Heated driveway?

Commercial snow melting. (E.g. TOYOTA + ELEKTRA).


ONDOL - The Korean invention

American Legend: Architect Frank Lloyd Wright

From STONE COLD to NICE WARM floors in just 2 hours?

New Kitchen Project. (Part 1)

New Kitchen Project. (Part 2)

Radiant heating in one day?

From cold slab floor to comfort and beauty.

How to connect UCCG-9991 programmable thermostat for radiant floor heating?

How to connect MTC-2991 manual thermostat for radiant floor heating?

How to choose the in-floor radiant heat ELEKTRA mat?

Many components of the Great Real Estate. (Part 1).

Many components of the Great Real Estate. (Part 2).

How to connect more than 1 mat?

The problem on the roof

Installing radiant floor heating in just one afternoon.

Cathedral ceilings effect & Medieval Hypocaustum (floor heating)


Paving stones driveway with snow melt system

Driveway snow melt system - melt your winter cares away




To save on the energy and installation cost, only half of the driveway will be heated. Insulation will help to retain the heat. The moist ground below could needlessly take a lot of heat away from the surface where it will be needed.





Four 462 ft. long Elektra VCD25/3550 cables. Each cable is 3550Watts @ 240V, 15.5 Amps good for near 125 sq.ft.  of the coverage when installed as 28 Watts per sq. ft.


At NJ electric energy prices of 12 per kWh  if the whole contraption is ON for as much as 10-12 hours a day it will cost under $20 to use.  



The ground moisture and temperature sensor is installed for full automation and energy savings.


  • When it is cold and dry, nothing happens.
  • When it is wet and not cold, nothing happens.
  • When it is cold and wet, the system will turn itself ON and stay ON until the surface of the sensor is dry.




Each cable with its own contactor and breaker.




Ready for the winter weather?



Six months later...


To save on energy and installation cost only half of the driveway is heated.

Sometime later...

The next day:


Notes on snow and ice melting mats or cables:


Electrical heating mats and cables for snow and ice melting may only be used for outdoor application. Regular indoor radiant heating cables are not suitable for outside use and vice-versa.

Unlike anti-freeze based hydronic systems electrical snow melting systems are fairly easy to install and maintain, and are therefore much more practical. In addition, it is much cheaper and more reliable than hydronic systems with pumps, mixing valves, heat exchangers, and many other components.
The primary difference is in the concept: heating with electricity produces heat energy appropriately and exactly where it is needed, instead of heating the liquid in one place and then delivering it somewhere else by way of pumps, pipes, tubes and valves. For maximum efficiency, it is important to preheat the system at the first indication of precipitation. For example, when a foot of snow is already on the ground, trying to initiate heat will most often not work too well.  


Just like any other snow or ice melting system, thermal insulating from the ground is critical. Moist ground will absorb an infinite amount of heating energy produced by any system, regardless of its power. Insulation is the cheapest and the most important component!


Amplitude of seasonal soil temperature change as a function of depth below ground surface. Top layer of the ground is the most effected!

Seasonal soil temperature change shown as a function of depth below ground surface for an average moist soil.


Snowmelting heating cables or mats need to be either self regulating or controlled by a suitable thermostat, preferably with all automatic modes and outfitted with moisture and ground temperature sensor or even few sensors.



A ground sensor is to be located in a shady spot and heated.

Self regulating cables which do not need thermostats are usually quite expensive, rendering larger applications is not practical because of the cost.


Regular snow melting cables or mats are fairly inexpensive but need to be installed with proper spacing, allowing the system to generate at least 25 Watts/sq.ft. or 85 BTU's per sq.ft. For driveways or walkways thicker than 5 inches a system capable of generating 28-30 Watts/sq.ft. is needed. This requirement is the primary system size limitation. For example a 1000 sq. ft. of driveway at 28 Watts/sq.ft. and powered with 240 Volts will need 120 Amps of stand-by power! Heating solely walkways, steps, or just 2-4 ft. wide tire tracks at residential locations is much more practical than heating entire driveways. Commercial locations usually offer much more in terms of available power and benefits.


Please also see Toyota Motors Plant Driveways

Please remember: Electricity can be deadly and wiring done incorrectly can kill and start deadly and destructive fires even when "just replacing one small receptacle". 


NEVER EVER attempt to work or even touch the inside of the electrical components without being 100% sure that the power is disconnected!

If you are not an electrcian and if you have the slightest doubt about your wiring ability, please contact a licensed electrician and/or repairman before doing any diagnosis, repairs or installations. The products shown here are deemed SAFE and sound by various testing authorities but the wiring process can only be SAFE when done with safety precautions. Please read manuals and/or ask pros when not sure. Most of the simple installations shown here can be done by yourself or you can have someone qualified do it for you and THEN have the electrician check it and connect it to power.  

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New York International Tile and Stone Show
Is electric radiant floor heating ENERGY EFFICIENT?
Likely yes
Likely no
Don't know