Hydronic Driveway Ice Melter

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Carbon12
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Post Fri. Feb. 14, 2014 11:23 am

Anyone ever try constructing an above driveway snow melting system. Something like deploying a garden hose looped across the driveway with hot, antifreeze protected water circulating through? I know they have subsurface systems to accomplish this. I was wondering if I could get a storage tank with an indirect loop from the coal boiler to heat the water I would circulate through the loop. I'd use a small utility pump to actually circulate the hot water through the garden hose and back to the tank to be reheated. Obviously this would only be deployed when snow was expected. I wonder if it would work? Probably cheaper and easier to get a subcompact tractor with 4 wheel drive and a plow.


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titleist1
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Post Fri. Feb. 14, 2014 11:54 am

Carbon12 wrote:Probably cheaper and easier to get a subcompact tractor with 4 wheel drive and a plow.
Now yer talkin' :dancing: I can just see the pics being posted now.......

http://www.gifbin.com/987548

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Carbon12
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Post Fri. Feb. 14, 2014 12:02 pm

:lol: Don't laugh. My brother and I where thinning out a stand of spruce trees that had been planted eons ago too close to each other. We would chainsaw through one but the branches were so intertwined with the surrounding trees, it wouldn't fall. Hooked a logging chain up to the 4 wheel drive, 4 wheel steering Honda RT 5000 tractor, got a bit of a running start and pulled the tree down from below. Wheelies were the fun of the day! No worries, we had someone standing by ready to call 911 :lol:

Edit: Yes, it was a "here, hold my beer and watch this" kind of day! :funny:

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scalabro
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Post Fri. Feb. 14, 2014 12:36 pm

Carbon12 wrote:Anyone ever try constructing an above driveway snow melting system. Something like deploying a garden hose looped across the driveway with hot, antifreeze protected water circulating through? I know they have subsurface systems to accomplish this. I was wondering if I could get a storage tank with an indirect loop from the coal boiler to heat the water I would circulate through the loop. I'd use a small utility pump to actually circulate the hot water through the garden hose and back to the tank to be reheated. Obviously this would only be deployed when snow was expected. I wonder if it would work? Probably cheaper and easier to get a subcompact tractor with 4 wheel drive and a plow.
At the hangar I work at, the apron (area just in front of the doors) is electrically heated.

It does a amazing job keeping that area clear.

I've seen pictures of its construction, there's several inches of sand underneath the concrete insulating against heat loss into the ground. Only has to keep the surface at 34ish degrees.
We turn it on a few hours before expected frozen precip arrives.

To do this at home would be great but would have to start from scratch.

If I had the money ,,,, what the heck I'd do it,,,,, especially one with only northern exposure.

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coaledsweat
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Post Fri. Feb. 14, 2014 2:21 pm

One problem with this is the unequal expansion and contraction generally takes the driveway apart.

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Freddy
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Post Fri. Feb. 14, 2014 2:37 pm

Carbon12 wrote:I'd use a small utility pump to actually circulate the hot water through the garden hose and back to the tank to be reheated.
I think the major problem with this idea is...... heat rises. Certainly you'd melt the snow on the hose, but if the hose has 4 inch spaces, I think you'll have 2 inches of snow that never melts.

3 or 5 years ago my AHS buddy built a hydronic sidewalk for his Mom & it works great..... 4 foot wide concrete, 5 inches thick. One inch blue styrofoam under it and on the edges. Rebar every 12 inches, 5/8" Pex 6" on center.

This year be made a heated walkway for himself but he used a plate heat exchanger instead of a tank. So far it works OK. But.... he used 1/2" pex.... should have used 5/8. It's a bit slow, but does do the job.

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Carbon12
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Post Fri. Feb. 14, 2014 2:41 pm

Yeah, probably wouldn't work well, if at all. If we ever have to resurface, maybe I'll throw some appropriate tubing down. Would be a selling point in the future,...I guess,....if we ever move and I don't decide to take the stoker boiler with us :D

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windyhill4.2
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Post Fri. Feb. 14, 2014 2:45 pm

I recall one member on here talking about hydronic ground thawing,is it berlin ??


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scalabro
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Post Fri. Feb. 14, 2014 2:49 pm

Carbon12 wrote:Yeah, probably wouldn't work well, if at all. If we ever have to resurface, maybe I'll throw some appropriate tubing down. Would be a selling point in the future,...I guess,....if we ever move and I don't decide to take the stoker boiler with us :D
No way...it works fantastic.

It just costs a lot of money to do it right.

The system at work has been fine for 31 years.

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Carbon12
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Post Fri. Feb. 14, 2014 2:51 pm

Here, hold my beer,.....since the boiler can provide almost unlimited DHW, I'll just hook a hose up to the hot water and a lawn sprinkler :D I've got lots of ice melt and ashes to deal with the resulting skating rink!

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davidmcbeth3
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Post Fri. Feb. 14, 2014 4:41 pm

That's the way .. don't see any snow, right?

Image

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Dennis
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Post Fri. Feb. 14, 2014 5:40 pm

windyhill4.2 wrote:I recall one member on here talking about hydronic ground thawing,is it berlin ??

I think it was Whistlenut,for thawing out footers

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warminmn
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Post Fri. Feb. 14, 2014 6:41 pm

Red Green did it with an electric oven :D

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Yanche
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Post Fri. Feb. 14, 2014 10:42 pm

FYI, almost all hospitals have heated landing pads for their medical helicopters. Quite a design challenge considering many are on the tops of buildings.

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joeq
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Post Sat. Feb. 15, 2014 9:14 am

warminmn wrote:Red Green did it with an electric oven :D
I miss that show. It was great. :lol:


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