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    Lets talk snow melt (8 Posts)

  • Nasdaqsam Nasdaqsam @ 12:49 PM
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    Lets talk snow melt

    Hello all, new to the forum. I am not a heating guy so bare with me.

    I am putting in a heated driveway. Actually I just want it to be a snow melt system and not heat all the time. The driveway is 24' x 24' with a small sidewalk. We are setting it up on uponor insulted panels, 1/2" pipe no more than 10" apart, no longer than a 300' single run, antifreezed system with an inch of sand over that and then pavers with 2" rigid on the edges. The boiler is a Buderus GB142-60. It is heating a 2900 sq. Ft. super insulated house and was sized larger than needed with the idea of doing the snow melt. The whole house has in floor on uponor insulated panels. I know they make a controller for a heated driveway but I do not want it heated all the time. The boiler would never shut off or would cycle rapidly. I just want to run it when it snows. I can not figure anyway to make this automatic since there is no controller I know of that can sense snow so it is going to have to either be switched and turned on and off when I need it or possibly controlled through wifi if I am away.

    Thoughts? Ideas? Questions?
    Regards
    Scott
    This post was edited by an admin on October 23, 2013 12:50 PM.
  • Zman Zman @ 1:20 PM
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    Snowmelt

    I would go with 3/4" pex and shorter loops. The cold glycol is very hard to move.
    Check out this  http://www.uponorpro.com/~/media/Extranet/Files/manuals/SIMeltMan2003.aspx?sc_lang=en

    For controls check these out  http://tekmarcontrols.com/products/snow-melting/667.html

    It will sense the snow when it is powered up and also allow you to limit the amount of energy the slab will take. A slab that big will overpower your boiler on start up if you let it.

    Carl
  • JeffM JeffM @ 1:22 PM
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    auto snow controls

    There are a number of automatic snow melt controls that will do what I think you want (sense snow fall and activate the system):
    http://www.viega.net/catalog/en_US/4.3_Snow_Melt/Controls/32846.html
    http://tekmarcontrols.com/products/snow-melting/654.html
  • Nasdaqsam Nasdaqsam @ 1:33 PM
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    Thanks

    Those controllers are exactly what I am looking for.
    With the 1/2" lines I am afraid I can not change that now. The feed and return lines were pre-run thorugh the garage (slab) when the foundation/pad was poured. And we only have two runs which worked out to almost exactly 300' runs. The lines will get a little help from the heated garage floor (seperate zone). Any suggestions since I am set with the size?
    Thanks again. great info.
  • Mike Mike @ 9:33 PM
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    1//2" pex

    The system I have seen that use 1/2" pex for snow melt are 6" apart and 150' long max.
  • SWEI SWEI @ 10:21 PM
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    Snowmelt systems

    are best piped so that everything flows evenly and pumping costs are minimized.  IME this usually means reverse return piping and relatively short loop lengths.
     
  • Nasdaqsam Nasdaqsam @ 9:59 AM
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    Thanks again

    Thanks for all the replys.
    The home itself is 90% done so short of tearing out a lot of concrete to run new lines I am either going to have to put it together and see if it will work or just forget the idea all together. The thing is I have the panels I bought them at a significant discount for quantity, I have the piping and most of the heating system parts. Other than the controller it's all here. With that said.......
    I understand there is always an optimal way to do things and I always try for that unfortunitely this time I was given some bad advise I can not change now. I guess it comes down to is this a guaranteed failure or will it work maybe just not at the best it could. ???????
    Thanks again the help is greatly appreciated.
  • Zman Zman @ 4:54 PM
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    Circulation

    There are plenty of systems out there just like yours that work.
    You may have to run your temps a bit higher and you will have a bit more striping. You will definitely need a high head circulator.
    A grundfos 26-99 or Taco 0013 or 0014 will be in the range.
    Carl
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