Tag Archives: Installation tips

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! 

Contractors Benefit from Working with Warmzone

Proven Radiant Heat Installers Gain Repeat Business from Warmzone

Warmzone Connects Experienced Contractors with Customers to Deliver Top-notch Radiant Heat Installations

As a contractor, are you interested in increasing your business? Are you looking for a radiant heat solutions provider you can trust? As a premier provider of radiant heat services, Warmzone has a longstanding reputation for connecting the best talent with their customers, generating more business for contractors, and greater peace of mind for consumers. So radiant heat installers benefit by partnering with Warmzone and customers benefit by having a proven, experienced contractor install their system.

Warmzone keeps track of radiant heat installers and their performance; thereby maintaining a map of the top independent installers throughout the country. This assists customers in identifying the most reputable professionals in their area to install radiant heat. Initially, professional builders teamed up with Warmzone because of its trusted products and unmatched customer support. Now, knowing that they can gain additional jobs adds even more incentive for installers and also benefits consumers as well. Currently, Warmzone can recommend preferred installers in virtually any region of the country.

Heated sidewalks being installed

Warmzone’s extensive catalog of proven products, awareness of current trends and profound industry knowledge currently supports a vast network of installers across the country. These resources provide impressive technical support, including complete system design and layout services, free installation training, “how-to” videos, and personal installation support. These resources are supplemented by the vast instructional documents and diagrams provided in Warmzone’s library of system manuals and technical guides residing on Warmzone’s website. Installers can put this wealth of online information to work for them and allow them to install radiant heat systems with confidence.

In addition to the online information, customers can utilize Warmzone’s free consulting services so they can make the best decision when it comes to purchasing and installing a radiant heat system. Warmzone is more than a provider of radiant heatWarmzone is a partner that is committed to offering the best customer service in the business. We are determined to see that your snow melting, roof heating or floor heating system is installed properly and performing as expected.

Applying hot asphalt over heat cable mats

Contractors and installers have come to particularly appreciate Warmzone’s free installation training courses. Here a radiant heat expert covers all the aspects of installing a radiant heat system. Again, this benefits the installer and the customer. If the installer still encounters any questions during the installation process, he can speak to one of our dedicated support staff to assure that the installation goes off without a hitch. Installers are never left out in the cold when they work with Warmzone. Our goal, of course, is to give construction professionals the resources and the confidence they need to add radiant heat installation to their menu of services and provide the best service to our customers.

When it comes to all things radiant heat, Warmzone is the perfect partner. If you’re a contractor, it’s a great time to team up with professionals who have your back, and improve your bottom line. As a homeowner, you’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing you have a trusted installer and team of experts working for you. To learn more, call Warmzone at 888.488.9276.


Visit Warmzone.com for all things Radiant Heat

If you’re currently contemplating a radiant heat solution for your home, Warmzone can help you stay on top of your radiant heat installation with a comprehensive library of online resources. Whether you choose to purchase that top shelf solution from your local big box hardware store, or enlist our help, these online resources are absolutely free and available whenever you need them.

Rather than mucking blindly through a home improved project, it is the informed consumer that makes the best decision. And keep in mind: a radiant heat system is only as good as its installation, so it pays to work with a professional who will walk you through the entire purchase and installation process.

The prospect of researching a radiant heat project can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to look. Warmzone.com takes a deep dive into all aspects of radiant heat, allowing you to research and compare systems efficiently, including individual components and applications. The site helps you begin the process of discovering and weighing all of your options to help you make better decisions when you shop. It will also open you up to the realm of creative possibilities a radiant heat system home improvement project provides.

Beyond the initial shopping experience, we’ve made it easy for consumers by providing free consulting and an extensive library of online resources available whenever you need them. You’ll find high level overviews of radiant heat systems including their benefits, how they operate and current applications. You’ll discover an extensive archive of articles on a range of topics, as well as technical guides, installation videos, installation manuals and system component specs to suit your project needs. Here’s a sampling of the many topics you can expect to see the Warmzone archives:

In addition to this information, Warmzone offers instructional videos you can watch in real time to help you move through all aspects of a radiant heat project, whether you are installing a heated bathroom floor, a gutter-trace system or installing heat cable for your heated driveway.

Choosing Warmzone products yields big dividends for do-it-yourselfers and the most conscientious customers. By tapping a premiere provider, you benefit from the best in radiant heat technology and services available. Warmzone invests years of deep industry knowledge and experience into finding high-performing, cutting-edge radiant heat solutions for customers backed by impressive resources. Their professional design services team custom designs each radiant heat system to ensure it meets your project’s specific needs in terms of performance, installation complexity and price. You’ll know what to expect, every step of the way. Simply bring your creativity and budget requirements to Warmzone. Once you have a system design in place, our dedicated staff of experts are there to assist you throughout the purchase, design and installation process.

Whether you’re researching, shopping, or elbow-deep in an installation, you can call our technical support team or reference Warmzone.com, which is always available. We take pride in offering the most comprehensive library of information available on all-things radiant heat related to help make your project a success. Call today for more information: 888.488.9276.

Installing a Heated Driveway

How is a Heated Driveway Installed?

Whether you’re looking to install a radiant snow melting system in concrete, asphalt, or under pavers, it doesn’t take much to make a heated driveway a reality. The important thing to remember is that a radiant snow melting system is only as good as its installation. That’s why Warmzone emphasizes customer support services such as free training and personal installation support. But how is a heated driveway system installed?

