Heating gutters: do-it-yourself heating system installation

In early spring and late autumn, all homeowners are faced with the problem of freezing roof ramps and freezing inside the drainage of melt water. If it is not resolved in time, the safety of people, as well as the safety of their property, will be threatened by large icicles falling from the roof and frozen clods of snow.

A good solution is to heat the gutters, which will prevent the formation of ice. This material will discuss what it is necessary to equip the drainage system with heating. We will also tell you what materials are required for this and describe in detail the essence of the process.

The content of the article:

  • Should I warm the drain?
  • Features of arrangement of the heating system
    • Heated cold roof
    • How to warm a warm roof?
  • Device heating system drain
    • Distribution block and sensors
    • Controller and control panel
  • How to choose a heating cable?
    • Resistive Cable Features
    • The cable is self-regulating and the nuances of its work
  • Calculation of the heating system
  • Choosing a place for cable laying
  • Technology arrangement of the heating system
  • Typical errors when installing the system
  • Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Should I warm the drain?

In the winter months in most regions in our country frosts and heavy rainfall prevail. As a result, large masses of snow accumulate on the roof. An increase in temperature provokes their first thawing, and later active melting.

During the day, the melted water runs to the edges of the roof and into the drains. At night, it freezes, which leads to the gradual destruction of the elements of the roof and gutters.

Frozen and icicles on the roof

This picture is typical for the off season. If you do not take action, ice and snow will fall on the ground. This may damage the facade, the gutters, the cars parked at the bottom.

At the edges of the roof, icicles and a conglomerate of frozen snow and ice accumulate. From time to time they break down, threatening the safety of people at the bottom and their property, the integrity of the drainage system and elements of the facade decoration.

To prevent all these troubles is possible only by ensuring the smooth removal of melted water. This is possible only if the heated edges of the roof and drainage system.

It happens that in order to reduce the cost of the heating system it is placed only on the surface of the roof. The owner is fully confident that this will be quite enough.

However, it is not. Water will flow into the gutters and pipes, where it will freeze at the end of the day, since there is no heating there. Drains will be clogged with ice, so they will not be able to receive melt water. In addition, there is a danger of mechanical damage.

Thus, in order to get a good result, you should equip the heating of the roof and the drains surrounding it. In most cases, the heating cable is mounted on the roof eaves, inside the gutters of the drain and in the funnels, at the joints of the roof fragments, along the lines of the valleys.

In addition, heating must be present along the entire length of the drain pipes, in the water tanks and drainage trays.

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Non-heating in winter

It is not necessary to use the heating cable laid in the drainage system continuously. It can be included as rain falls, in situations that threaten the appearance of ice jams in the system.

Laying the heating cable in the gutter

The heating cable in the elements of the drainage system is laid in straight parallel lines, a snake or zigzag. The fastening is made by metal mounting tapes fixed to the system elements at several points.

Outdoor drainage system

Heating cable to prevent icing of the drainage system and the breakthrough of its ice formations, equip both external and internal drainage systems

Heating cable around the internal drain

Around the internal drain riser, the heating cable is laid so as to cover the area arranged with a slope to the funnel to the maximum.

The device of the heating system at the outer funnel

Laying the heating cable near the catchment must ensure full melting of snow on a plot of 1 m²

Cable installation adjacent design

In the case of the characteristic formation of snow drifts on structures adjacent to the roof, they also equip it with a heating cable. The formation of ice blocks that can cause damage to the house and the owners should be excluded

Heating cable in the drainpipe

cable heating system is laid throughout the drain, including drain pipes. Sprawling ice mash inside the riser can damage it.

Cable laying in the roof valley

An important factor in protecting the roof, the facade and the owners of the house from the formation of ice is the arrangement of all snow accumulations with a heating cable, for example, in the valley

Non-heating in winter

Non-heating in winter

Laying the heating cable in the gutter

Laying the heating cable in the gutter

Outdoor drainage system

Outdoor drainage system

Heating cable around the internal drain

Heating cable around the internal drain

The device of the heating system at the outer funnel

The device of the heating system at the outer funnel

Cable installation adjacent design

Cable installation adjacent design

Heating cable in the drainpipe

Heating cable in the drainpipe

Cable laying in the roof valley

Cable laying in the roof valley

Features of arrangement of the heating system

Methods of heating different types of roofing may vary. These are the so-called "cold" and "warm" roofs. Let us examine the features of each option.

Heated cold roof

So called the roof without thermal insulation on the slopes with good ventilation. Most often, these roofs are located on non-residential attic rooms. They do not let the heat out, so the snow cover on them does not melt throughout the winter.

