Here's a case of a radiant project changing stripes. A wooden deck that stretched in front of a condominium complex had rotted after 20 years of exposure to the elements. The condo association was replacing it with a concrete deck.
The original snowmelt design for the 1,250-sq. ft. slab called for hydronics. "Here's a marketing story for you," says Bob Dudley, alluding to a PM article we wrote two years ago about the comprehensive marketing plan he's put in place for the family business ("The Value Of Consistency," October 1998). "We sent out 100 direct mail pieces to local home builders and got two responses, one of which was from a contractor working on this condo."
The architect had speced hydronic snowmelt, but Dudley pointed out several reasons why an electric system would be a better fit. First off, the slab was only going to be 2 inches thick. A natural gas line was 500 feet away. Finally, there was no room in the complex to store a boiler. What the site did have was plenty of amps.
"Ninety-nine percent of the radiant/snowmelt jobs we do use hydronics," Dudley adds. "But we're heating contractors and we believe there's a place for electric."
Dudley convinced the architect to make the switch. The electric snowmelt system consists of five Heatizon 6kVA transformers, a five-zone control with automatic and manual selectors, an ETI pavement-mounted sensor and, of course, cable to heat the slab. Because space was limited, the transformers were mounted above the pool equipment room and the zone control was mounted in a storage closet.
Electro Plastics Inc.