Heated Driveways and Snow Melting Systems


Q. How do electric snow melting systems work?

Q. Do heated driveways cost much to maintain?

Q. Are driveway snowmelt systems difficult to install?

Q. Are heated driveways environmentally friendly?

Q. Will an electric snowmelt system void my home owner's insurance?

Q. How much does a heated driveway cost to operate?

Q. What are the power requirements of an electric snowmelt system?



Q. How do electric snow melting systems work?

Electric snowmelt systems feature maintenance-free, automated operation and unequaled performance. A heated driveway system consists of three major components: the heating element (cable), an activation device (snow sensor), and the contactor panel or programmable master control unit. The cables are embedded in new concrete/asphalt or beneath brick pavers and connected to the snow sensor and contactor panel. The automated snow sensor activates the system when it senses precipitation and temperatures are below a set point (usually 38 degrees Fahrenheit), and deactivates when snow melting is completed. For snow drifts and ice forming due to wind and shade, the heated driveway systems can be activated by using the master control unit's manual override function.

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Q. Do heated driveways cost much to maintain?

ClearZone snow melting systems require no regular maintenance and come with a 10-year manufacturer warranty that covers repair or replacement of the heat cable. As an industry leading heat cable, ClearZone is manufactured to withstand the stress of concrete installations as well as the extreme temperatures of hot asphalt applications. ClearZone heat cable is designed to perform for a lifetime.

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Q. Are driveway snowmelt systems difficult to install?

Heated driveways and sidewalks are surprisingly simple to install. The heated driveway cables can be installed by any ambitious do-it-yourself handyman with a little pre-planning and assistance from our knowledgeable staff. (We also offer free installation training.) The electrical work, such as installing the automatic snow sensor and master control unit, should be installed by a certified electrician.

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Q. Are heated driveways environmentally friendly?

Snow melting systems are better for the environment than most traditional forms of snow removal. Using salt and chemicals to melt snow can damage nearby plants and contaminate streams and water supplies with calcium chloride. These harsh chemicals also damage the concrete, gradually reducing its durability and life span.

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Q. Will an electric snowmelt system void my home owner's insurance?

All of our snow melting systems are UL safety approved for residential and commercial use, which means that the snowmelt systems have met the industry's highest standards of safety to ensure that there is no risk of damage or fire to your home.

The snowmelt systems are designed to be failsafe. In the event that a heating cable becomes cut or damaged, the system’s GFEP (Ground Fault Equipment Protection) will automatically deactivate power, thereby eliminating any hazardous effects until proper repairs have been made.

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Q. How much does a heated driveway cost to operate?

The cost of operating a heated driveway is dependent upon the spacing in which the heating cables were installed. Closer rows (less than 4 inches apart) will consume higher wattage than rows with greater spacing. However, the greater the intervals in which the rows are spaced, the longer your system will take to heat the concrete and melt the snow. At the recommended spacing of 4 inches, the average operational cost is approximately $.28 per 100-square feet per hour. This is based on a 35-watts per square foot snow melting system, with a kilowatt hour rate of $0.08 per hour.

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Q. What are the power requirements of an electric snowmelt system?

When using the recommended heat cable spacing of 4 inches for a heated driveway, a 240 volt 30-amp breaker is needed for every 175 square feet of snow melting system.

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