Automated radiant snow melting systems can keep driveways, sidewalks, steps, ramps, and more free of snow and ice during the cold winter months. The systems are designed to detect temperature and precipitation, so when weather conditions warrant, the system activates. The surface is then warmed to prevent snow from accumulating. After the snowstorm the system remains on for a short time to dry the area so that slick sheets of “black” ice don’t form.
Although the installation of these systems is relatively simple and straightforward, there are still some common mistakes made by installers. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to avoid common blunders and ensure a timely, proper installation so that your radiant heating system meets all your expectations. Most installation mistakes can be avoided simply by taking advantage of Warmzone’s comprehensive installation support services.
Ways to Ensure a Proper Installation
Take advantage of Warmzone’s Industry-Leading Support Services
Perhaps the biggest mistake installers make is not taking Warmzone’s free installation training courses. This valuable training is provided by an experienced instructor who will cover all the aspects of your installation. This is a great way to learn the basics of installing automated snow melting systems, and can help you avoid mistakes that could adversely affect the performance and longevity of the system. The courses are available online via web conference and are typically completed in less than an hour. However, installers can stop and ask the instructor questions at any time during the training.
Another way to help ensure a proper installation is to follow the professional system design and layout provided by Warmzone. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for installers to fail to follow the professional system design and layout given to them. Warmzone provides detailed layouts of the system to install, which includes the precise layout of the heating elements, materials and components, and dimensions of the system, as well as the proper load calculations, breaker sizes, number of breakers, and so on. Be sure to refer to the AutoCAD layout frequently as you install the system. These professional system layouts serve as the “road map” to a successful installation, helping to ensure that the system operates at peak efficiency after being installed.
Warmzone products and snow melting system components are second to none; however, even the best components cannot overcome improper installation techniques. So take advantage of the free training, system layout, and other support services offered by Warmzone. Our installation support staff is the best in the business, and we stand ready to assist you at any time during the installation. To learn more about installing radiant driveway heating systems, call Warmzone today at 888-488-9276.
Avoid Making These Common Installation Mistakes
To make turns with the mats, cut the tape backing and arrange the mat accordingly. (See the illustration below. Never cut the cable.)
Periodically Test the Heat Cable. Be sure to conduct OHM tests of the cable before and throughout the installation process. Write the results on the warranty card provided. (Follow the instructions in the Installation Manual to ensure that your warranty remains valid.)
Check Your Components Prior to Beginning the Installation. Prior to applying the concrete, asphalt or pavers, lay your heat cable out in the area to be heated and make sure you have the right amount of cable. Also, in concrete applications, always secure the heat cable to the remesh at regular intervals. Use Mesh-Ups® support chairs to keep the remesh from resting on the ground during the pour.
Refer to the Appropriate Installation Documentation. Always follow the instructions listed in the installation manual.
Make sure the splice and at least 6 inches of the power lead is embedded in the paved surface.
Install the Snow Sensor in a Proper Location. Surprisingly, this is a common mistake. Never mount the sensor next to a wall or in an area where it is not exposed to the weather. When installing an aerial-mount snow sensor (WS-2C, WS-5C) make sure it is mounted above the roof line. It must have an unobstructed 360-degree view of the sky to properly detect falling snow. Any nearby obstructions can prevent snow from falling onto the sensor, delaying or preventing it from triggering the system.
Never run Heat Cable (or mats) Through an Expansion Joint. All heating cable should be isolated to a single pour area.
Use the Proper Equipment. Do not use sharp metal trowels and shovels when tamping or spreading the concrete over the radiant heating cable. Great care must be taken to avoid damaging the outer jacket of the snow melting cable.
Never cut the Heat Cable. When making turns with the heating mats, only cut the tape backing, and then arrange the mat accordingly for the turn.
Do not Allow the Heat Cable to rest on the Ground Prior to Applying Concrete. The cable should be elevated so that it is within about 2-inches of the driveway surface. Small plastic Mesh-Ups® support chairs can be fastened to the remesh, providing support and preventing the heat cable from being pushed to the ground.
The ideal time to install radiant heat is during new construction. However, driveways can also be retrofitted with radiant snow melting systems. Saw-cut technology is used for concrete driveways, providing channels for the heat cable, and then special epoxy is used to seal the cable in the driveway. For existing asphalt driveways, the heat cable is placed over the old asphalt and a new layer of asphalt is then applied directly over the cable. (Contact Warmzone to learn more about our special asphalt heating cable.) Talk to a radiant heat professional today to learn more about retrofitting your driveway or other areas with radiant heat. Call 888-488-9276 today.
Warmzone maintains relationships with experienced, positively reviewed installers throughout the country, so regardless of your location, we may be able to recommend a qualified installer in your area. If you have any questions during your installation, please don’t hesitate to call one of our support staff. We are here for you, so take advantage of the training and personal support.