For such structures will be sufficient installation of heating gutters. Linear capacity of the laid cable should gradually increase. Begin with 20-30 watts per meter and finish 60-70 watts per meter of drain.

How to warm a warm roof?

The roof is considered to be thermally insulated. They let the heat out, so that even at low temperatures on the surface of a warm roof snow cover can melt. The resulting water flows into the cold fragments of the roof and freezes, and frost forms. For this reason, it is necessary to arrange the heating of the edge of the roof.

Features a warm roof

The so-called warm roof transmits heat out. Therefore, the snow over the “warm” areas melts, the melt water falls on the “cold” fragments and freezes.

It is realized in the form of heating sections laid on the edge of the roof. They are laid in the form of loops 0.3-0.5 m wide. At the same time, the specific power of the resulting heating system should be from 200 to 250 W per square meter. Arrangement of heating gutters is implemented similarly to that used for cold roofing.

Device heating system drain

For heating the roof and gutters most often used a system with a heating cable. Consider its main elements.

Distribution block and sensors

The distribution unit is designed for switching power (cold) and heating cables.

The site includes elements:

  • a signal cable that connects the sensors to the control unit;
  • power cable;
  • special couplings used to ensure the tightness of the system;
  • mounting box.

The unit can be installed directly on the roof, so it must be well protected from moisture.

The system can use three types of detectors: water, precipitation and temperature. They are located on the roof, in the gutters and drains. Their main task is to collect information for automatic heating control.

The collected data goes to the controller, which analyzes them, makes a decision about turning off / on the equipment and selects the optimal mode of operation.

Controller and control panel

The controller is the brain of the entire system responsible for its operation. In the most simplified version it can be any thermostatic device. In this case, the minimum operating range of the device should be in the range from +3 to -8 degrees C. In this case, the control and switching of the system cannot be fully automated, it will require human intervention.

Controller for gutter heating system

For full automation of the heating system will require a controller. This device collects and analyzes information coming from sensors and corrects the system operation on its basis.

A more convenient option for operation is the use of a complex electronic control device with the possibility of programming. Such equipment is able to independently control the process of melting precipitation, their quantity, monitor the temperature.

The controller quickly responds to the changes and makes the best decisions, choosing the best mode of operation of the equipment for heating in the existing conditions.

The control panel is designed to control the entire system and ensure safety during its operation.

For the arrangement of the site elements are usually used:

  • three-phase input automat;
  • RCD (it is a protective device off);
  • four-pole contactor;
  • signal lamp.

In addition, you will need to put on each phase a single-pole protective circuit breakers, as well as the protection of the thermostat circuit.

In addition, in the process of installation will require parts for mounting: roofing nails, screws, rivets. You will need shrink tubing and special mounting tape.

How to choose a heating cable?

Perhaps the most important element of the system can be considered a heating cable. In practice, choose between two types of devices: self-regulating and resistance cable. Consider all the disadvantages and advantages of using both options.

Resistive Cable Features

Differs in simplicity of the principle of work. Inside this cable there is a metal conductor with high resistance. When electricity is applied, it starts to warm up quickly and gives off heat to the heated object. The system with a resistive cable is very easy to operate and does not require large expenses.

Resistive heating cable

The device of the heating resistive cable is very simple. The main “working” element is the heating core. When current passes through it, it warms up very quickly.

The main advantages of using this type of cable are the absence of starting currents at start-up, the low cost of the resistive wire and the presence of constant power.

The last statement can be attributed to the controversial. Because in some cases, constant power will be more of a disadvantage. This will happen if parts of the system will need different amounts of heat. Some of them can overheat, and the rest, on the contrary, will receive less heat.

To regulate the degree of heating of a system with a resistive cable, thermostats or other devices are necessarily used.

The effectiveness and efficiency of the functioning of such a system depends on the correctness of their settings, so the reality is often far from desired. In this resistive cable is much inferior self-regulating.

Experts recommend laying down an area resistive cable whenever possible. This variety is characterized by the presence of a heating thread of nichrome. Its running capacity does not depend on the size, if necessary, the cable can be cut.

Also, the advantages of heating cable include ease of installation and long-term operation.

The cable is self-regulating and the nuances of its work

Differs more complex device. Inside such a cable there are two heating conductors, around which there is a special matrix. It “adjusts” the resistance of the cable depending on what the ambient temperature is. The higher it is, the less the cable heats up, and vice versa, the colder it is around, the better it heats up.

Self-regulating heating cable

Inside the self-regulating cable there is a special matrix capable of changing the resistance of the heating core depending on the ambient temperature.

