Tag Archives: Zoning snow melting system

Efficient Snow Melting on Limited Power

Heating Large Areas with Minimal Power

Having clear walkways, driveways or parking areas is one of the most important things for businesses during the winter. Clear driveways and walkways are not only more inviting, but the added safety provided by an automated snow melting system is vital. Of course, there is also the added benefit of not having to pay a snow removal service, or shovel snow at the crack of dawn. A great option for those looking to help their customers avoid back breaking labor and enhance safety is to offer the installation of a ProLine snow melting system. Snow melting systems are versatile and can be installed in any residential or commercial application, even those with limited power.

Heating cable installed for heated paver driveway
Zoning allows homeowners with limited power to heat large driveways and aprons.

When considering a snow melting system, first determine the square footage of the area that needs to be heated. ProLine can even assist you with this if needed. By using a special software program, ProLine professionals can measure the square footage with a satellite view of any property.

The next step is to evaluate the available power at the location. This can be done by checking the main breaker panel. In homes, most panels are equipped with two 100-amp panels, or one 200-amp panel, which can be found on the top of the main breaker box. ProLine always suggests having an electrician measure the amperage to ensure there are no issues prior to starting the installation. If an electrician isn’t readily available, here are some general guidelines to consider. With most residential systems, one 30 amp breaker will heat about 170 square-feet. That means that a 60 amp breaker can heat a 350 square-foot driveway. If, after having the available amperage evaluated, it’s discovered that there is limited power ProLine can use a technique called zoning (or staging). Keep reading to learn how zoning works to help all your customers enjoy the benefits of a snowmelt system.

With ProLine’s new sequencer, zoning is an easy, cost-efficient way to heat multiple areas without exceeding available power. To zone a large snow melting system, ProLine designers divide the area into zones. Power is alternately sent to each zone, “pulsing” from one to another, using the available power to effectively heat a larger area. Unlike old zoning systems whereby only after one zone was cleared would power then be sent to another zone, the newer system is much more efficient – and timely. Old zoning systems also required each zone to have its own snow sensor. However, the new system eliminates the old process by using the available power to efficiently heat several zones – almost simultaneously. Homeowners can also operate the system manually if they wish. ProLine’s zoning systems separate themselves from competitors because they feature “smart” technology.

ProLine’s zoning systems separate themselves form competitors because they feature the new technology of the advanced sequencer. Other systems will cycle through zones regardless of whether the snow has been completely cleared or not. This is because most zoned snowmelt systems are set with timers. These systems will cycle between zones even when the zone is not cleared, and do so until all zones are cleared. With timed cycling, snowmelt times will be much longer, and important areas will not be cleared first. With a ProLine snow melt system, your customers can be sure that priority areas will be completely clear first. ProLine’s “smart” technology also saves power by detecting whether snow is melted prior to engaging the system. So, if the snow in zone 3 is already melted, then the system will not engage. This feature saves customers money by only operating when it is actually needed.

A snowmelt system with zoning.
Zoning allows you to operate a large snow melting system with limited power.

Snowmelt systems from ProLine are a great option for business owners looking to prevent hazardous conditions that can lead to injured employees, customers, and costly litigation. With zoning, even a small business with less amperage can ensure that priority areas such as storefront walkways are cleared and safe for customers. The reliability and performance of an electric snowmelt system is available for any home or business with zoning technology from ProLine.

Snowmelt systems are a great choice for any customer, and save time and money during the winter months. The operating cost of a snow melting system during a storm is usually less than hiring a professional to come and clear snow. Radiant snowmelt systems can also save money by extending the life of driveways and walkways, as they will not be deposed to salt or snow melting chemicals that can damage and degrade them.

If you’re ready to see how ProLine snowmelt systems can help increase your business, contact a ProLine professional today at 866-676-9276.

Operating a Large Snowmelt System with Limited Power

Zoning Allows you to Enjoy the Benefits of Radiant Heat Using Minimal Power

Many homeowners are discouraged upon initially learning how much power it will take to operate the snow melting system of their dreams. But ProLine Radiant offers an effective solution that allows homeowners and businesses to install and operate a radiant heat system with limited amperage. Some hesitate to install a heated driveway system because they aren’t sure if they have enough amperage to power the system.

The performance and reliability of electric snowmelt systems can’t be beat, which is why they are the system of choice for so many homeowners. But after the initial assessment of their project by some radiant heat providers, some homeowners are discouraged to find that they lack the power to run a large snow melting system. But ProLine Radiant offers an innovative way to overcome the “lack of amperage” problem. By using a technique known as “zoning” (or staging), ProLine makes it possible to install and operate a large heated driveway system using minimal power (amps). This industry leading solution to power constraints is both effective and highly efficient.

How Zoning Works

For example, a heated driveway is being installed, but only two 30-amp breakers are available to power the system. To overcome the hurdle of limited power, the area to be heated is divided into zones. (See the corresponding illustration below, which shows the system divided into zones 1-4.) A snow sensor is installed in every zone, and the same power source (breakers) is supplied to each zone.

