No matter which option you choose, both products utilize the same advanced wire design that allows for an element that is as thin as a nickel at 1/8”, so it will not affect floor levels. Either option will take your heating design ideas from impossible to possible! You also have the confidence of knowing that we offer the toughest, double insulated wire on the market, meaning you get a product that will stand the test of time and get you the heating results you expect. Each option comes in 120 or 240 volts in a variety of lengths and sizes.You can view your various size options here.
1.2 Should I use a 120V or 240V system?
As a rule of thumb, when you are heating an area over 130 sq ft, you will likely use a 240v system(s). Why?:
• 120v systems provide more options for covering smaller areas; similarly, 240v systems provide more options for larger areas.
•As you will note on each flooring page, there is a product link where you can see the sizes available and their specifications which includes their respective volts and the amount of amps each size will draw.
• Whether you are using one or several heating systems, each specially designed thermostat that will power them can handle a load of 15 amps. Anything more than that and you will need to purchase an additional thermostat.
• The 240v products use less amperage which might help if you have limited space/breakers in your electrical panel.
• 240v systems can also be used as a primary heating source. Therefore, if that is your goal, be sure to consider purchasing a 240v system.
The bottom line: The more heating systems and thermostats you need to purchase will affect the total cost. If you tried to heat a large area with 120v systems, you would need more material and therefore more thermostats to power them. However, this voltage but would be ideal for smaller areas. Click here to view mat sizes and specs
1.3 What do I need to prepare for my project?
Before you order your heating system, there are a several things you can do in preparation:
•Draw a floor plan. It doesn’t have to be pretty or complicated. This step will allow you to visualize what you are trying to accomplish and will help you make a decision as to whether a loose wire or mat floor heating system will work best. Check out our design guide for some installations ideas. It will be important to make note of where you want to locate your thermostat since this will be the starting point for all of your heating systems.
•Measure the area that will be heated. CLICK HERE for an instructional video.When writing down your measurements, keep in mind that you will not be heating areas under permanent fixtures such as cabinets, bathtubs and toilets. To determine the square footage of your actual heated area, you will subtract the square footage of those areas from the total amount. When taking your measurements, factor in a 4” border from any walls and permanent fixtures. This information will help determine what size product(s) you will need. Please note that it is important that you note that the measurements for your project must only be for heated square feet. Measuring any other way will overestimate the amount of product needed and since the wire CANNOT be cut, this will result in a return of the product (which will delay your project) or a lengthier installation which will require a reconfiguration of how the product is installed, causing more labor time.
•Make sure your electrical panel will be able to handle additional amperage requirements. Each thermostat used to control your heating system will require 15amps. We recommend that you place your floor heating system on its own dedicated circuit. Check the main breaker in your electrical panel to see how many amps have been installed for your home. If there is no more room in your existing panel you can have a licensed electrician install a sub-panel. We suggest a 20A dedicated line for each Warmup system installed.
•Considering insulating your floor. While you can install your floor heating system directly over a concrete sub-floor, it is not advised. The concrete will absorb the heat first, before allowing it to rise to your tile, thus not allowing the product to be as energy efficient as it could be. A floor that could have heated up in minutes will now take hours. Warmup Insulation Boards have been specially designed to allow for a thermal break. In other words, they radiate the heat upwards into your floor instead of into your sub-floor. The insulation boards are 2’ x 4’ and ¼” thick and will be installed throughout the room you will be heating.
The bottom line: Be sure that when you put in a request for products or for an order, you have measured the area that will be heated, excluding any permanent fixtures. If you have a floor plan and need assistance, please submit it via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or fax (888-927-4721) so a representative can assist you with finding the best product for your project. Please be sure you include all necessary contact information (name, email address, phone number, location, etc.) so we can provide the best information possible. CLICK HERE to fill out our contact form.
1.4 Basic Installation
REMEMBER: YOU NEVER CUT THE WIRE. THE WIRES MUST NEVER BE CLOSER THAN 2 INCHES APART FROM EACH OTHER. THE WIRES MUST NEVER CROSS. NEVER INSTALL UNDERNEATH ANY PERMANENT FIXTURES (bathtubs, toilets, sinks, cabinets, etc.) IGNORING THESE WARNINGS WILL RESULT IN IRREPARABLE DAMAGE TO YOUR PRODUCT.
1. Check the resistance readings for your wire system(s) using a digital multi-meter. Unfamiliar with how to use a digital multi-meter? CLICK HERE.. The resistance measurements between the black and white wires should fall between +/- 10% of the values indicated on page 6 of your installation manual. This information can also be located on the box in which the wire arrives in.
2. Make sure you have a clean floor surface to work with. If you are installing your floor heating system over concrete, it is strongly recommended that you first install Warmup Insulation Boards to prevent unnecessary heat loss that would compromise heating efficiency. CLICK HERE for installation video.
3. Decide where your thermostat will be placed. This will be the starting point for all heating cables so choose your location wisely. Note that you will use separate conduit for the heating mats and the floor probe. See rough-in on the next page.
4. Mark the outer corners of your heated area, staying 4 inches away from the wall or permanent fixtures. Join up marks to make your perimeter. By doing this, you will give yourself 2 inches of extra space that could be used if you had excess wire. This is important since at no time can you cut the wire itself. Mark the spacing intervals along the perimeter (2 – 4 inches). For even heat distribution it is best to keep the intervals the same, but you can vary if needed.