The advantages of a self-regulating cable are many. First of all, for its normal operation, installation of a complex of control devices: detectors and thermostats is not required. The system will adjust itself, and overheating or insufficient heating, as may happen with a resistive cable, will not occur.

Self-adjusting wire can be cut. The minimum length of the segment - 20 cm, its performance will not change from the length. In the process of installation, if necessary, the cables can be crossed and even twisted, they will work as usual. Installation and operation of self-regulating cable is very simple. It can be mounted outside or inside a heated object.

There are system and disadvantages. First of all, it is the cost. Self-regulating cable is about 2-3 times more expensive than resistive. It should be borne in mind that in operation it will cost less. Another disadvantage is the gradual aging of the self-regulating matrix, as a result of which the self-regulating cable fails over time.

Read more about the features of the choice of self-regulating cable read Further.

Calculation of the heating system

Experts advise choosing cables with a capacity of at least 25-30 W per meter for the heating system of the roof and drains. You need to know that both types of heating cables are used for other purposes. For arrangement of warm floors, for example, but their power is much lower.

Heated drain

Before proceeding to the calculations of power, you need to decide how to heat all the elements of the system. The figure shows examples of the possible organization of heating gutters and gutters.

Power consumption is estimated in active mode. This is the period when the system is operating at maximum load. It lasts a total of 11 to 33% of the entire period of cold weather, which conventionally lasts from mid-November to mid-March. These are average values, they are different for each locality. The power of the system needs to be calculated.

To determine it, you need to know the parameters of the drainage system.

Let us give an example of calculations for a standard construction with a vertical flow section of 80–100 mm, a pipe-trench diameter of 120–150 mm.

  • It is necessary to accurately measure the length of all the gutters for water flow and add up the resulting values.
  • The result must be multiplied by two. This is the cable length that will be laid across the horizontal section of the heating system.
  • The length of all vertical drains is measured. The resulting values ​​are added.
  • The length of the vertical section of the system is equal to the total length of the gutters, since in this case a single cable line will suffice.
  • The calculated lengths of both sections of the heating system are added.
  • The result is multiplied by 25. The result is the power of electrical heating in the active mode.

Such calculations are considered approximate. More precisely, everything can be calculated by using a special calculator on one of the Internet sites. If independent calculations are difficult, you should invite a specialist.

Choosing a place for cable laying

Actually, the heating system for drains is not so difficult, however, so that it works to the maximum effectively, cable should be laid on all areas where frost is formed, and in places where melted of snow.

In roofing endov the cable is mounted down and up, two thirds of endova. Minimum - 1 m from the beginning of the overhang. Each square meter of the valley must be 250-300 W of power.

Flat roof heating

On the flat parts of the roof, the heating of the fragment of the roof located immediately before the catchment is equipped. So thawed water will freely fall into the pipe

Along the edge of the eaves, the wire is laid in the form of a snake. The snake's pitch for soft roofs is 35-40 cm, on hard roofs it is made a multiple of the pattern. The length of the loops is chosen so that there are no cold zones on the heated surface, otherwise frost will be formed here. The cable is laid on the line of water separation by drip. This may be 1-3 threads, the choice is made on the basis of the system design.

The heating cable is mounted inside the gutters. Usually two yarns are stacked here; power is selected depending on the diameter of the gutter. Inside the drains fit one heating vein. Particular attention should be paid to pipe outlets and funnels. Usually it requires additional heating.

Technology arrangement of the heating system

We propose to study the detailed installation instructions for the heating system of the roof and gutters with your own hands. The process of arranging a heating system for drains includes a number of standard steps:

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Step 1: Installation of the heating cable according to the project

According to the project prepared in advance, we fix the cable, having installed for this pre-assembly tape at the attachment points. If the project provides for the installation of a complete anti-icing system, then, in addition to drains, equip the eaves and the valley

Step 2: Laying Vertically Oriented Heating Lines

We start heating cable through drain funnels into drain pipes. We arrange it in the form of one to three long loops, the number of which determines the diameter of the pipe

Step 3: Install the icing sensor

We install the sensors of the system of anti-icing drains, They record changes in humidity and temperature on the surface drainage system and transmit data to the thermostat, which automatically starts heating if necessary

Step 4: Install the junction boxes and automation in the shield

We install the installation boxes required for the inspection, maintenance and repair of lines. Connect the sensors to the thermostat. We bring and connect the system to the machine in the panel

Step 1: Installation of the heating cable according to the project

Step 1: Installation of the heating cable according to the project

Step 2: Laying Vertically Oriented Heating Lines

Step 2: Laying Vertically Oriented Heating Lines

Step 3: Install the icing sensor

Step 3: Install the icing sensor

Step 4: Install the junction boxes and automation in the shield

Step 4: Install the junction boxes and automation in the shield

To begin with, we outline the places where the cable will be laid. It is important to take into account all the turns and their complexity. If the angle of rotation is too steep, it is recommended to cut the cable into parts of the required length and then connect them using couplings.