Snow melting system overview

Click image to enlarge.

First, a Warmzone radiant heat expert will work with you to determine the specs and products that will best meet the specific needs of your custom project. After verifying receipt of the heat cable and system components, prepare the area where the system is being installed. Make sure there are no nails, sharp rocks or other items present that can cause damage to the heating cable.

Heated driveway installation with Mesh-Up supports

If you are installing a concrete heated driveway, install wire remesh in the area to be heated. Once the remesh is laid out, heat cable is then installed and secured to the remesh using zip ties.  This keeps the cable from shifting during the concrete pour. Mesh-Up plastic supports are then installed to lift the remesh and prevent the heat cable from resting on the ground. (The heat cable should be about two inches from the finished surface.)

With the Mesh-Ups installed and the cable secured to the remesh, concrete can now be poured over the heating cable/mats. Take care to not damage the heating cable. A typical slab is 4-inches thick. Follow your concrete contractor’s installation methods and follow all building codes. The heating cable is to be within 2-inches of the finished surface.

Mesh-Ups under remesh, supporting heat cable

Click image to enlarge.

Most heated driveway systems utilize an aerial mount snow sensor to activate the system. This is typically installed at the roof’s edge where it has open access to the elements. When precipitation is present and the temperature is below the set point (usually set at 39°F), the sensor signals the contactor panel and power is then sent to the heat cable.

View additional “How to” Videos from Warmzone.

Important Note: For warranty and safety purposes, it is necessary for a qualified electrician to connect the system.

General Tips for Using the ETO2 Controller for Snow Melting Systems

Introduction

This article is intended as a  general guide to help users of snowmelt systems that utilize the ETO2 and ground sensor. For more detailed information, please refer to the Owner’s and Installation Manual.

The ETO2 is an electronic controller for fully automatic, economical ice and snow melting for outdoor areas. The controller is used for snow melting and roof deicing systems utilizing in-ground sensors.

The ETOG in-ground sensor detects both temperature and moisture and signals the controller when conditions warrant. The ETO2 unit then sends power to the cable, activating the snowmelt system and warming the driveway surface.

The ETO2 features an easily operated encoder button and backlit graphic display to ensure quick and easy configuration and simple indication of temperature, status, etc.

Controller for an automated snow melting system
The ETO2 controller used for snow melting systems that utilize an in-ground snow sensor.

The control unit is suitable for controlling electric heating cables in a 1 or 2 zone system. It also features advanced two-stage output control for economic operation.

This article only covers some general startup and troubleshooting information for current owners. For installation instructions, please refer to the installation manual provided. (Available on our snowmelt product documentation web page.)

STARTUP

Turn the encoder knob on the front of the ETO2 to scroll through the available options.

Push the Encoder knob to “enter” your selection.

When the ETO2 is switched on for the first time, Celcius” or “Fahrenheit” must be selected. Turn the encoder knob until the required temperature scale is highlighted. Then OK the selection by depressing the encoder knob.

SENSOR 1 is shown on the display, allowing the type of sensor connected for input 1 to be selected. (ETOG ground sensor or ETOR gutter sensor and outdoor sensor.) OK the selection by depressing the encoder knob.

SENSOR 2 is then shown on the display, allowing the type of sensor connected for input 2 to be selected. If no sensor is connected for input 2, OFF must be selected.

OUTDOOR SENSOR: Select if outdoor sensor ETF is connected to terminals 31, 32. If no sensor ETF is connected, OFF must be selected. Press encoder knob for OK.

To select the application type, turn the encoder knob and then depress it.

ELECTRIC 1-ZONE:

ELECTRIC 2-ZONE:

ELECTRIC 2-STEP:

Select the appropriate option and press OK. The system is now set up, and will begin operating fully automatically, in accordance with the pre-configured standard program, see FACTORY SETTINGS. Alternative settings can also be made, see SETTINGS.

Status and afterheat data for zones 1 and 2 are now shown on the display.

OPERATION

The ETO2 is equipped with an easily operated encoder knob/button (turn and press) and a display which describes the current situation. The display is backlit and illuminated by pressing the encoder knob. The illumination is automatically switched off after 30 seconds.

Press the encoder knob and the Main Menu will be displayed. Turn the knob to scroll through the options. Not all the options are shown on the display at once, but they can be accessed by turning the encoder knob. Press OK to select a highlighted option.

SETTINGS

Please note that incorrect sensor setup may lead to poor or lacking ice and snow melting. Press OK and a submenu will be shown on the display. Select the parameter to be set and press OK.

SETUP

FORCE HEAT – OFF Manual start of forced heat. Press OK and select ON to start Forced heat. ETO2 controller will heat in the pre-programmed AFTERRUN time, see AFTERRUN 1 and 2.

SELECT SCALE    C – Whether temperature is to be displayed in Celsius (C) or Fahrenheit (F) can be selected here. Select the required scale and press OK. Press OK to return to the SETUP menu.

RESTART

When changing the settings or require a new process start, the ETO2 can be restarted in this menu.

