enjoy the benefits of a snow melting system. Your designated snow melting area is divided into zones, each with its own snow sensor. The zones are prioritized by which area must be cleared. Each zone operates separately, utilizing the available power to remove snow and ice from the designated area. This allows the system to optimize the available power. After the first zone is cleared power is sent to the next zone and so on, cycling much like a sprinkler system.

Snow melting system divided into zones for power usage
When faced with a limited power supply, snow melting systems can be installed to heat by zones, shown in this illustration.

At Warmzone, zoning is efficient and cost effective. The smart cycling features allow an area that may already be cleared to be skipped and not activated. Homeowners can also operate the system manually. If you have any questions about power, a Warmzone representative would be happy to assist you and explain your options. To talk with a radiant heat expert, call 888.488.9276.

After verifying the voltage and available amperage of your home or business, you can move forward with the installation. Snow melting systems can be installed in almost any medium, whether it’s asphalt, concrete, or pavers. After choosing and receiving your heating cable and other system components, it’s time to prepare the area for installation. Make sure the area is cleared of any rocks or debris that may damage the heating cable.

With concrete installations, a wire remesh is installed and the heating cable is secured to the mesh to ensure proper cable spacing and prevent shifting during pouring. Next, Mesh-Up plastic supports are installed to prevent the cable from sitting on the ground. Finally, an aerial mount snow sensor is installed, which activates when there is precipitation and temperature drops below the set point (usually 39°F). When installing system components make sure to follow building codes and advised installation methods. You can also check out some basic installation tips here or view some helpful installation videos.

Still have questions about snow melting systems? Take advantage of the many industry leading services available at Warmzone. Professional design and engineering services offered at Warmzone provide customers with product consultation as well as a detailed CAD of their system’s layout. This ensures system performance expectations are met and minimizes installation issues. Free Installation training through Warmzone University is offered online or in person, and free tech support from radiant heat experts and electricians is also available.

Heated paver driveway in operation.
Example of a snow melting system in action.

Check out all the benefits Warmzone can offer by contacting a dedicated professional today at 888.488.9276.

Pre-Installation Checklist

Radiant Heat Experts Offer Key Advise and Tips on What NOT to do When Installing Radiant Heat

Radiant heat systems work. It’s a proven technology that produces impressive results. But like most technology related products, if a radiant heat system isn’t installed correctly, the results can be equally disappointing. Installing a radiant heat system is not difficult, but it does need to be done properly. You can buy the best snow melting system components on the market, but unless they’re installed correctly, you won’t see the results you’re expecting.

Recently named “Vendor of the Year” by the National Association of Custom Home Builders, Warmzone is a proven and trusted industry-leading provider of radiant heated driveways, heated floors and roof deicing systems. The company achieved its position by not only offering superior products, but by including the industry’s most comprehensive customer support services, including free installation training, technical support, and system design. These unparalleled services distinguish Warmzone from the competition, and have set the gold standard for all radiant heat providers.

“Our products not only work, but they’re among the industry’s best,” stated Bryan Morris, Director of National Sales for Warmzone. “But unless installers follow a few simple guidelines and install these systems correctly, the quality of the materials will make little difference.”

Installing a heated paver driveway.

Some of the most common installation mistakes include:

  1. IMPROPER CABLE SPACING. Too often, installers neglect to follow the cable spacing rules: Keep the cable at a minimum spacing of 2 inches and a maximum of 4 inches (center-to-center). Make sure the cable in adjacent mats is at least 2 inches apart.
  2. IMPROPER CABLE DEPTH. In concrete applications, many times installers allow the heat cable to rest on the dirt prior to the concrete pour. (Invest in Mesh-Ups. These plastic support ‘chairs’ are extremely affordable, and they can make all the difference in the world between a successful and an unsuccessful installation.) Mesh-Ups elevate the re-mesh (and heat cable) so that it is not resting on the ground when the concrete is poured. It’s a simple, affordable solution to prevent poor snow melting system performance, not to mention unhappy customers.
  3. NEGLECTED WARRANTY CARD. Too many installers forget to fill out the warranty card and mail it to the manufacturer. Don’t let this happen.
  4. FORGETTING TO TEST THE CABLE. Too many installers forget to test the cable during all phases of the installation. Start by testing the cable out of the box and then throughout the installation.
  5. COMPROMISED HEAT CABLE. Maintain the cable integrity by never cutting the cable, and take extreme caution when using shovels and rakes during concrete pours.

