Tag Archives: Radiant heat installation

How to Avoid Common Heated Driveway Installation Mistakes

Take Advantage of ProLine’s Customer Services

Radiant snow melting systems offer a clean, efficient way to keep driveways, sidewalks, steps, ramps, and more free of snow and ice during the cold winter months. These automated systems are designed to operate only when needed. The systems utilize advanced sensors that detect temperature and precipitation, so when weather conditions warrant, the system turns on. The driveway (or other surface) is then warmed to prevent snow accumulation. An “after-run” function keeps the system on for a short time after the snowstorm to dry the area and prevent slick sheets of ice from forming.

Installing these systems is relatively simple; however, there are still some common mistakes made by installers. Most of these mistakes can be avoided by taking advantage of ProLine’s free training and installation support services. There are also several other steps you can take to avoid common blunders and ensure a timely, proper installation so that your radiant heating system meets all your expectations.

Steps to Ensure a Proper Installation

The Number One Way to Limit (or eliminate) Mistakes is to Take Advantage of ProLine’s Industry Leading Support Services

One of the biggest mistakes that installers make is not taking the free installation training course. ProLine training features an experienced instructor who will cover all the aspects of your installation, so you can proceed with confidence. This is the best way to gain an understanding of the basics of installing automated snow melting systems, and can help you avoid making mistakes. The courses are available online via web conference and are typically completed in less than an hour. However, you can stop at any time during the training and ask your instructor questions about your installation.

Heated paver sidewalk

Unlike other wholesale providers, ProLine also provides professional system design and layout services (in addition to the free training). This detailed layout of the system serves as a road map for installers. Referring to this throughout the installation will certainly help to limit installation mistakes. The system design includes the precise layout and materials of the system as well as the proper load calculations, breaker sizes, number of breakers, and so on.

ProLine’s radiant heat products and system components are second to none; however, even the best components cannot overcome improper installation techniques. Take advantage of the free training, system design, and other support services offered by ProLine. ProLine’s tech support staff is the best in the business, and we stand ready to assist you at any time during the installation. For more information, call ProLine today at 866-676-9276.

Avoid Making These Common Installation Mistakes

Proper Spacing: Maintain proper cable spacing and never allow the heat cable to cross or touch. Unfortunately, violating this “spacing rule” is all too common. The minimum cable spacing is 2-inches. If the cables are closer than 2-inches this can cause it to overheat and fail.

Never cut the cable: To make turns with the mats, cut the tape backing and turn the mat accordingly.

Periodically Test the Heat Cable During the Installation. Follow the instructions in the installation manual and conduct OHM tests of the cable before and throughout the installation process. Write the results on the warranty card provided. (This helps to ensure that your warranty remains valid.)

Check Your Components Upon Receipt: Prior to Beginning the Installation, check to make sure you received all the correct components and heat cable. Prior to applying the concrete, asphalt or pavers, lay your heat cable out in the area to be heated to ensure that 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.

Embed the Splice and 6-inches of the Power Lead: 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: Never mount the sensor next to a wall or someplace where it is not exposed to the weather. Install your aerial-mount sensor above the roof line. The system’s activation device 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: Avoid using sharp metal trowels and shovels when tamping or spreading the concrete over the radiant heating cable. Be very careful to avoid damaging the snow melting cable.

Use Supports to Prevent the Heat Cable from Resting on the Ground During the Concrete Pour: Heat cable should be elevated so that it remains within about 2-inches of the completed driveway surface. Small plastic Mesh-Ups® support chairs can be fastened to the remesh to provide support and prevent the heat cable from being pushed to the ground.

To learn more about radiant heat, or our support services, call ProLine today at 866-676-9276 today.

The Many Responsibilities of General Contractors

Helping to Ease the Load for General Contractors

The duties and responsibilities of a general contractor (GC) are enormous, to say the least. The necessary expertise includes reviewing and producing project-specific documents and architectural drawings as well as hands-on construction and project management skills. The GC is responsible for all aspects of a construction project and coordinates all the facets of a wide range of commercial and residential construction projects.

