Category Archives: Professionals

Retrofit Snow Melting: What to Expect

Heating an existing driveway or sidewalk is possible via a retrofit installation. While we have written a fair amount about this option elsewhere, this is intended to provide a basic overview of the retrofit installation process and what to expect.

Prepare for Controls and Panels

Determine where your controls will be installed. If you are heating a driveway we recommend somewhere near the front of your garage to minimize the distance to the heated area. Once this is determined you will need to have an electrical contractor bring power from your distribution panel to the control unit or relay panel. Power will also need to be provided for any sensors, timers, or other activation devices.

Design and Mark Layout

Once you have determined the area of the driveway you would like to heat, you can begin planning the layout of the heating cables. Keep in mind the cables are installed in loops and both ends should come back to your control unit or relay panel. We recommend using a chalk line to mark the cable layout on the surface to be heated. The spacing between runs of cable will be determined by the product you choose and the heat density you wish to provide. This information can be found on the bid you receive from our experts. When finished, be sure to measure your layout and verify the lengths match the cables you are planning to install.

Saw Cuts

With the layout marked with the chalk line you are read to cut the grooves for the heating cable. If you are using Hott-Wire, the cuts will be ⅜” wide and 1 ½” deep. If you are installing Tuff Cable, the grooves will be ¼” wide and 1” deep. You should also make saw cuts for the cold leads to return to your control unit or relay panel. To avoid damaging the cables, a hammer drill should be used to knock out the corners of your grooves. Cutting concrete and asphalt makes a big mess. You will want to power wash the area, taking care to remove debris from the grooves and surrounding area. The area should then be allowed to dry completely before installing the cables.

Installing the Cables

The Hott-Wire or Tuff Cable can now be installed in the grooves. The cable is installed along the bottom of the grooves in the pattern you previously designed. Once the cables are in place, a foam backer rod is installed over the cable and then the saw cuts are filled with the appropriate sealant for your project.

Finishing Touches

With the cable installed, an electrician can make the final connections to the control unit or relay panel. Activation devices will need to be installed and connected to the system. Throughout the installation remember to follow the testing procedures outlined in the installation manual. This ensures the cable is properly functioning and not damaged during installation. The results of these tests should be recorded in the manual that came with your system.

Snow Melting Solutions: Good, Better, Best

When discussing the various solutions for snow melting, heated driveways, and sidewalks our experts often use the terms “Good, Better, or Best” to describe the options. With Tuff Cable, Hott-Wire, and SnowMeltz each having their own strengths, join us for a look at what makes them good, better, or best.

Good – SnowMeltz

Our line of preconfigured SnowMeltz mats offer a DIY friendly solution to heated driveways and sidewalks. These mats are designed to heat specific sized areas and roll out for a simple installation. They offer a 10 year warranty. 

Due to the cut and turn installation of SnowMeltz mats, they can be utilized in a variety of applications. Jumpers are provided for protecting the mats when they cross crack control joints in new pour concrete. The mats are especially convenient for installing beneath pavers or asphalt where planning for and working around concrete joints is not necessary.

Better – Hott-Wire

Mineral Insulated Hott-Wire provides a robust, free flowing heating cable with the ability to generate high heat outputs for effective performance in any climate. Hott-Wire comes in a variety of preconfigured lengths, varying the spacing allows for cables to be customized to heat various areas at desired heating outputs. Custom cables can be manufactured to meet projects needs. Hott-Wire includes a 10 year warranty.

As a free flowing cable, Hott-Wire offers additional flexibility in installations, allowing for heating tricky areas or working around concrete joints. This allows for Hott-Wire to be more customized than mat systems. Additionally, the free flowing cable can be installed in a retrofit application via sawcuts made in existing surfaces.

Hott-Wire can be installed in a variety of surfaces. It’s unique construction makes it well suited to installation in new pour asphalt, where it handles the heat well and requires less accommodations.

Best – Tuff Cable

Tuff Cable is a unique low voltage heating system used in a variety of applications. Tuff Cable’s greatest strength is it’s versatility, allowing for unique, customized solutions to even the trickiest of snow melting challenges. The low voltage heating element demonstrates great longevity and has a 25 year warranty, in addition it is easily repaired if the worst happens.

Tuff Cable uses a unique jumper system to protect the cable when it crosses concrete joints. Different from the jumpers used in Hott-Wire and SnowMeltz installations, the Tuff Cable jumpers are splice into the cable, meaning the heating element never crosses a joint.

Low voltage Tuff Cable is cut to length in the field, making it very installer friendly. There is no need to worry about coming up short on a presized cable or trying to find room for extra heating mat.

Like Hott-Wire, Tuff Cable can be retrofit into existing surfaces. This allows for heating existing areas without demolition.

To learn more about how Hott-Wire and Tuff Cable compare, check out this detailed article.

Roof Deicing for your Design-Build Project

For architects and engineers working on design-build projects, expert help can make all of the difference in providing effective solutions for the end user. When it comes to radiant heating options for snow melting, interior heating, and roof deicing, you can’t beat the Warmquest team for assistance.

Roof deicing is a critical and often overlooked element in projects. For truly lasting roof deicing solutions, our unique under roof deicing systems are the best option on the market.

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RCI Show 2017

RCIWarmquest is pleased to be exhibiting at the the 32nd Annual RCI International Convention and Trade Show in Anaheim, CA. The RCI show brings together roofing and waterproofing professionals and has always been a great experience for our team.

This years RCI show is March 18th and 19th. The Warmquest team will be set up at booth #736 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Come by for a look at our unique line of invisible roof deicing systems or to discuss snow melting and floor warming.

Warmquest provides electric radiant heating solutions to projects across worldwide. Our unique line of products includes the only systems listed for deicing beneath roofing materials. We also provide exterior snow melting and interior floor and space heating products. With decades of expertise the Warmquest team can provide design and installation assistance for any commercial, industrial, government or residential project.

Pipe Freeze Protection

Pipe HeatingElectric radiant heat has many applications, interior heating, exterior snow and ice prevention and almost limitless project specific applications. One use that may not be as flashy as heated driveways and ice free roofs, but nevertheless has critical uses is pipe freeze protection.

If you have ever had a pipe freeze in your home than you can appreciate the benefits of pipe trace heating. There is a large need for freeze protection at commercial and industrial facilities featuring large complex systems of pipes and drains.

Warmquest utilizes Out-Pipe, an industrial grade self-regulating cable for pipe warming. This 5 watt cable features a 10 year warranty and provides a long lasting, flexible solution to freeze protection. Self-regulating cable adapts to ambient air temperature, producing more heat as the air around it gets colder. This makes it the perfect heating element for freeze protection. As temperatures drop and the liquid in pipes is threatened with freezing, the cable produces additional heat to keep things flowing.

Out-Pipe self-regulating cable is cut to length in the field, making for easy and flexible installation. Warmquest also supplies a variety of accessories to complete any system. Our team of professionals can design a customized system for any project large or small in order to keep things flowing.

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