One way to limit mistakes during an installation is not only to avoid the above errors, but to follow the handy checklist below, put together by Warmzone’s experienced support staff:

PRE-INSTALLATION CHECKLIST

Before buying and installing a radiant heat system, review the checklist below.

  • Verify the correct voltage of your home or business (220/240 or 110/120).
  • Verify the available amperage. Don’t guess or assume. You’ll need to be certain, so we recommend having an electrician come to your location to measure the amperage.
  • Do your homework before hiring an electrician. Let’s face it, not everyone is competent or ethical. Preferably, find one who has been in business for several years. Ask around and talk with those who have personal experience with electricians.
  • Keep in mind that the National Electric Code (NEC) requires that the system has 30mA GFEP (30mA trip protection).
  • Make sure the installer has completed Warmzone’s free installation training course.

After installing your radiant heat system, fill out and mail your warranty card.

Perhaps the most overlooked tip – and one that can eliminate installation mistakes and unhappy customers – is to take advantage of the free training!  Call 801.948.7577 or 888.488.9276 to sign up or learn more.


Part II: Stories from the Support Desk

Learn From Your Mistakes

Installation Support Experts Reveal Some Unfortunate Installer Mistakes

While most mistakes can be remedied, it is – of course – much easier to simply do the job right the first time. Here are some stories of past installation blunders that could have easily been avoided:

Installation #1:  DON’T CUT THE CORD!

Instead of starting the cable installation as close as possible to the electrical source, one installer began running the cable from the terminated end. After laying out the cable, he discovered that he had about 60 extra feet of heat cable – including the splice to the cold lead. He cut the excess cable and then ran the heat cable (from the terminated end) directly into the ETO2 control unit!

Scissors and cable - Never cut the heat cable
Never cut the heat cable! To make turns, cut the white binding tape and arrange the cable accordingly.

Needless to say, this presented a significant fire hazard, not to mention that the entire system was now inoperable. This disaster could have been easily prevented with a few minutes of consulting with one of our support staff, or by completing one of our installation training courses.”

Installation #2:  SPACED OUT

Many installation problems are a result of improper spacing of the heat cable. And while mats come with the cable pre-spaced, the adjacent mats still must be spaced no less than 2 inches apart. The photo below shows how one installer laid out the cable and then applied the concrete pour. Instead of cutting the white binding tape to make turns with the mats, the cable was simply ‘serpentined’ all across the driveway; overlapping and bunching up and so on.

Example of incorrect layout of snow melting heat cable.
Example of incorrectly laid out heat cable for heated driveway. Cable must not touch or overlap. Always follow the installation guidelines regarding the correct layout of the heat cable.
Correct layout of heat cable
Example of heat cable (in mats) laid out correctly for a heated paver driveway.

Again, this could have been avoided by making a simple call to Warmzone, viewing one of our installation videos online, or completing an installation training course. Instead, the concrete had to be dug up and the system replaced. Don’t have time to take the 45-minute installation training course? Think again.”

“Mistakes like these shouldn’t happen,”  Morris emphasized. “Installers can complete a simple installation training course prior to installing the system, and they can always call a member of our support staff if they have any questions during the installation. If they do either of these things, then they’re likely to save themselves a lot of stress.”

Don’t Forget:

Test the heat cable during the installation and record the readings in the fields provided on the warranty card. After installing your radiant heat system, complete and mail your warranty card.

Double check your cable spacing. (Minimum spacing of 2 inches and a maximum spacing of 4 inches.)

Perhaps the tip that can most effectively eliminate installation mistakes and unhappy customers is this: Take advantage of the free training! 

Installation Tips – Installing a Snow Melting System in Asphalt

Installation Tips for Installing Snow Melting Heat Cable in Asphalt (Quick Reference Guide – Article 1 in a Series of 3)

Remember to check the element resistance and the insulation resistance of the heating cable/mat at the recommended intervals:

  1. In the box: Write the values on the warranty card.
  2. After being laid out: Write the values on the warranty card.
  3. After being covered: Write the values on the warranty card.
  4. Record your readings in the installation manual.
  • When laying out the cable, DO NOT allow heating cables to touch, cross, overlap or get bunched up. Minimum allowable spacing is 2 inches.
  • Do NOT place asphalt that is higher in temperature than the cable’s maximum rated temperature on the heating cables.
  • Heating cables should be securely fastened so they do not move or shift during the embedment process.

