anyone here use... heating loops in concrete driveway/sidewalk?

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On 4/21/2015 8:31 PM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

This year the snow plow went past the curb, taking out my mailbox and post. The new post has been installed 4' back from the curb and the mailbox is on a 4' arm.
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On 4/21/2015 9:21 PM, Auric Goldfinger wrote:

I'd have been tempted to build a much stronger mail box post, battleship armor or some thing.
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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On Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 10:23:18 PM UTC-4, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I used a heavy steel I beam buried5 feet below groundlevel. I got tired of replacing mailboxes:(
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On 04/22/2015 12:33 AM, bob haller wrote:

A local guy buried a 12" dia 3/8" wall steel pipe filled with concrete 5' deep and mounted his mailbox on top. Worked great till the county plow truck hit it.
Long story short, the county won a $25k judgment against him for damages to the truck...and I don't think his homeowners insurance paid.
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On 4/22/2015 5:15 AM, Mayhem wrote:

So, the plow guy hits the mail box, and it's the HO's liability? On what planet?
- . Christopher A. Young learn more about Jesus . www.lds.org . .
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On 4/22/2015 8:08 AM, Stormin Mormon wrote:

I've heard stories like that before. Same with kids hitting a mailbox with baseball bats and getting injured because it was not moveable.
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Our driveway meets the main road on an outside curve. So the snow berm tends to be a bit taller as the snow plow comes around the corner. Worse yet, it becomes a big block of packed ice instead of light fluffy snow. I've broken snow shovels trying to bust my way through that berm.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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HerHusband wrote: ...

if i don't have to get out for any reason i'll leave the last few feet of the drive alone until they finally plow the second or third time. this way they won't push so much snow into the end of the driveway. (i.e. remove the pressure and the flow will come in, so leave some snow and more stays out).
for breaking up the frozen piles i have a nice straight shovel made for trenching that will make it into chunks to move.
sometimes it seems like they wait until i have the drive clear before they come along and fill it back in again... usually right after i get my clothes changed and get into the middle of something else.
songbird
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If we're both digging out to go get groceries or something, we have learned to take a snow shovel with us. On more than one occasion we have dug our way out only to have the plow come along and block our driveway again while we're gone. :)

My snow blower seems to handle the berm OK. Sometimes it takes a few passes, but eventually it cuts through it fine.

We live on a mountain road. When we get a snow event they have a fleet of plows that take turns going up and down our road every hour or so. I find it easier to clear the berm occasionally than wait till it's four feet deep and frozen solid.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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As I mentioned, that's not an option for most people.
Around here a snow storm is a fairly rare event. Any snow that falls seldom lasts more than a few days before melting off. Why go through all the work of clearing a driveway, then risk getting in an accident. If you're in a position to take those few days off work, it's always the smarter choice.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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On 4/22/2015 12:15 AM, HerHusband wrote:

I'm glad it works for you. The snow that fell here in January was still here in April. We had in the range of 100 inches. That is also a lot of shoveling or snowblowing. I am in a position to take some time off, but not three months. Semi-retired, I did stay home on the really bad days.
I don't mind doing most of the blowing, but if for $200 I could have had it melt, I'd have paid it.
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| It takes at least 1200 BTU to melt ice to 1 gallon of water. | It takes at least 8000 BTU to evaporate 1 gallon of water to vapor.
Interesting statistics, but how relevant are they? I assume those figures are for ice at a bit under 32F with little wasted energy. With a heated driveway, wouldn't most of the heat go toward "heating the whole outdoors"? That's not the same as cooking a block of ice in a pan. And of course snow is not ice, either. Wouldn't the difference also be significant between melting snow in -5F vs 31F air temperature? And how hot would it need to be in a blizzard, with 2-3"/hour falling? Also, "flyover country" could be anything but the east or west coast.
If it were me I think I'd get some estimates and then plan on a significantly higher figure. There's no sense doing all the work if it turns out too expensive to use. Especially for a luxury that's so notably unnecessary in the first place.
I also wonder about possible problems like frost heaves. If the heat is only on during snowstorms then what's to prevent a frost heave cracking the concrete and breaking the whole works?
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On 4/21/2015 11:23 AM, Mayayana wrote:

If you really want to do the job right, you'd put a couple of inches of foam board under the concrete. Otherwise, yes, you are trying to heat the entire earth. Foam is used on some highways in Europe and is becoming popular in garages here. I don't know, nor am I inclined to search for, the specifics of the construction.
Since the heat loss is both up and down, the cost could easily be double the BTU needed to melt the snow.
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On Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 1:46:04 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