A snowmelt system with zoning.
Zoning allows you to operate a large snow melting system with limited power.

The zones are then prioritized. Zone 1 is designated as the most important area which needs to be cleared first. Upon detecting snow, the sensor in Zone 1 signals the controller, activating the system and clearing the area of snow.

After Zone 1 has been cleared of snow the breakers then shift power to Zone 2. Zone 2 is then heated and subsequently cleared. With Zones 1 and 2 now clear of snow, the breakers shift power to Zone 3. After Zone 3 is cleared, Zone 4 is then powered.


To recap, the Zone prioritized as the most important is cleared first, using power from the two 30-amp breakers. After Zone 1 has been cleared, the power is then switched to the next zone. When the second zone has been cleared, the breakers send power to Zone 3, followed by Zone 4 and so on. By using ProLine Radiant’s innovative cycling system, an entire area to be heated can be powered by just two 30-amp breakers.

ProLine Radiant’s industry leading cycling system is extremely efficient because it utilizes a “smart” feature. For example, if the snow in Zone 3 happens to melt before the zone is activated, then there would be no need for that zone to energize. Using ProLine Radiant’s method, the sensor in Zone 3 would detect that there is no snow to melt, and therefore no power would be sent to the zone. This smart feature saves money by ensuring that the system operates only when needed.

Many other zoning systems on the market use timers to activate the zones. These systems cycle between zones according to set times, regardless whether a zone is clear of snow or not. Furthermore, in some cases the snow in Zone 1 may be partially melted, yet the timer dictates that power is to be switched to Zone 2, resulting in neither area being fully cleared. This scenario (using set times) can create much longer melt times and be very inefficient in terms of power usage. By using ProLine Radiant’s cycling system; you are assured of energy efficiency, and the priority area will always be melted.

You can always call ProLine Radiant at 866.676.9276 or visit us online for more information or installation support and service. At ProLine, we’ll work hard to provide you with the best custom snow melting system solution at the best price possible. Call 866.676.9276 today.

Brace for a Record-Breaking Winter

According to meteorologists and experts at the National Weather Service, the winter of 2014 could bring snowfall of epic proportions where citizens, especially those in the Northeast, “will see snow like they never have in their lives.” Certainly this is a good time to have a radiant snow melting system installed, but the preparation runs much deeper than radiant heat.

Apartment buildings in New York City after snowstorm

Given the technological advancements in weather forecasting, meteorologists are boldly predicting that there is a 99 percent chance of a massive cold-front hitting the U.S. as soon as early October – sooner in the year than has ever happened. Starting from the first early winter blast record-breaking snow storms are expected to affect nearly all of the United States. Meteorologists are even suggesting that U.S. residents in some areas could see up to 50 times the amount of snow compared to years past. The Northeast, Ohio Valley, and the Midwestern states are expected to get hit the hardest.

With early snowfall (predicted to arrive as soon as early October), the average accumulative snow for the 2014 season could be five to ten times that of normal. Needless to say, this is the type of winter that Americans need to prepare for. Edward F. Blankenbaker, Senior Administrator of Meteorologists, told the media that this year will likely be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of snowy winter.

“Pretty much everyone will see snow like they never have in their lives. Most younger people don’t even know what an actual blizzard looks like, but by the end of March, they will be seasoned survivalists,” Blankenbaker said.

Naturally, a radiant snow melting system can be one asset when it comes to combating heavy snow storms, but having a heated driveway and/or walkways is just a small part of the solution. Americans will need to plan accordingly and stock their vehicles with weather emergency kits.

In addition to the impending severe winter weather, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) predicts supply and demand could cause shortages, causing the prices of some staples like bread and milk to increase substantially. FDA spokesperson Rebecca Miller suggests alternatives in preparation of the coming months.

“We are encouraging that you go out and purchase bulk amounts of dry, powdered milk which can be stored in your cupboards,” FDA spokesperson Rebecca Miller suggests. “This will prevent frantic trips to grocery stores and super markets as the onslaught of storms begin to fall upon your respected region.”

Public safety organizations are also encouraging consumers to prepare themselves for brutal winter conditions by obtaining the proper necessities. According to James Satterfield from the National Fire and Safety Advisory Board, preparation can save lives. “Don’t wait until temperatures plummet into a freeze; obtain cold weather clothing and footwear, including wool thermal socks. It is also crucial to have plenty of batteries, candles, weather radios, you name it. Get prepared, it’s coming.” Satterfield warned.

Miller further added, “Stock up on your powdered milk and fill your freezer with loaves of bread, because once the blankets of snow begin to fall, brave souls will confront the elements to raid stores of these products like some sort of scavenger hunt. Don’t be a part of the Snowpocolypse, it’s a dangerous battlefield of crazed-shopping and winter-bitten weather zombies.”

Take steps necessary to ease the pain of brutal winters and heavy snowfall. Heated driveways and snow melting systems keep your driveway and walks clear – even during record breaking snow storms like those predicted for the the winter of 2014. Call ProLine Radiant today at 866.676.9276.