Applying hot asphalt over heat cable mats

  • Do NOT use a track application machine on the asphalt. Rubber tire applicators are okay as long as the asphalt temperature is below the maximum rated temperature for the heating cables.
  • The operating weight of the asphalt roller should not exceed 1,000 pounds. (The heat cable is designed to handle 8.9kN before the insulation is damaged, which will cause the cable to fail.) NOTE: A walk-behind roller imparts a force of between 5-18 kN.
    • Use a small power roller to compact asphalt over cable on sand, concrete, or ½-inch aggregate. A smaller roller will take more time, but decreases the chance of damaging the heating cable.
    • A roller with 30 kN or less is allowable when heating cable is in concrete and the concrete is then covered is asphalt.
    • When compacting/rolling on a grade, do not stop the roller. Stopping and resuming the roller may stretch and break the heat cable.
  • Do NOT dump large quantities of asphalt on small sections of the heating cables. Doing this may cause damage to the cable because of excessive, focused heat. Ideally, the asphalt should be applied by hand.

Installing a heated asphalt driveway

  • Do NOT cut or alter the heating cable. Mat tape may be cut, but the heating cable must never be cut.
  • Embed all of the heating cable and the splice in the asphalt. Allow asphalt to cool to a temperature of approx 212°F (100°C) before applying directly over the cable and splice.

Installing the cable splice in asphalt.

  • Manually lay the asphalt and spread the material evenly around and over the heating cables.
  • Heating cables are normally covered by 2-inches of asphalt. Leave a buffer of 4 to 6 inches of unheated asphalt around the edge of the heated area. This allows for adjustment of paving surface edges without damaging the heating cable.
  • Handle heating cables carefully – use extreme care with tools such as shovels, rakes and wheel barrels to avoid damaging the cables.
  • Verify cable integrity by checking resistance often during installation.
  • It is important that the snow melting system be wired by a licensed, qualified electrician and in accordance with local laws, codes, regulations, and NEC guidelines.
  • Ground sensors/cups should not be exposed to temperatures above 80°C (176°F).
  • A perimeter of a maximum of 12 inches of asphalt should exist around the embedded cables. This allows for adjustment of the paving surface edge without damaging the heating cable.

* This list is intended as a general quick reference guide. It is NOT a substitution for proper training and following the installation manual. Always read and follow the installation manual. Web-based training is available on request.

For more information about installing heated driveways and snow melting systems, visit Warmzone’s Installation Overviews web page. Warmzone also provides a host of radiant heat installation videos online as well. Call us today for more information at 888.488.9276.

Installation Tips – Installing a Snow Melting System in Concrete

Installation Tips for Installing a Snow Melting System in Concrete (Quick Reference Guide – Article 2 in a Series of 3)

Remember to check the element resistance and the insulation resistance of the heating cable/mat at the recommended intervals:

  1. In the box: Write the values on the warranty card.
  2. After being laid out: Write the values on the warranty card.
  3. After being covered: Write the values on the warranty card.
  4. Record your readings in the installation manual.
  • Ensure that all sharp stones and debris are removed from the area where the heating cable will be installed.
  • Place the remesh in preparation of the concrete pour.
  • Lay the cables/mats according to the plan and fasten them to the remesh or rebar (using plastic zip-lock ties) so that they do not move during the concrete pouring.
  • Do NOT allow heating cables to touch, cross, overlap or get bunched up.

wz-sm-Heating_Cable_Tips-Keeping_Your_Cable_Safe thumbnail

  • Do NOT cut or alter the heating cable. Mat tape may be cut, but the heating cable must never be cut. View the video How to Make Turns with mats.
  • Heating cable/mats should be spaced at no less than 2-inches center-to-center and no more than 4-inches center-to-center. This also applies to adjacent heating mats.
  • Secure the heating cable to the wire mesh or grid using plastic zip ties. Make sure that the cable/mats and the wire mesh are secure so that they will not move or shift when the concrete is being poured.
  • The heating cable will need to be positioned 2-inches from the surface of the concrete. Use wire remesh and Mesh-Ups or concrete dobies/chairs to position the heating cable within 2-inches of the surface. The heating cable/mat should never rest on the ground.

