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Lets talk snow melt

NasdaqsamNasdaqsam Member Posts: 27
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?




  • ZmanZman Member Posts: 3,474

    I would go with 3/4" pex and shorter loops. The cold glycol is very hard to move.

    Check out this

    For controls check these out

    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.

    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • JeffMJeffM Member Posts: 158
    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):
  • NasdaqsamNasdaqsam Member Posts: 27

    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.
  • MikeMike Member Posts: 36
    1//2" pex

    The system I have seen that use 1/2" pex for snow melt are 6" apart and 150' long max.
  • SWEISWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    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.

  • NasdaqsamNasdaqsam Member Posts: 27
    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.
  • ZmanZman Member Posts: 3,474

    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.

    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
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