snow melting system components

What is a Snow Melting System?


Have you ever seen snow fall on an already warm car? It melts instantly.

This is the essential idea behind snow melting systems—a heating element is embedded in your walkway or ramp and it melts the snow that falls on it.

Like any outdoor surface, a new patio can benefit from installing a WarmlyYours snow melting system (available in both mats and cables). Designed to install directly in concrete, asphalt, or in mortar beneath pavers, our cable snow melting systems ensure that driveways, patios, walkways, ramps, or stairs stay ice and snow free, allowing for safe passage.


snow melting and your patio

Snow Melting and Your Patio


The patio is your oasis—a place where you can kick back, relax, and unwind. But winter has a bad habit of ruining that by dumping huge amounts of snow on your patio.

Even if you go through the backbreaking labor of shoveling it off, you’ll still be left with a dangerous layer of ice.

By installing a snow melting system from WarmlyYours in a new patio or veranda construction, you can make sure your patio stays clear of snow and ice throughout the year.

This is great for late season grilling or just getting a few moments of fresh air outside of the house.


When to Install a Snow Melting System in a Patio

When to Install a Snow Melting System in a Patio


Because the snow melting system is embedded within the surface itself, the best time to install a snow melting system is when a patio or porch is either being created for the first time, redone, or expanded.

These kinds of projects are typically undertaken from late spring to late fall. These kinds of projects are typically undertaken from late spring to late fall.

The example pictured is of a patio renovation. This patio is located behind the house and it leads to a walkout-basement.


Start Smart with a Free SmartPlan

Start Smart with a Free SmartPlan.


Perhaps the most important stage in installing a snow melting system is getting a good installation plan.

WarmlyYours provides a free, no-obligation SmartPlan that includes an installation plan, an electrical plan, and an itemized quote, all of which is prepared by a highly skilled team of engineers.

All you have to do to take advantage of this service is to provide WarmlyYours with a sketch of the project that includes dimensions and other relevant information, like where power will be most readily accessible.

Within typically one day of providing this information, you’ll receive your free SmartPlan. You can get started with an Instant Quote here. The itemized quote included in your SmartPlan will also include MSRP pricing so that you can properly budget for your project.


concrete cross section with snow melt mat

Cross-sections of Snow Melting: In Concrete or Under Pavers


The snow melting heating elements must be installed within the patio itself, approximately 2-3” beneath the finished surface. This spacing ensures the optimal performance of your system.

The thinness of an electrical snow melting system (1/4” for cables and 5/16” for mats) means it has a minimal impact on the overall depth of the project.

These snow melting systems can be used not only with concrete or pavers, but also with asphalt.

Each surface type will have a different cross section with suggested depths, which you can check out here.

outdoor concrete snow melt application
snow melt cable test

Test your System at Every Stage of Installation


Testing your snow melting system with an ohmmeter at every stage of installation will allow you to be certain that the heating element is functioning properly.

Completing these tests, and recording your readings accurately, will also qualify your project for WarmlyYours’ 10-year warranty.

Make sure to consult your WarmlyYours snow melting installation manual for more information.



Installing a snow melting system in a concrete Patio, step by step



Laying Down a Rebar Frame or Wire Mesh

Step 1: Laying Down a Rebar Frame or Wire Mesh


The key to a successful snow melting system is in how it’s embedded. If it’s too deep, it won’t be able to effectively melt snow or ice. If it’s too shallow (or exposed), it could overheat and fail.

To make sure your heating element is the proper 2-3” from the final surface, many installers will use a rigid framework (rebar or wire mesh) that is propped up so that the heating element is exactly where it needs to be.

Tip: For your framework, avoid using a metal mesh or frame that has sharp edges or burrs.


Dry-fitting Your Snow Melting System
Dry-fitting Your Snow Melting System

Step 2: Dry-fitting Your Snow Melting System


Once you have your framework in place at the proper depth, it’s a good idea to layout your snow melting system before you’re ready to attach it.

Using your WarmlyYours SmartPlan should help make this process as smooth, and as accurate, as possible.

This will help ensure that you have the right amount of heating elements prior to actually attaching them.