Radiant snow melting system installed in a loading ramp

After reviewing upcoming projects, the GC begins the complex process of preparing the proposal and other necessary documents for the client while determining the material needs and hiring the appropriate subcontractors to successfully complete specialized aspects of the project in the time frame provided.

The success of the contractor’s business is dependent on acquiring the building materials that best meet the quality demands and client’s budget criteria as well as hiring competent subcontractors who have proven to deliver quality work in a timely manner. It is the general contractor who is ultimately responsible for every aspect of a construction project, so teaming up with the right material suppliers and subcontractors is vital to the success of the project, the satisfaction of the customer, and reputation of the contractor.

Finding the right suppliers and subcontractors can be a time consuming venture, so most contractors stick to using those whom they’ve worked with before and have proven track records. Still, the most successful contractors always keep an eye open for better prices, workmanship and turnaround.

In the construction industry, word of mouth carries a lot weight, and many contractors benefit by asking other building professionals about their experiences with suppliers or subcontractors. Looking for ways to continually improve one’s business is the hallmark of successful companies. In today’s competitive market, the businesses that survive – and flourish – are those that explore options and consistently seek to optimize efficiency or save money and time without sacrificing quality. And most builders agree that the most effective way to explore options is through word of mouth recommendations.

While most contractors utilize familiar subcontractors for the standard construction needs of a project (framing, roofing, plumbing, etc.), the “less-routine” aspects of some construction jobs require expertise in which some GCs are less familiar. For example, not all contractors are experienced with radiant heat installations, so finding a proven supplier of radiant heat products may pose some unique challenges. As simple as it may sound to find a provider of radiant heat products, the discrepancies between companies can be dramatic, and oftentimes those discrepancies are not discovered until after the contract is signed, or after installation. And who takes the heat for an installation gone wrong?  The general contractor. Fortunately however, there are some telling indicators when it comes to comparing radiant heat companies, and it is this set of indicators that contractors should familiarize themselves with. In addition to word of mouth, use these criteria when evaluating various radiant heat providers.

Installation Support Services by a Dedicated Staff of Technical Experts – Many companies tout their technical services, when in fact, if installers are fortunate enough to talk to someone for technical support during the installation process, they’re likely speaking with a salesperson and not an electrical expert or seasoned installation professional.

ProLine backs up its products with a dedicated support staff. These technical experts understand all the layout and electrical aspects of a radiant heat installation and will take the time necessary to walk you through any issues you may have during the installation.

Detailed System Design and Layout – The top radiant heat companies provide customers with comprehensive system design drawings. These professional layouts are computer assisted drawings (CADs) that should contain a detailed layout of the heat cable, cold lead and contactor panel. The document should also identify the proper layout and materials, load calculations, breaker sizes, and number of breakers. Essentially, all the technical specs and installation information should be contained in the document. When working with an industry leader, customers will understand how the automated system works and how it is expected to perform prior to any installation taking place.

Wide Selection of Products – Check the product lines to make sure that products are available from more than just one manufacturer. You want to be able to select the best solution for your specific radiant heat needs.

Making turns with heating mats

Installation Training – ProLine Radiant is one of the few – if not the only – radiant heat companies that offers several installation training courses – at no cost! To take a free course, customers can call or signup on ProLine’s website. Courses can be attended in person at ProLine Radiant’s headquarters in Utah or attend online via WebEx.

ProLine Radiant is an established radiant heat provider with a proven track record. Contact us today to learn more at 866.676.9276.

ASHRAE Standards – A Key to Customer Satisfaction

Designing Radiant Heat Systems that Meet the Specific Needs of Your Customers

Purchasing snow melting systems during early spring is usually a great way to save money. But unless you’re dealing with a radiant heat solutions provider that designs systems to meet ASHRAE standards, you’re not going to be able to enjoy your savings for long. And you’re not going to be able to make your customers happy in the long haul either.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is an organization committed to advancing the arts and sciences of heating, ventilating, air conditioning and refrigerating to serve humanity and promote a sustainable world. A radiant heat system that is designed and built according to ASHRAE standards means that it is optimized to meet the specific needs of your customers. ASHRAE standards were established to address these variances to optimize system performance for radiant heat. If you want the best snow melting system, it’s imperative that you choose a radiant heat solutions provider that adheres to ASHRAE Standards.