OFFSET CALIBRATION

Restart operation. Keeping your current settings. The ETO2 will go to the initial status display. If it is necessary to calibrate the temperature measured by the ETOG sensor, please follow the steps below:

  1. Disconnect the sensor from terminals 11 and 12 (sensor heating) of the ETO2.
  2. Wait a few hours until the sensor has acquired the same temperature as the ground.
  3. Measure the real ground/sensor temperature and compare it with the temperature shown on the ETO2 display.
  4. Program the offset for the sensor concerned to match the difference between the two temperatures (displayed/real). Adjust the necessary offset using the encoder button. Press OK.
  5. Reconnect the sensor to terminals 11 and 12 of the ETO2.

NOTE: With ETOG-55 sensor, the temperature shown on the ETO2 display is always the core temperature of the sensor.


TROUBLESHOOTING

By errors in the snow melting system, it is recommendable to check the setup of the ETO2. Activate the menu by pressing the adjustment knob, press SHOW INFO and readout the programmed application. By errors in the setup, activate REINSTALL with factory code 1202.

Check that all connections are placed correctly, and that cables are fastened in the clamps. For more information, contact our technical support department 801.948.7545.

PROBLEM  ACTION / POSSIBLE CAUSE
Display shows HEAT ON in zone 1 / 2 but the snow is not melting: Wait 1-2 hours.

Check under the snow, if the snow is beginning to melt the system is OK.

Check the heating cables for defects or bad connections.

It is too cold for snow melting (power/m2) or undersized heating cables/ hydronic heating system.

Display does not show HEAT ON in zone 1 / 2 The temperature is higher than SET TEMP. Adjust SET TEMP to higher temperature.

The snow around the ground sensor is melting/drifting snow has exposed the sensor.

AFTERRUN time must be increased. Alternatively, FORCED HEAT can be activated.

Igloo effect around the sensor. The ground sensor has melted an insulated hollow under the snow. Activate FORCED HEAT or, alternatively, set MOIST SENSOR to OFF.

The temperature is lower than the OFF TEMP setting.

Depending on dimensioning, the system has a lower temperature limit, at which the system can melt the snow. Try melting the snow with FORCE HEAT, before OFF TEMP is changed.

The heat does not shut off after ice/snow melting: AFTERRUN time is too long – reduce AFTERRUN time and activate RESTART in the menu.

Moisture detection in the ETOG/ETOR sensor is turned off – set MOIST CTRL to ON in the menu.

If the ALARM button flashes red, one of the following errors has occurred. This can be displayed under the menu: ALARM.
RETURN TEMP LOW Water temperature on return pipe is too low.
SUPPLY TEMP HIGH Water temperature on supply pipe is too high.
RETURN SENSOR Return sensor defective.
SUPPLY SENSOR Supply sensor defective.
TEMP SENSOR 1 Temperature sensor in ground or roof sensor 1 defective.
TEMP SENSOR 2 Temperature sensor in ground or roof sensor 1 defective.
OUTDOOR SENSOR Outdoor sensor defective.
SENSOR HEATER Short circuit of heating element in ground or roof sensor.
FROST PROTECT Active frost protection due to low return temperature (water based systems only)

Preparing for Winter’s “Perfect Storm”

Getting the Most out of Your Snowmelt System During Extreme Snow Events

Your snow melting system was designed according to ASHRAE standards, meaning it was designed specifically for typical winter conditions in your area – and then some. But every now and then Mother Nature unleashes a furious “perfect storm” of epic proportions that overwhelm even the most hardy winter-weather cities. Snow plows, public transportation and basic city services can be brought to their knees because of unusually low temperatures and record breaking snowfall. Even fully automated radiant snow melting systems are faced with some unique challenges posed by the extreme conditions. Fortunately, Warmzone snowmelt systems include features that allow you to better cope with winter anomalies such as an extreme snow event.

Tips – Preparing for an Extreme Snow Event

If you’re faced with a potential storm of record magnitude, follow the steps outlined below.

Timer: If you purchased a timer with your heated driveway system, use this manual override feature to pre-heat your driveway 2-4 hours before the storm hits. (Once the snow starts to fall, the snow switch will detect precipitation and automatically activate the system.)

Aerial Mount Snow Switch: If you don’t have a timer, you can still manually activate the system using the WS-AUX controller or the aerial-mount snow switch. To activate the system using the snow switch, flip the toggle switch on the side of the unit up so that it is in the ON position. This activates the system and begins pre-heating the driveway. (NOTE: Remember that the system will remain on until you return the toggle switch to AUTOMATIC or STANDBY.)

Control display panel for automated snow melting system

WS-AUX Controller: Activating the system using the WS-AUX controller is the most convenient method for pre-heating your driveway or walks. Turning the sensor override switch on the WS-AUX to the MANUAL ON position will activate the snowmelt system continuously. Pressing the MANUAL ON button on the WS-AUX will not trigger the sensor to run continuously but will initiate one “drying cycle.” This mode can be used to test the system or clear any remaining un-melted snow. This function allows the user to run a cycle without having to remember to turn the system back off. The sensor will initiate one drying cycle and revert to automatic mode, thereby making it ready for detection of the next storm. The MANUAL ON mode can be activated directly from either AUTOMATIC or STANDBY mode. The user may reset and clear the drying cycle by pressing STANDBY.

The WS-AUX will show the current setting of the manual override switch for the attached snow sensor. The sensor’s override switch will always take precedence over the WS-AUX setting. If, for example, the WS-AUX has placed the sensor into STANDBY mode and the sensor switch is moved to MANUAL ON, the WS-AUX will show a change to MANUAL ON mode. Whenever the sensor’s switch overrides the WS-AUX’s setting, then returns to AUTOMATIC mode, the WS-AUX will also revert to AUTOMATIC mode.

