A Concord Carpenter Installs Snow Melting Cable in Heated Stairs



When snowfall comes, you want to keep your driveway, or in this case, your heated outdoor stairs, free of snow without the work or expense of shoveling or snow blowing each winter. In this video, an expert explains just how streamlined and cost-conscious installing an outdoor radiant heating system can be.

Video Transcript

Right now, we have taken to this stone veneer and we applied it to the sides and the risers of this landing. We've also put the first bluestone step on. Today, we're going to do a bluestone, we're going to use the same stock, and we're gonna miter the corners. I'm going to do a perimeter with this stock and then we're going to fill the middle with one big piece of bluestone, big square piece. We're also going to lay this mesh on this walkway and we're going to run the heat cables the long way by looping them three inches apart. 

If you remember we talked about, the last time we were here, I clipped the corners of the concrete block so that I could run the cable down so that we could apply these corner blocks to have corners cut out. And they basically go on to the corner like that. The cable runs behind. That is plenty of room, there's tons of room and it runs down behind this one, under and down behind this one. And it comes out right here. And this is the heating cable that will continue the loop. The one thing that we also did for future reference for future projects is we installed a pipe right here, plastic pipe that runs from it. We will run basically underneath the walkway. That's a conduit for future work, whether I'm running invisible fencing for a dog, whether I'm going to run some irrigation piping or wires or anything. I have this conduit here so I don't have to disturb my walkway. We finished the project, the WarmlyYours heating cables are installed into the walkway to bluestones installed. The landing is complete. We still need to tie-in the house.

And we also need to make, to attach the snow sensor, which is going to go on the side of the house. No sense of where it's nice because any snow or freezing rain, it touches the sensor. It turns on the system automatically. So you're saving energy. It snowed here last night. We got about an inch and a half. When I came in this morning, this was completely dry. It was clear, worked like a charm. There was never any snow that accumulated. It just melted as it hit. 

 We're down in the basement. This is the WarmlyYours control panel, this is called the SPC 120. It's a snow melting controller and this is pretty much the brains of the whole system. This is a relay box where all the power comes into and goes out to the different relays and things that control the heating cables. I have the electrician install this power switch, just a basic override switch. Nothing goes to the system until that light is turned on in. And the power is turned on. This is just useful in emergency to turn the power off with a service, anything. It's also nice if I just want to control the system manually. The system can just basically be turned on by hitting a start button and it's on, but basically with the sensor, with this switch turned on in the sensor on, it'll turn on automatically as long as there's snow or freezing rain on the sensor. And then there's a timer here. It's called hold on time. And you set that, WarmlyYours typically recommends three or four hours. You set that hold on time. And then when the snow melts or clears off of the sensor outside, the system will stay on an additional three or four hours, up to 10 or down to zero. If you want to basically continue to clear the walkway and even dry it so you don't get that black ice or slipperiness, which is nice. 

 The high temperature limit is for the sensor that I placed in the slab, that, it will not allow that the slab to get over a certain temperature. And I have this set for 40 degrees. We really don't need anything that much higher than that. We just need to melt the snow off 32 degrees. So that's the system in a nutshell.

 I really like the system, it worked, it worked well, it was super easy to install. We we installed this nice mounting board as well to just keep everything nice and clean. The steps are right behind us. That's where we decided to mount everything, right where we wanted it. Super, super easy to install a really nice product. I'm very impressed with it. I'm Rob Robillard. You're at AConcordCarpenter.com, and we'll see you at the next review. Take care.

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