What does this really mean to your consumers?

Adhering to ASHRAE standards means designing snow melting systems specific to the region―looking at the regional climate, average snowfall, temperatures, and other important factors to make sure a system is going to work well for a particular location. ProLine designs custom systems in accordance with ASHRAE standards. Choosing ProLine, then, is a great way to get the best possible radiant heated snow melting solution for your customers. ProLine further makes installing radiant heat easy by including personal installation support, custom system design, and even free installation training.

Asphalt driveway with heated tire tracks

ProLine snowmelt systems and designers are among the best in the industry. ProLine professionals are prepared to help you find the ideal radiant heated driveway for your customer, at a price within their budget, yet meets their snow melting needs.

And with every ProLine Radiant purchase, you also get free consultation, complete design services and installation support. ProLine experts will take a look at your requirements and assess your situation to come up with the best snow melting solution for your driveway, walkways, gutters or roof. You’ll receive a system with the best performance for your customer and their budget. And ProLine will be available during the installation if you need any assistance during the installation process.

When it comes to a snow melting solution for your home, don’t lower your standards. Contact ProLine at 866.676.9276 for the best possible radiant heat solution.

Radiant Snow Melting Systems – Versatile and Easy to Customize

Have you surveyed your existing driveway with the fear that radiant heat is simply not an option? No matter what your circumstances, whether it be your driveway type, budgetary constraints or your project goals, don’t pull the plug on your dream driveway until you speak with the professionals at ProLine Radiant. You’ll discover the versatility of radiant heat makes it possible to have the driveway of your dreams.

Nowadays, consumers building homes often consider installing a snow melting solution. Both electric or hydronic radiant heat systems can be custom designed. The difference between electric and hydronic systems is fairly simple. For electric heat, as you might already suspect, specially designed electric heat cable is installed in the driveway, evenly radiating warmth up to the surface of your driveway to quickly melt ice and snow. Hydronic heat, however, utilizes a boiler and pumps, heating the water and then pumping it through a network of Pex tubing with similar results.

A great benefit of radiant heated driveways is that they are fully automated and maintenance free. The systems are regulated by either an aerial or ground-mount snow sensor that detects optimal conditions for snow, including changes in air pressure, moisture and temperature. When conditions warrant, the sensor signals the master control unit that sends power to the heating element to warm the driveway. After the storm, the system shuts off automatically.

With both systems, most often the heating element (whether heat cable or Pex tubing) is laid out in a serpentine pattern to cover the area of your driveway, followed by pavers or an asphalt / concrete pour to seal the deal. But if you’re not in the market for a new driveway, and crave the convenience of a radiant heated snow melting system, you’re anything but out of luck.

No matter what your situation, ProLine Radiant will custom design a system for you. Electric radiant heat systems are versatile and durable enough to be installed in virtually any type of driveway medium. ProLine heating cable is available off the spool or pre-spaced in mats that can be rolled out to heat just the center of a driveway, tire tracks or the entire area. Whatever you decide, both the cable and the mats are easy to customize and very durable. ProLine heat cable can even be installed in hot asphalt installations.

Radiant heat can also be installed in existing driveways. Using saw-cut technology, grooves in the concrete or asphalt driveway are cut and then cable is placed in the grooves and a special sealant is placed over the cable. A more common application for heating existing asphalt driveways is to place the heat cable on the old asphalt and then apply a new layer of asphalt over the existing surface.

With electric snow melting systems, there are very few limits to the type of surface and area you heat. They perform well and can be installed in a variety of materials, including concrete, asphalt, and stone, brick or tile pavers to deliver consistent, energy efficient performance. Customers can find solutions to fit their budget as well. When it comes to the heated driveway system, you can offer your customers a wide variety of custom options.

To learn more about the many options available, or to receive a free quote, call ProLine Radiant today, at 866.676.9276.