In-Ground Snow Switch: For those utilizing the pavement-mount snow switch, refer to page 6 and 9 of the ETO2 User’s Guide Programming Manual.

Working with the Controller

Pre-heat Your Driveways in Preparation for Record Snowfalls

Main menu of the snow melting system controller

In MAIN MENU of the controller, turn the dial to scroll down to SETUP (as seen on page 6 of the User Manual). After selecting SETUP, scroll down to FORCE HEAT and push the dial in to select. This will then activate the system.

Naturally, you do not want to turn the snow melting system on too late or too early, so follow the local weather reports and make your best guess as to when the storm’s first snow will fall. It is recommended to begin pre-heating your driveway (or sidewalks) 2 to 4 hours before any excessively large storm hits. This gives your system a “head start” that will help it to keep up with the unusually heavy snowfall.

Remember, pre-heating the driveway is not necessary in most other cases. Your automated snow melting system was designed to effectively handle typical winter storms in your area. The steps outlined here are simply offered as suggestions to help you cope with the occasional record-breaking snow storm.

Example of dialogue seen on screen of the snowmelt system controller. The heat will stay on the amount of time the designated in the AFTERRUN mode. Once the FORCE HEAT cycle is complete, the device will default back to AUTOMATIC mode. The falling snow will then keep the system on.

Setting the Afterrun time in the controller menu

Adjusting the AFTERRUNTo adjust the AFTERRUN, remain in the SETUP menu.

Refer to page 10 of the User’s Manual.

Set the time for how long before the snowfall that you want to pre-heat the driveway area. Typical time ranges between 2 and 4 hours, depending on the storm.)

Check out Warmzone’s helpful instructional videos on YouTube:
Video instructions on tuning your pavement mount controller

Video instructions for programming your WS-2C aerial-mount snow sensor

Remember, a snow melting system is only as good as it’s installation. So if you’re considering purchasing a radiant heat system, be sure to deal only with experienced professionals who legitimately offer a dedicated support team that will work with you and guide you through the installation process.

And when those record breaking storms come calling at your doorstep, be sure to get the most out of your ClearZone snow melting system by talking to the pros at Warmzone. If you have any questions, feel free to pick up the phone and call Warmzone for additional radiant heat information or to learn how to best deal with extreme snow events. Our business is built on customer service, and we take great pride in being responsive to our customers needs, so don’t hesitate to contact an experienced radiant heat professional at Warmzone today (888.488.9276).

Tips for Successful Radiant Heat Installations

Installing a Radiant Snow Melting System

A radiant heated driveway is only as good as its installation, which is why it’s important to carefully follow best practices. As long as you remember a few simple tips, your snow melting system will be up and running in no time, and in good working order for years to come.

Installing heating cable in mats for heated driveway and sidewalk

This may seem like a no brainer, but it’s important to make sure you have the right products for your installation before you lay one foot of cable. Before every job, remember to check the voltage and the wattage of the heating cable (usually indicated on the box). If you’re unsure, you can always contact Warmzone for confirmation and/or recommendations.

A key to successful installations is to use a megohmmeter to perform OHM tests of the heat cable before removal from the box, during, and after the installation. This can save you some headaches in the long run and help to ensure a successful install. Be sure to document the results in order to establish the manufacturer’s warranty.

You have everything you need to construct the driveway of your dreams. Before you roll out any cable, here are a few rules to remember at installation time to prevent cable damage and get the most out of your system:

  • Never cut, cross or overlap the heating cable. Heat cable should not be altered under any circumstances, as it may cause overheating, resulting in damage to the cable.
  • Always embed the cable completely. Leave no air around the cable.
  • Make sure to embed the factory splice (where the heating cable and power lead meet).
  • Using a megohmmeter, perform OHM tests of the heat cable before removing the cable from the box, during the installation, and after the cable has been laid out.
  • Always run the cold lead in conduit (power lead for the heating cable) – it is not direct burial.

For asphalt applications, snow melting cables are normally covered by two inches of asphalt. To prevent heat damage, the asphalt should be allowed to cool to 220°F. (105°C.) before pouring directly onto the mats or cables. Ground sensors/tubes should not be exposed to temperatures above 176°F. (80°C.).

And, for a proper sensor installation, both ground and aerial activation devices require a clear, 360-degree “view” of the sky to allow snow to fall onto the sensor plate. If drifting is an issue where the snowmelt system is being installed, it’s best to install a ground sensor.

For more installation tips, read our helpful Installation Overview web pages:
Installing Snow Melting Systems
How to Install a Heated Driveway (in Concrete)

Of course, you should always read the Installation Manual and follow instructions. Or you can always call Warmzone at 888.488.9276 for on-the-job installation support and service.

Installing Radiant Heat in Asphalt

Asphalt Heated Driveways
When you combine the durability of asphalt with the automated snow removal capabilities of a radiant heated driveway, you get a winner. Asphalt heated driveways feature energy efficient, maintenance-free operation to keep your driveway safe and clear of snow and ice. If you’re considering a new asphalt driveway, a refresh, or even if you’re already enjoying the benefits of asphalt, there’s still time to include a radiant heated driveway in your plans.