+1
Putting some insulation under it sounds like a cost effective idea.
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Well, it interests me enough to look. At one of the northern universities I recall them designing the steam tunnel piping to run under all the sidewalks and it worked out very efficiently. Since the steam was being piped to all campus buildings anyway, it made perfect sense to use some of that heat to melt snow.
FWIW, I really doubt if foam is necessary because heat rises and even heating the soil below will eventually cause the surface to become warmer.
http://www.homeadvisor.com/article.show.Heated-Driveway.11202.html
talks about home-based systems.
Heated Driveway Costs Typically, the cost of a heated driveway system is between $12-$21 per square foot. Looking at our data, the average cost of a radiant heating system installation is $3,892, with a low of $1,300 and a high of $7,500 in that range. However, this price does not include the removal of the old driveway or the cost of the new one. Unfortunately, our data doesn't show the cost to remove the old driveway, but we do show the average asphalt paving cost ($4,457) and concrete driveway cost ($3,650). The range of asphalt driveway projects is much greater at $2,000-$25,000 than concrete at $650-$7,091.
http://www.angieslist.com/articles/are-heated-driveways-worth-cost.htm
says: Actual Experience Permalink Submitted by Frugal Rich Guy on Thu, 2013-04-18 08:46 I've had one for 20 years. It cost about $5k, because I needed to replace the driveway anyway. I still have to use the snowblower, because I still have to dig out the big pile at the end of the driveway thrown up by the plows. So I remove the bulk of the snow all over the driveway with the snowblower and then use the heat to melt what's left down to bare pavement. Pretty much how others use salt. Costs about $10 per storm.
http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/snow_melting_systems/costs.htm
says: Costs to Install and Operate Snow Melting Systems - The costs to operate snow melting systems vary widely depending on the size of the area being treated, local utility costs, the average total hours of snowfall, and how fast the system user wants to melt the snow. Obviously, the larger the area being heated and the more snow there is, the higher the operating cost. Also, a system used in a colder climate may require a higher wattage (for electric) or more Btu (for hydronic) than a similar system used in a warmer climate.
Watts Heatway, a supplier of hydronic systems, says annual operating costs range from 12 to 25 cents per square foot. So on average, it would cost $120 to $250 each winter to melt snow off a 1,000-square-foot driveway.
Depending on local utility rates, electric systems may cost even more to operate. EasyHeat, a supplier of electric mats for snow melting applications, says that the seasonal cost to heat a 1,000-square-foot slab at 50 kilowatts will run about $276 in areas of light snowfall (50 inches per year or less) and $692 in areas with average snowfall (50 to 100 inches). Those estimates are based on an average kilowatt cost per hour of 6.92?.
Material and installation costs vary widely too. For Warm Floor Centers electric system, the materials alone run $4 to $6 per square foot, according to Blackburn. Lee Hydronics system runs about $5 to $10 per square foot installed. "The biggest variable is how far the embedded tubing is located from the power source," claims Bailey. The farther away the utilities are, the higher the installation and operating costs.
--
Bobby G.



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| So I remove the bulk of the snow all over the driveway with the | snowblower and then use the heat to melt what's left down to bare pavement. | Pretty much how others use salt.
That sounds a lot like Granny Clampett's amazing cold cure: Take a spoonful twice a day, drink plenty of fluids, get lots of rest, and your cold will be gone in 7-10 days. :)
I find it's very rare to need salt. Mostly only near the front door when there's drippng and refreezing. The driveway residue pretty much evaporates away in a couple of days.
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conducted heat does not rise
hot air rises.
Mark
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On Tuesday, April 21, 2015 at 4:03:50 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

also if you don't care about the cost of the energy, just spray the snow with hot water from a hose and save a ton of installation costs.
Instead of scraping ice off my car windshield, I take a gallon or two of WARM water (not hot or else you may crack the window) and pour it on the window.
Works pretty well and is worth the cost IMO.
Mark
Mark
No installation costs.
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warmer.

You're making a pretty big assumption that this would all be conducted heat. It's not. Are you familiar with the thermal properties of soil and why it's been used as an insulator in rammed earth homes and other types of construction? It's because soil does NOT behave thermally like a liquid or a metal, it's actually fine grains of material surrounded by millions of tiny *air* pockets.
http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/thermal-conductivity-d_429.html
Compare the thermal conductivity of soil to some other materials and you'll see it's more insulator than conductor
Thermal Conductivity - k - W/(m K)
Glass, wool Insulation 0.04 Glycerol 0.28 Gold 310 Granite 1.7 - 4.0 Gravel 0.7 Ground or soil, very moist area 1.4 Ground or soil, moist area 1.0 Ground or soil, dry area 0.5 Ground or soil, very dry area 0.33 Gypsum board 0.17 Silver 429 Tin Sn 67 Titanium 22 Tungsten 174
That's even before we consider thermal equilibrium and which direction heat would move in if the ground below was warmer than the surface of the driveway, which it almost always is.
<< It is observed that a higher temperature object which is in contact with a lower temperature object will transfer heat to the lower temperature>>
Source: http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/thereq.html
--
Bobby G.



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On Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at 7:26:34 AM UTC-4, Robert Green wrote:

The issue is not the thermal conductivity of soil, it's whether heat from water tubes embedded in concrete rises, as you stated. It doesn't. Hot air rises. The air trapped in soil, unless you have evidence that it moves, I would doubt that it does.

Fiberglass insulation is mostly air too. It doesn't transport heat via convection very much either, because the air is mostly trapped.

That might be true, but it depends on a lot of factors. How about if the sun is shining on the driveway, for example?

Whatever the temp is of the upper concrete versus the soil under it, the driving force is the temp diff between the hot water in the pipes and the temp of either.
100F to 20F on top, versus 100F to 30F might be an example. You have 80 delta versus 70 delta. Not all that much difference to make the heat go one way versus the other, from what I see.
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