Placing Mesh-Ups under cable and remesh

  • Do not allow heating cable to cross an expansion joint. Control joints are allowable under the following conditions:
    • The joint is tooled or cut NO deeper than 1¼-inches.
    • A 6-inch piece of ¼-inch angle iron is recommended to protect the cable any place where a control joint will pass over it. The heating cable is tightly strapped to the angle iron with plastic zip ties.
    • Mark the forms where the angle irons are located to accurately place the control joints.
    • The cable must be ¾ to 1-inch below the bottom of the joint. (Do NOT tool joints deeper than 1½ inches. Stay above heating cables.)
  • Embed all of the heating cable and the splice. The cold lead on the heat cable and mats is not rated for direct burial in earth and must be run through a conduit. (The first 6-inches of the cold lead and splice must be embedded in the heated surface.) See the illustration showing the installation of the heat cable and power lead.
  • Handle heating cables carefully. Use extreme care with tools such as shovels, rakes and wheel barrels to avoid damaging the cables.
  • Verify cable integrity by checking resistance often during installation.
  • It is important that wiring of the system is completed by a licensed and qualified electrician and in accordance with local laws, codes, regulations, and NEC guidelines.

* These tips are meant for quick reference. It is NOT a substitution for proper training and following the installation manual. Always read and follow the installation manual. Web-based training is available on request.

View Warmzone installation videos.

Installation Tips – Installing a Snow Melting System Under Pavers

Installing Heat Cable under Pavers (Quick Reference Guide – Article 3 in a Series of 3)

Remember to check the element resistance and the insulation resistance of the heating cable/mat at the recommended intervals:

  1. In the box: Write the values on the warranty card.
  2. After being laid out: Write the values on the warranty card.
  3. After being covered: Write the values on the warranty card.
  4. Record your readings in the installation manual.

When laying out the cable, DO NOT allow heating cables to touch, cross, overlap or get bunched up. Minimum allowable spacing is 2 inches.

Begin installation as close as possible to the electrical source.

Heated driveway with brick pavers

DO NOT cut or alter the heating cable. The white binding tape of heating mats may be cut in order to make turns with the mats, but the heat cable must never be cut or altered.

ClearZone heating cable in mat and rolled.

To secure the cable, lay down a piece of thin wire mesh that fits the area to be heated. The wire mesh should be secured to the ground (with landscaping staples or pins) so it will not move during the embedment process.

Roll out the heating cable or mat and secure it to the wire mesh or grid using plastic zip ties. Heating cables should be securely fastened so they do not move or shift during embedment.

Heating cable should be spaced at no less than 2-inches center-to-center and no more than 4-inches center-to-center. This also applies to the cables in adjacent heating mats.

Contact paver or block manufacturer for total sand or dust depth needed for proper paver/block installation.

Sideview of heat cable installed under pavers

Embed all of the heating cable and the splice in a minimum of 1-inch (½-inch above and ½-inch below) of compacted material such as paver sand or stone dust. Cable and splice must be completely embedded. No air gaps around the cable or splice are allowable. Gauge of paver sand, stone dust or base material must be fine enough to completely encapsulate cable.

Do NOT drop pavers directly on the cable. (This can damage the cable insulation.)  If this occurs, stop installation and check cable integrity via ohm reading.

Handle heating cables carefully – use extreme care with tools such as shovels, rakes and wheel barrels to avoid damaging the cables.

Verify cable integrity by checking resistance often during installation.

It is important that this equipment be installed by a licensed and qualified electrician and in accordance with local laws, codes, regulation and in accordance with NEC guidelines.

If installing in permeable pavers or with pavers or blocks greater than 3-inches thick, contact Warmzone BEFORE installing.

* This list is intended as a general quick reference guide. It is NOT a substitution for proper training and following the installation manual. Always read and follow the installation manual. Web-based training is available on request.

Heated paver walkway

For more information about installing heated driveways and paver snowmelt systems, visit Warmzone’s Installation Overviews web page. Warmzone also provides a host of radiant heat installation videos online as well. Call us today for more information at 888.488.9276.

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