5. Pull the cable from the box opening but do not remove the spool from the box itself to avoid wire twisting. After about 12 feet the power supply cable joins the thinner heating wire. Tape this joint at your starting point, which is no more than 8ft from your power supply (thermostat). Now begin making your runs, up and down the length of your heated area using your spacing interval marks as guides. Secure the ends of the loops with the supplied strips as you go. If you desire, you may use duct tape instead of the strips. Add additional strips along the lengths of the wires to ensure they are flush with the floor. CHECK YOUR RESISTANCE READINGS AGAIN. You will want to dig slight channels in the floor to accommodate the thicker joint that connects the supply cable to the heating wire. Please note that it is absolutely necessary that the factory joint splice (the connection between the heating element and your lead wire) is in the floor encapsulated in thinset. Installing this in the wall will cause irreparable damage to your heating system. The same would be true for the floor probe which is installed between 2 of the heating wires, but never crossing, and at least 8 inches into the heated area.
6. Using a plastic trowel (we recommend a 3/8” x ¼” or greater), completely cover the heating wire with either floor leveler or a preliminary ¼” scratch coat. Using a floor leveler will provide a nice even surface for your flooring and either option will help safeguard your heating system from damage when you begin to tile. You will use a polymer modified thinset for tiling purposes. Once the floor leveler/scratch coat has dried, check your resistance readings once more before your begin to tile. Do not turn on your heating system until the floor has completely cured, usually no less than 1 week. Click here for installation video.
1.5 Specialized Installation: Shower
Here’s the scenario; you have purchased your electric radiant heating system and lay it on the bathroom floor exactly the way you want it. Your confidence is high, you’re feeling good about your progress… and then you get to the shower. Now what? What do you do about that step you need to get past? Note: We are assuming that you have already installed insulation boards. Warmup highly recommends installing Warmup Insulation Boards in shower systems.
Please also note that Warmup is to be installed above your shower pan. Any shower installation can only be done with a 120v system. Please see that although the images below show the installation of one of our mat systems in the shower, the directions below apply to both the mat and loose wire installation in a shower.
1.With a chisel, carefully dig a notch in the shower step that will contain the wire. Your goal is to avoid sharp bends with the heating wire, no 90 degree up and down angles that would interfere with the flow of the electrical current, thereby cutting off the heat at that point. Tape the wire into place as illustrated below.
NOTE: All power to the units should be shut off at the breaker panel before checking any electrical connections.
•Is the heating system wired correctly? Have a licensed electrician check to make sure that the heating system is correctly connected to the thermostat and the thermostat to the electrical panel. Instructions for wiring came with the heating system and thermostat but can also be viewed online at www.warmup.com.
•Confirm there is enough power being supplied to operate your heating system. Warmup recommends that your floor heating system be placed on a dedicated circuit to power your heating system. Verify that the circuit can handle the amount of amperage your heating system requires. Contact your reseller/installer for details regarding your particular configuration.
•Check the resistance readings of your heating wires. To ensure that your floor heating system will function properly, always test the resistance of your wires with a digital multi-meter before, during and after installation prior to covering in thin-set or floor leveler. Use the information contained in pages 6 & 16 of the installation manual for details. If at any point during one of your tests the results do not match up with the numbers your Warmup manual indicates you should have, this indicates you have a short or a break in your wires. Warmup can provide your installer with the tools needed to perform a repair when possible.
•Was your heating system installed directly over a concrete sub-floor? If you installed your heating system over a concrete sub-floor and did not first install Warmup Insulation Boards, it could take over an hour for the floor to heat up since the sub-floor receives the heat first and the flooring second. In this instance you simply need to allow for more time.
•Make sure that the floor probe that came with the thermostat was installed and done so properly. Make sure that the probe is installed underneath the mat and evenly placed between a run, never to touch or cross. Installation procedures and thermostat settings can be reviewed in the installation manual and user guides, and can also be accessed on our website at www.warmup.com.
NEVER turn on your floor heating system unless it has been completely encapsulated in thinset or floor leveler and these compounds have had an opportunity to completely cure (at least 1 week) as directed in the installation manual that you received with your product. If you ignored this warning and activated your heating system without the wires being covered, you likely overheated them and will need replacements.
1.7 Using a TDR Meter To Locate Shorts Or Breaks In the Wire
2.2 Can I extend or shorten the unheated cold tail lead?
Yes you can. The unheated cold tail lead is the only wire that you can cut. The cold tail lead can be extended to any length you need but the connections must be made in a junction box with the right gauge wire based on the total amperage.
3 Technical Questions
3.1 Can the floor heating systems be "daisy chained" (one connected to the other)?
No. The floor heating systems can never be daisy chained. The floor heating systems however can be wired to a junction box. From there, you would then connect the junction box to the floor heating thermostat. If you did not perform the installation yourself and you notice that in a room where multiple floor heating systems are in use, yet there is only one wire connecting to the thermostat, it could be that the systems were daisy chained (lead wires connected together) and caused damage to one or more of the heating systems. However, you should verify this with the installer since it is possible that the heating systems were wired to a junction box correctly and one lead wire from the junction box was correctly wired to the thermostat. If this is the case, and the continuity on one of the heating systems is off (these readings are found in every installation manual and are available on www.warmup.com under the specific product listing), then you may have a break in the wire that needs to be located and repaired. In this instance, please follow the steps outlined in the section of Warmupedia covering "Repairing Your Indoor Heating System. CLICK HERE to access this information.