If you identify any issues at this vitally important stage, we recommend that you contact us at 1-800-875-5285, and we’ll help you identify the right solution to the problem.


Start Laying Out Snow Melting Mats
Start Laying Out Snow Melting Mats

Step 3: Start Laying Out Snow Melting Mats


As previously mentioned, maintaining the proper spacing of the heating elements is the key to a successful snow melting system.

The snow melting mats, available from WarmlyYours, are designed to maintain the desired 3” spacing of the heating cables.

The heating elements should be attached to the mesh using wire ties or zip-ties to maintain proper depth and spacing.

Attaching them keeps the heating element flat and prevents it from “floating” too close to the final surface when the concrete is poured.


Making Sure the Manufacturer’s Splice is Embedded in Concrete

Step 4: Making Sure the Manufacturer’s Splice is Embedded in Concrete


The power is carried to each cable by a “cold lead,” which is connected to the heating cable on the mat via a manufacturer’s splice.

One of the most common snow melting installation mistakes that people make is leaving this splice, and some of the heating cable, outside of the concrete or sand (sometimes people leave it in the conduit or simply leave it exposed). This can cause the splice, which is half heating element, to overheat and fail.

By simply making sure that the splice is embedded, you’ll ensure that it has an appropriate medium (concrete, sand, mortar, or stone dust) to prevent overheating.


Snow melt cable layout and installation

Step 5: Making Sure the Manufacturer’s Splice is Embedded in Concrete


The power is carried to each cable by a “cold lead,” which is connected to the heating cable on via a manufacturer’s splice.

One of the most common snow melting installation mistakes that people make is leaving this splice, and some of the heating cable, outside of the concrete or sand (sometimes people leave it in the conduit or simply leave it exposed). This can cause the splice, which is half heating element, to overheat and fail.

By simply making sure that the splice is embedded, you’ll ensure that it has an appropriate medium (concrete, sand, or stone dust) to prevent overheating.


Snow melt control

Step 6: The Control for Your Snow Melting System


WarmlyYours offers a wide variety of controls for our snow melting systems—from a manual option with a timer that will only activate when you turn it on/off, to an automatic option that will turn on when it senses snow is falling.

These controls (with the exception of the manual option) are able to function with the use of sensors. There are two main types of sensors: slab and aerial. Slab sensors are installed along with the heating element (but never touching it) and they can measure the conditions at the surface (slab sensors are not recommended for use with pavers). Aerial sensors are installed in the open and are actually able to detect whether or not it’s snowing.

For more information about the variety of snow melt controls and sensors available from WarmlyYours, check out this comparison chart


Heated patio

The Finished Heated Patio


This patio featured a beautiful rolled faux-wood finish. Once the patio is completed, it’s ready to be used. Just add snow!

Make sure to monitor your system and control throughout the first couple of snowfalls to see if any adjustments are required.

Just imagine how nice it will be to be able to use your patio in the dead of winter to let your pets out, or just to simply enjoy a minute or two out of the house.

For more information about the snow melting systems available from WarmlyYours go here or call 1-(800)-875-5285


Snow Melting System Costs: Heated Concrete Back Patio

It only cost $3,397 for the entire snow melting system, with full coverage, that was installed in the patio featured in this design guide.

Heating Mats Qty MSRP
Snow Melting Mats
WHMA-240-0215, WHMA-240-0220, WHMA-240-0230, WHMA-240-0250
4 $2,280
Controls and Relays
Manual Snow Melt Control
SCM-120
1 $400
Relay Panel Medium
RLY-8PL
1 $490
Accessories
Snow Melt Plaque
SMP
1 $38
Total: $3,208.00*

*All pricing information is in US dollars.


Power Requirements:

Heating System: 240V Snow Melt Mat
Total Amperage: 47.95 Amps
Total Wattage: 11,507
Breakers needed: 1 x 30Amp 240V GFEP, 1 x 20Amp 240V GFEP, 2x 15Amp 120V GFEP, 1x 15Amp 120V Non-GFI

System Electrical Consumption

TThe operating cost for a snow melting system in a typical driveway is only $0.92 per hour.

This calculation is based on the national average of $0.08 per kWh, but consumption may vary based on individual conditions.


snow melting control options

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