Radiant heated driveway in Denver, Colorado.Asphalt and heated driveway systems go together for several reasons. First, they are durable, and engineered to withstand extreme heat, freezing and thawing. They also adapt easily to the environment. Asphalt pavements flex and “give” with significant settlements of frost heave, while Warmzone snow melting systems respond to the weather, operating only when conditions indicate that snow is on the way.

Applying hot asphalt over heat cable mats

ClearZone heat cable is specifically designed to withstand the hot temperatures of new asphalt construction jobs. In the case of a new driveway install, the asphalt is spread directly over the rugged ClearZone heat cable and then compacted. In one day, you can have a new driveway and a fully operational snow melting system. The embedded, fully automated, radiant heat snow melting system provides a discreet, reliable snowmelt solution for your driveway.

If you’ve already got an asphalt driveway, but it’s in sore need of repair, placing an overlay on the existing surface can be easily accomplished. As with the new pour, ClearZone snow melting cable can be installed just before the overlay. After a quick patch, a surface of about 2 inches is all you’ll really need for your driveway, and your new snow melting system installation.

If you’re not in the market for an asphalt refresh, no worries. Your existing driveway can be retrofitted with radiant heat. Grooves are cut in the existing asphalt, using asphalt saw-cut technology, and the heat cable is then placed in the freshly cut grooves. An epoxy topcoat is then applied as a sealant over the newly embedded cable. For additional traction and safety, a sand broadcast can be applied to the surface before the epoxy.

Fitted with a ClearZone snow melting system, an asphalt driveway is a cost-effective option for your home, and will last for years with only minimal maintenance. With radiant heat in the mix, you can also factor in all of the money you’ll save on snow removal services, snow melting chemicals and gas for your snow blower. And of course, there’s the gift of time. While your neighbors are out shoveling, snow blowing or tapping their watches waiting on their snow removal service, you’ll be in your car and on your way.

Need to do some more homework on this one? Learn more about the many options available by reviewing our website or call Warmzone today, at 888.488.9276. Receive a free quote for your radiant heating project.

Don’t Get Spooked by Winter Weather

Meet Winter Head on with a Radiant Snow Melting System

You’ve no doubt heard about El Niño this year and the predictions of all the so called “weather experts”. Well, the truth is, we can never fully know what Mother Nature will bring us each year. Sure, we make the most educated guess possible, but it’s still just that – a guess.

So don’t let the doomsday sayers intimidate you into believing you’ll be lucky to escape winter alive this year. Halloween may be coming, but there’s no reason to be spooked by winter too. Certainly, it’s good to be prepared and keep some important items on hand for those times when you can’t make it to the store for a day or two, but chances are that winter will come and go, and spring will greet you with a smile – just like it did last year, and the year before.

But how you choose to deal with winter is up to you. For homeowners with steep driveways or business owners with outdoor steps, ramps and busy customer access points, installing a heated driveway or snow melting system is a pretty obvious solution. Radiant snow melting systems are fully automated and operate only when needed. That means that regardless what day or time the snow falls, the systems will respond to keep your driveway or walks clear of ice and snow during all of winter’s cold assaults.

Using salt to melt snow damages lawns and nearby shrubs.

Many consumers have opted to forego stocking up on salt and other snow melting chemicals prior to winter. Some have even been swayed not only by the convenience and effectiveness of radiant heat, but because of the added benefit to the environment. Salt and snow melting chemicals, while somewhat convenient in melting snow, are not so friendly on the surrounding landscape. The adverse environmental effects of salt and snowmelt chemicals leave scars year round. When spring arrives, the bordering grass and shrubs often reveal the ugly scars from the repeated use of snow melting chemicals during the winter.

But the greatest advantages of radiant snow melting systems are their convenience, clean, silent operation and round-the-clock reliability. And electric snow melting systems are maintenance free, saving your back from shoveling and your head from aching.

Heated driveway with brick pavers

Warmzone radiant snow melting systems are easy to customize and install. In addition to offering the industry’s most reputable heat cable and system components, Warmzone also includes professional system design and installation support services. When you work with Warmzone, you are partnering with experienced professionals who see your project through – from start to end. After all, radiant heat is a considerable investment in your home, so it makes sense to deal with the best, most trusted experts in the field.

Contact a radiant heat professional at Warmzone today (888.488.9276). Warmzone also offers free installation training. For more information about our training courses, call us at 801.948.7545.

Avoid These Common Installation Mistakes!

Important Do’s and Dont’s when Installing Radiant Heat

Record Resistance Values in Warranty Card – First and foremost, keep your warranty valid by following the installation instructions and using a megohmmeter to measure the cable readings before, during and after the installation process as outlined. (The megohmmeter is a special type of ohmmeter used to measure the electrical resistance of insulators.) Measuring the cable’s ohm reading during the installation process provides the required warranty information and can reveal if any cable has been damaged during the install.