When marking carefully inspect the base. There should be no sharp protrusions or corners, otherwise the integrity of the cable will be jeopardized.

Inside the gutter cable is fixed with a special mounting tape. It is fixed across the wire. It is desirable to choose a tape as strong as possible.

The resistive cable is fixed with a tape every 0.25 m, self-regulating - after 0.5 m. Each strip of tape is additionally fixed with rivets. Their installation sites are treated with sealant.

Cable fixing in the gutter

To install the cable using a special mounting tape. No other fasteners are recommended. Rivets, sealant or foam are used to fix the tape.

Inside the gutter to fix the cable using the same tape for installation or shrink tube. For parts whose length exceeds 6 m, an additional metal cable is used. A cable is attached to it to take the load off the last one.

Inside the funnels heating cable is attached to the tape and rivets. On the roof - on the mounting tape glued on the sealant, or on the mounting foam.

An important note from the experts. It may seem that the adhesion of the roofing material to the sealant or foam is not enough for a reliable connection. However, it is absolutely impossible to perform holes for rivets on the roofing material. Over time, this will inevitably lead to leaks, and the roof will become unusable.

Choose a place under the junction boxes and install them. Then we call and accurately measure the insulation resistance of all the resulting sections. We put in place the thermostat sensors, put the power and signal wires. Each sensor is a small device with a wire, the length of the latter can be adjusted. Detectors are placed in strictly defined places.

Strengthening the heating in the funnel drain

In some parts of the system, heating gain is required. More cable is mounted here. Such areas include a drain funnel where ice may accumulate.

For example, a place on the roof of a house is selected for a snow sensor, and a water detector is selected at the lower point of the gutter. All work carried out according to the manufacturer's instructions. Connect the detectors with the controller. If the building is large, the sensors can be combined into groups, which are subsequently alternately connected to a common controller.

Next, prepare the place where the automatic control system will be installed. Most often it is a distribution box located inside the building. This is where the controller and protection group is installed.

Depending on the type of controller, the nuances of its installation may differ slightly. However, in any case, it will have terminals for connecting detectors, heating cables and for supplying power.

System installation error

The picture shows that the cable is fixed in a “suspended” state. Over time, violation of the installation will inevitably lead to its breakage and damage to the heating system

We install a protective group, after which we measure the resistance of previously mounted cables. Now you need to test the automatic protective shutdown to find out how well it copes with its functions.

If everything is in order, we program the thermostat and start the system into operation.

Typical errors when installing the system

Experienced installers highlight typical mistakes that are often made by those who, for the first time, independently install heating gutters:

  1. Errors in the design. The most common - ignoring the characteristics of a particular roof. When designing, no attention is paid to cold edges, warm areas, spillway zones, etc. As a result, frost continues to form in some parts of the roof.
  2. Errors in fixing the heating cable: a movable wire, "hanging" on the mounting tape, holes in the roof for fasteners, the use of tape, which is designed for installing underfloor heating, on the roof.
  3. Installation of plastic clamps, designed for interior work, as fasteners. Under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, they will become brittle and collapse in less than a year.
  4. Hanging of the heating cable in the drain without additional fastening to the cable. Causes wire breakage due to thermal expansion and ice severity.
  5. Installation of power cables that are not intended for laying on the roof. As a result, insulation breakdown occurs, which threatens to cause a shock.

The errors include connection heating cable in areas where its use is not required. His work will be useless, and the owner will have to pay for it.

Conclusions and useful video on the topic

Interesting information about heating cables and useful tips on their installation are presented in the following videos.

Features of work of the self-regulating heating cable:

How to build a heating system yourself:

Installation of heating systems for industrial assembly:

Practice shows that in cold weather it is necessary to heat the drains. This gives you the opportunity to get rid of the ice and guarantees protection against sudden snow. You can equip such a system yourself.

The hardest thing is to calculate it and select the areas where you need to lay the heating cable. This part of the work can be trusted with professionals. After receiving the calculations and the project, the subsequent installation is easy to implement independently.

Want to ask a question about the arrangement of heating drain? Please write it below the block. Here you have the opportunity to report interesting facts on the topic of the article or to share the experience of personalized arrangement of heating the drain.

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