Category Archives: Snow Melting

Switches, Sensors, and Timers- Activation Options for Snow Melting and Roof Deicing Systems

When installing Snow Melting or Roof Deicing systems, there are a number of options for activation available. Do you need an automated sensor or will a manual timer work? Do you want the system activated when it snows or just when it is cold? Should you use a pavement mounted or an aerial sensor? With all the options available, let’s take a look at which options Warmquest recommends for various solutions.

Manual Timers
Timers and other manual switches are recommended with most of our systems. These options are great for pairing with an automated sensor to provide the option to manually activate the system if needed.

A manual switch may be sufficient on its own for activating a system in a less critical area. If you would be alright with waking up in the morning to a snow covered driveway or arriving at the office and finding snow built up from an unexpected storm then a manual timer will likely suffice. It is important to note that accumulated snow acts as an insulator and is harder to melt than falling snow.

Temperature Sensors
Temperature sensors are most commonly used in conjunction with our roof deicing systems. Particularly for commercial and other critical areas, a temperature sensor will operate the system whenever the temperature is below a configurable temperature point. This is useful for roof deicing as ice dams are frequently caused by snow melting and refreezing on the cold roof.

Some sensor models also have a temperature floor which turns the system off when it is below a set point, or too cold for melt to occur. This allows our systems to be more efficient.

Snow Sensors
Combination temperature and moisture sensors are our recommendation for most snow melting applications. These sensors activate a system when the temperature falls below a set point and moisture is detected on the sensor head. This ensures the snow melting system will run during a storm and for a configurable amount of time after.

When selecting a snow sensor, you have several options. The most common distinction is whether the sensor is aerial mounted or embedded in the pavement. Our pavement mounted sensors offer the most flexibility, with the controls for configuring the sensor mounted separately from the sensor head. This allows the controls to be configured from indoors.

Aerial mounted snow sensors typically mount along the roof eave, in a clear area where they will catch falling snow. This means to avoid trees, overhangs, and any other obstacle that could prevent the sensor from activating.

We advise you discuss your project goals and needs with a Warmquest expert to decide on the best activation option for your system. With more options available all the time, including wi-fi and other smart home technologies, Warmquest can provide a solution tailored to your project.

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.

Warmquest Now Carries SnowMeltz Heated Driveway Mats

We are excited to announce the latest product offering by Warmquest. Our SnowMeltz snow melting mats provide an additional option for those looking to melt snow and ice on concrete, asphalt, or paver surfaces.

Each mat consists of a constant wattage heating cable laid out in a pre-spaced mat form. SnowMeltz mats are easily rolled out and installed, providing a DIY friendly solution for heated driveways, sidewalks, entryways, ramps and other key areas. These mats operate on 208V/240V/277V power and are available in 37 or 50 W/Sq. Ft. watt densities. Mats are available in a variety of lengths for covering various square footages.

SnowMeltz mats can be paired with any of our activation and sensor options to create an automated system to keep snow and ice at bay all winter long. The mats will also utilize our jumper system to provide added protection in concrete joints.

With the addition of SnowMeltz to our line of snow melting products, consumers will have a Good (SnowMeltz), Better (Hott-Wire), and Best (Tuff Cable) option for their snow melting projects. For pricing information and assistance in developing a customized solution for your snow melting needs, please contact our experts at 877-877-4724.

Tuff Cable or Hott-Wire: Choosing the Best Snow Melting System for Your Project

Warmquest is pleased to offer two of the finest snow melting solutions on the market. Our Tuff Cable and Hott-Wire products have been installed worldwide, providing snow and ice melting on government, commercial, industrial, and residential projects.

Let’s take a look at the differences between these cables.

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Heated Decks: A Look at the Options

heateddeckLooking to heat your deck? You aren’t alone. We receive many calls seeking the best snow melting solution for many types of decks. From clearing an entire surface to providing a path to a barbecue or hot tub, snow melting systems create year round access.

Let’s take a look at some of the best deck heating solutions and approaches.

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