 ► Upon receiving the heat cable, check the ohm value shown on the cable tag. Write this figure in the space provided on the warranty card.
 ► Measure the ohm reading of the cable and record the results in the space provided on the warranty card.
 ► Lay the cable out and secure it so that it is ready to be embedded (under concrete, asphalt or pavers). Measure the cable’s ohm reading prior to being embedded. Record this value in the space provided on the warranty card.
 ► Apply the top layer and measure the ohm reading. Record the results in the space provided on the warranty card.
Cable Installation Tips
 ► Always maintain proper cable spacing. (Cables should be spaced no less than 2 inches apart (center-to-center) and no more than 4 inches, center to center. Minimum spacing is 2 inches. Maximum cable spacing is 4 inches.)
 ► Never allow the cables to cross or touch each other.
 ► Never cut the heating cable.
 ► In concrete and asphalt applications, the installed heating cable should be 2 inches from the finished surface. (The heating cable should never be resting on the ground prior to the pour.)
 ► Never run heating cable through an expansion joint. (Make sure the joint is tooled or cut NO deeper than 1¼-inches. The cable must be ¾ to 1-inch below the bottom of the joint.)
 ► Do not flex or strain the cable splice by pulling on the cable. All of the cable must be embedded, including the entire splice and 6-inches of cold lead.
 ► Avoid kinking or bending the cable sharply (which causes the insulation to “bubble” and pull away from the cable).
 ► When installing heat cable in paver applications, make certain that there is ½-inch of compacted paver sand or stone dust on top of the heating cables or mats. (Cables must be completely encased with no air gaps.)

Radiant heat warranty card
      Warranty card for snow melting system.

Do not hesitate to take advantage of Warmzone’s personal installation support services. We have dedicated experts on hand to assist installers, so if you have any questions during the installation process, our electricians and designers are happy to assist you. Warmzone also offers free installation training, both in-house as well as training via web seminar. It is our goal to ensure that our customers are happy and that each system is installed correctly and performing as intended.

Proper Installation Techniques

Installation Tips for Installing an Electric Snow Melting System

Winter is supposed to be colder and snowier than ever this year. If you’re living in the snow belt, you can meet the snowy weather with a solution that’s sure to make your winter much more bearable. From installing radiant heated floors to heated driveways and roofs, Warmzone makes the process of tackling a radiant heating project much easier.

Heated driveway with four heated tire tracks

Before installing any heat cable, it’s important to know the ins and outs of radiant heat installation to maximize the performance of your system and ensure that the warranty remains valid. In addition to Warmzone’s free consultation and installation support, a wealth of information is also available online in Warmzone’s radiant resource center, where you can find articles, installation manuals and related information.

Basic Tips for Installing Snow Melting System
Cable Care – Extreme care must be used to ensure the cables/mats are not damaged when using sharp tools, wheelbarrows, shovels, rakes or heavy machinery.

Check Supply Voltage – Make sure that the supply voltage matches the voltage required for your specific snowmelt product.

Measure Cable Resistance – Remember to always measure, verify and record the actual resistance of the heating element throughout the installation process:
1.  Out of the box
2.  After laying the cable out
3.  After applying the surface material

Never cut the Heat CableHeat cable is resistance cable. When it is shortened it increases the wattage per foot of the cable. Altering the cable in this way can void the warranty and cause the heat cable to fail due to over-temperature.

Laying out Heating Mats – Unroll the heating mat on to the area you want to heat. Fasten the heating mat to the mesh reinforcement using tie-wraps, zip ties or cable strapping. Do not cause the heating cable of the mat to be compressed or strained.

Do not let Cables Touch – Never allow the heating elements to cross, overlap or touch.

Embed the Cable – Whether you’re installing in concrete, asphalt or pavers, make sure that the cable is completely embedded under the surface. If uncovered, it can malfunction in the area of exposure.

Embed the Power Lead – The power lead/heating cable splice and at least 6 inches of the power lead must also be embedded in the paved surface. The remaining power lead should be run through a conduit.

Making Turns with MatsHeating mats can be altered to accommodate drains, obstructions or bends in the layout. To make turns or alter the spacing of the heating cables in mats, only cut the tape – NOT the heating cable.

Ground Sensor Placement – The ground sensor must be placed between the heating cables within the heated area at least 3.3 feet (1 m) from the edge of the area. A minimum distance of 0.41 inches (1 cm) should be maintained between the sensor tube and the heating cable.

Aerial Snow Sensor PlacementAerial sensors should not be placed under eaves but where there is direct exposure to the open sky. Avoid areas that will have delayed or false readings.

Remember, Warmzone includes free installation support with your heated driveway system, so if you have any questions, call a radiant heat expert at 801.948.7577.

The Makings of an Industry Leader

Unmatched Customer Services and Proven Radiant Heat Solutions

What does it take to become an industry leader in the radiant heat business? As an industry leader of radiant heat solutions, Warmzone has set the gold standard. Built on top quality products, superior customer service and solid manufacturer warranties, Warmzone is always innovating, testing and developing new and better products for customers.

Snow melting mats and cable being installed for heated paver driveway

Of course, shopping Warmzone gives customers the assurance they are buying the most proven and advanced radiant snow melting solutions, at truly competitive prices. Warmzone has been around for a long time, and has forged relationships with radiant heat manufacturers and installers across the country. They also maintain bragging rights to an impressive group of in-house radiant heat consultants, staffers who have been entrenched in their business with a strong command of everything radiant heat related.

Warmzone holds its products to ASHREA industry standards, creating a good foundation for great radiant heat solutions. Adhering to these standards is all about breaking it down regionally—examining the weather, climate, average snowfall, temperatures, and other factors that play a role in overall system design to ensure each system is optimized for its location. Warmzone designs custom systems in accordance with these standards for consumers throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Warmzone further differentiates itself with outstanding customer service. From free installation training to personal, expert installation support, Warmzone is there every step of the way to assist you through the installation process. Systems are designed to meets customers’ snow melting and budget needs. And the wide selection of products and systems ensures each customer will receive the ideal solution for their snow melting needs.

