Do you remember this sweet Brooklyn family who installed a snow melting system on the sidewalk in front of their town-house?
Well, a few snow storms later, they sent us their feedback and … their backs and teenager girl (who doesn’t have to shovel anymore) are loving it!
Here is the story of a success
Brad tells us:
“The electrical system was up and running as the snow fell. We stayed half the night with camera in hand to watch it come down and see it with our own eyes. As the snow fell and gathered on the sidewalks up and down our street, we waited to see if our sidewalk was warm.
It wasn’t until about 3:00AM that we could CLEARLY see that the snow was melting on our sidewalk in the exact pattern as the pads we laid down. I shot a video and truly jumped for joy at seeing that blinking light and seeing the lack of white snow build-up on our sidewalk compared to Mrs. Romano’s on one side and Luigi’s on the other. I had a big ol’ grin on my face as I walked down the street and out into the blizzard to shoot b-roll shots of snow falling under street lamps, the first footprints appearing in the snow on other people’s sidewalks, taxi cabs headlights filled with blowing snow, and shovels placed carefully near front doors.
Then around 4:00AM, I walked back home making my own tracks in the snow on the sidewalks until I got to our place, and thrilled to the absence of any snow building up in front of our house. I was picturing the shots I’d take in the morning of mounts of snow blanketing the street and how cool our house would look. When I anxiously woke around 10:30AM and stepped out front of our house, I saw 6-8 inches of snow everywhere up and down the street…. except for one single path that was melted in front of our house. That was it!! It took a few snow storms to adjust the system, but once it was well set up, it worked efficiently!”.
Warmup’s take: calibration
The system worked better after a few snow storms. This is normal as calibration is not uncommon. Brad has a DS-5C Snow Melting System controller. By removing the cover of the device, there are 4 things you can do:
- Ensure the system catches the snow early.
- Adjust sensitivity to medium.
- Make sure the switches are following Warmup’s recommendation.
- Allow it to continue to melt even when the snow has stopped falling.
More concrete means a slow system at pick-up. But once it’s going, it can actually be beneficial to have a lot of concrete.
The problem with snow melt is that the system needs to anticipate the snow. Almost to the point that for a big snow fall like that, Brad can manually switch the toggle (on the right of the device) to “ON/MANUAL” the night before. The sidewalk will then be heating ahead of time and prevent any build up. He can then go and switch it back to AUTO or it will do so automatically after 6 hours.