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Old 05-06-2014, 07:58 PM   #1
Doug Domm
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Default Heated Driveways???

Well, I am way overdue to replace my concrete driveway and this would be the logical time to install the heating system. This shovelling snow is also getting really old. How many of you have heated driveways and what are your experiences? How did you go about heating it? Was it worth doing? I live north of the 49th and we get lots of snow and excessive cold. I've had quotes from contractors on replacing the concrete but a glazed look comes over their faces when you mention heating it? I know for certain there are a few commercial buildings here with heated entries to parking access etc. Opinions, suggestions, all info welcome. Thanks Doug
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:47 AM   #2
tj310
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Default Re: Heated Driveways???

Not too bad to just tie some loops of pex tube to rebar or wire mesh before they do the concrete placing but if the contractor doesn't want to do it you know if anything goes wrong they are going to blame the heating. ---Trevor
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Old 05-08-2014, 11:27 PM   #3
Sean Marconette
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Default Re: Heated Driveways???

Unlike a flat slab of concrete for a building, most driveways are not level. In the hospital ramps with ice melt systems, and helicopter helipads, a means of removing air is in place. So keep this in mind, unless a means of being able to remove the air in the system is not designed into it, the system will be inoperable. The cost of glycol and a heating system that will require added capacity to overcome the capacity reduction from a minimum of a 40% glycol mixture creates a very inefficient heating system. The mass of the concrete and add in the ambient temperature that the heating system will need to raise the concrete slab to above freezing, means a very expensive energy bill to run. In the healthcare world steam boilers run year round, and steam is used for sterilization. So steam to hot water is typically used for these ice melt systems. For a residential application, a gas or electric water system would most likely be the most cost effective heating device. These are just some of the things to be aware of.
Hope this helps
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:59 PM   #4
Paul Merolla
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Default Re: Heated Driveways???

Doug - I'm a mechanical contractor and have installed quite a few snowmelt systems...I don't claim to know everything, but have learned what works and what doesn't. As long as you're okay with the energy cost involved, I think you would really like it. The air in the lines is purged out when we pump in the glycol - one circuit at a time, we pump out of a container and leave the drain valve open with a hose running into the same container. Just run the pump until the bubbles stop coming out of the drain hose, and move to the next circuit.
One issue that we deal with is unrealistic expectations. People don't understand that the system will have a hard time melting snow when it's 2* outside with a 30 mph wind. As Sean said, the systems at hospitals have an almost limitless supply of BTUs. If we sized residential systems to melt at any conditions, we'd never sell any.
If you're interested, you might try calling WattsRadiant and asking if they have a rep in your area. That's the brand of tubing, manifolds, etc. we use and their rep is very knowledgable about the systems and local contractors who know how to install them.
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Old 06-11-2014, 05:47 PM   #5
Mark Ruset
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Default Re: Heated Driveways???

Take a look at this u-tube video, I think it will answer all your question.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlTA3rnpgzU"]Solar FREAKIN' Roadways! - YouTube[/ame]
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Old 06-13-2014, 04:50 PM   #6
Doug Domm
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Default Re: Heated Driveways???

Thanks to everyone that replied here and that PM'd me as well.
Thanks Paul for the reference to Watts Radiant. I did talk at length with them here in my region and got some very useful information.
I clearly understood from the start this would be costly.
The cost of a complete system installed through them is expensive however is still
do-able so that is not the deal breaker.
The Watts Radiant people suggest that for residential use the operating cost for one month alone in our region is at least double my total annual energy costs.
That now leaves me with 3 choices:
1- Have a massive heart attack shovelling snow.
2- Have a massive heart attack opening my utility bill.
3- Hire someone to remove the snow for me.
I'm going with number 3.
Again thanks to everyone for the replies.
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Old 05-31-2015, 08:40 AM   #7
Bucky
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Default Re: Heated Driveways???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Ruset View Post
Take a look at this u-tube video, I think it will answer all your question.

How did the prototypes work?
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Old 06-13-2015, 01:51 PM   #8
Philip Saran
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Default Re: Heated Driveways???

Doug,

Your #4 choice is a quad with a snow plow.
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Old 08-02-2015, 03:43 PM   #9
Dick Butler
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Default Re: Heated Driveways???

Still intrigued by Solar Roadways....
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