Large heated paver driveway

Offering complementary system design services and installation support are other reasons why builders continually deal with Warmzone. Warmzone radiant heat experts thoughtfully consider all of their customers’ system requirements to design systems on a case by case basis. Customers receive a detailed layout (AutoCAD if requested) that includes critical power requirements and specs prior to any installation. This helps to ensure that there are no “surprise” expenses and that your system is installed correctly.

There’s a whole lot more to talk about, but one thing is clear—Warmzone continues to stand on its own as an industry leader in radiant heat solutions for both residential and commercial customers. For the most innovative radiant heat systems, free installation training, helpful customer support, comprehensive design and installation services, contact Warmzone at 888.488.9276.

Complete Installation Support Services

Warmzone Installer Network and Installation Services: Dedicated Installation Support Staff

If you’re going to do your radiant heat installation, do it right and go with the best in the business. Make it easy on yourself by going with Warmzone. They have an impressive selection of proven radiant heat solutions for residential and commercial projects. In addition this vast selection of top-rated products, they have forged relationships with radiant heat installation professionals across the country, and can bring you the service and support you need to get your project completed on time and within your budget.

Heated driveway

Thumbing through the phonebook can be hit or miss when it comes to the quality of radiant heat installation services you may find. Without a recommendation, it’s difficult to recognize the level of competence you are dealing with, or if you do, whether or not you can count on a professional to get the job done on time and within budget. Warmzone recognizes that a radiant heat system is only as good as its installation. To help connect you with the right professional for the job, they have created a large network of experienced Preferred Installation Providers (PIP). To ensure their success on the job, Warmzone provides ongoing training for construction professionals, and installation support for all of its customers. So you benefit from the peace of mind that comes with getting your radiant heat installation done correctly the first time.

Another boon for customers is Warmzone’s complete design and engineering services. They’re provided with every Warmzone radiant heat system. Once you give them your project specifications, Warmzone can render a computer generated drawing for you. You’ll know the exact power needs and performance expectations going into your radiant heat installation, without the added hassle or expense of finding and hiring a contractor on your own. To further support you, Warmzone.com has created a complete library of online installation support information including manuals, guides, illustrations, videos and more for your projects, all available for immediate download free of charge, 24/7.

At Warmzone, the goal is to conveniently provide clear information through their website. Partnering with Warmzone on a project gives you access to deep radiant heat specialists who are happy to address any concerns you may have about your radiant heat installation as they arise. Their consultants will work with you and guide you to the ideal system for your needs. They’ll give you sincere, non-biased recommendations based on your requirements and what makes the most sense, from a small remodeling project to a large commercial construction project.

Above all else, Warmzone stays with you throughout the purchase and installation process to make sure that your system is performing up to expectations and that you are happy. Warmzone takes great pride in their commitment to delivering top-notch customer service. But the real proof lies in the great reviews Warmzone receives from its devoted customers.

When you work with Warmzone, you are never alone. With a wide product selection, efficient system design, a large network of experienced installers, and expert installation support, Warmzone makes it easy! Call 888.488.9276 to find out more.

Dedicated Installation Support Staff and Network of Experienced Installers

Unlike most other providers, Warmzone has a dedicated staff of expert electricians, designers, and engineers on hand to assist you throughout the installation process. Furthermore, Warmzone maintains relationships with a large network of experienced installers to further ensure proper, hassle-free installation. In other words, Warmzone is committed to its customers and installers throughout the entire purchase, design, and installation process. You simply won’t find a more dedicated, accommodating and professional staff to work with.

Dad and baby on heated floor

If you are looking to install heated floors, a heated driveway or a roof deicing system, Warmzone offers one of the largest selections of top industry products to best meet your specific heating (and budget) needs. To further bolster peace of mind, Warmzone can refer to its network of experienced radiant heat installation professionals and recommend an installer you can trust. But Warmzone doesn’t leave at this point. Their seasoned electricians and designers will continue to be available to your installer to assist whenever needed. Warmzone stays with you to ensure that the installation process goes smoothly and that your system is performing as advertised.

While the correct installation of your radiant heat system is first and foremost, the other key factor lies in the quality of the products and design of the system. Warmzone constantly researches and tests the latest products to ensure that their vast selection includes only the industry’s most proven, reliable products. Heating elements include low and line-voltage heat cable, flexible polymer elements, durable self-regulating heat cable, thin FilmHeat, and even hydronic radiant heating products.

Besides high quality products at competitive prices, Warmzone provides unmatched customer service and complete design and engineering services along with expert installation support. Upon request, your radiant heat solution will come with a detailed, professional system design. Basically, you’ll know all the specs and power needs as well as performance expectations prior to any installation. Warmzone offers one of the most informative radiant heat websites around, and you can access a complete online library of installation support information including manuals, product guides, illustrations, installation videos, and more for your projects. It’s free and available whenever you need it.

Your Network of Experienced Radiant Heat Installers

Finding the right contractor to install your radiant heat system can be a risky proposition. Many contractors are just getting up to speed on radiant heat. Take heart—if you’re looking for help with your radiant heat installation, you don’t have to go it alone. Warmzone has a robust network of experienced installers who have established a reputation of trust. Warmzone maintains relationship with these installers and have worked with them in the past, so the trepidation of finding a qualified installer you can trust is virtually eliminated. Warmzone can find the ideal installer for you, whether you’re installing heated floors, roof deicing or a heated driveway system. Installers in Warmzone’s network are familiar with installing Warmzone products and have proven themselves with prior installation projects.

Like any home improvement project, radiant heat installation has its challenges. But with a wide product selection, professional system design services, a network of experienced installers and a dedicated installation support staff, Warmzone makes it easy for homeowners and contractors alike! Call 888.488.9276, and install your radiant heat system with confidence.

Make Every Dollar Count with Radiant Heated Driveways

You might be like many of us and are afraid to even say the word recession. If we say it then we’ll have to admit it’s really here and our spending choices have to be even more prudent. Economic downturns such as the one we find ourselves elbow deep in, dictate wiser, well-researched and more cost-effective purchases. The weak dollar and tighter credit allowances no longer allow the penny-pinching consumer the luxury of frivolous spending sprees. Each purchase needs to count and provide an investment for the future.

A cost-effective investment and smart way to add value to your home is by installing a heated driveway (radiant snow melting system). Once installed, an affordable radiant heated driveway provides low operation costs in the long run, helping you lower your bottom line on home expenses. A heated driveway with an area of 300 square feet operates for under 50-cents per continuous hour of operation. Snow melting generally only takes a few hours to clear your driveway when a storm hits.

Heated tire tracks in residential concrete heated driveway

Driveway heating is an investment that has demonstrated and visible results. Not only does it allow you some free time with your family – not to mention saving your back from shoveling duties – but it is a proven way to protect the life of grass and surrounding vegetation by eliminating the use of salt and harsh snow melting chemicals. It also extends the life of your driveway by defending it from chemicals and other traditional abrasive snow removal methods.

Radiant heated driveways are fully automated so you can stay inside where it’s warm and count the dollars you are saving as you watch the snow fall. An automatic snow sensor signals the snowmelt system’s controller when precipitation is detected and temperatures are below 39° Fahrenheit. The controller then sends power to the embedded heat cable, rapidly warming the driveway and keeping it clear of snow and ice. The system shuts off automatically after the storm. Electric radiant snow melting systems have an extremely fast response time, operate silently, and are maintenance free – and there are several options to choose from when considering a radiant snow melting system. There’s really no better, or easier way to keep your driveway clear of snow and ice during the winter than with a radiant heated snow melting system.

So, instead of shoveling for hours after a Nor’easter or powerful lake effect storm, you can spend time relaxing inside with your family. The peace of mind that comes with making a smart purchase is invaluable right now. We all look for ways to ride out recessions and worrisome economic climates, but you can still enjoy some of the finer things in life by making wise investments in quality products.

Installing a Heated Tile Floor (Part II)

(NOTE: This article is intended only as a general guide for installing a heated floor. For detailed installation instructions, refer to your system’s installation manual. Warmzone also offers an abundance of radiant heat documentation, illustrations, and installation guides online for your convenience.)

If you are replacing your existing floor with a new, radiant heated tile floor, then naturally, step one is to tear out the old floor surface. (In many cases, you can actually install a heated floor over an existing tile surface, but that often presents problems with door clearances and what not, so for simplicity, we’ll stick to removing the old floor.) Once your old surface is removed, make sure you have no sharp objects protruding from the subfloor and clear the surface of all dirt and dust. Next, lay out your ComfortTile heating element.

Cutting mesh backing to make turns with CT mats

The ComfortTile heating mats feature heat cable that is pre-spaced and attached to an adhesive-backed fiberglass mesh that can be easily rolled out during installation. To make turns when laying out the floor heating mats, simply cut the mesh backing and turn the mat accordingly, (see photo). Never cut or damage the heat cable.

When installing the heat cable off the spool, the cable is secured to the floor using thin metal strips (cable straps) that are nailed or screwed to the floor. These straps have small tabs in them where the heat cable is placed. Simply bend the tab over the cable to secure it.

Thinset can be applied directly over heat cable

To install the floor sensor, cut a channel approximately 10 mm (¼-½-inch) deep and about an inch wide in the wall and about 3½ feet out into the subfloor. (This groove runs from the wall-mounted thermostat down to the heat cable in the floor.) Glue the flex pipe for the sensor into this channel and seal the end of the pipe with a piece of tape. Run the wire from the floor sensor up to the thermostat. (It is recommended to have a qualified electrician complete the floor heating system’s wiring.)

Once the cable and sensor are secured, you can install the tile. Using a large notched trowel, apply thinset directly over the heat cable. Another method is to pour a layer of self-leveling lightweight concrete over the heating mats. After that sets, simply apply the tile on the surface. This method is usually preferred among tile setters as it offers more protection for the heating cables when you are installing the tile.

We live in an age of available information for do it yourself people. Imagine the difference you can make in transforming that cold floor into one of extreme comfort. A small radiant heated floor project could be done in a day or two, but the comfort will last a lifetime.

ComfortTile floor heating systems from Warmzone are among the best in the industry and will provide you with reliable, energy-efficient, maintenance-free operation. You’ll not only increase your comfort, but the value of your home as well.