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Old 07-24-20, 01:00 PM   #1
Aztec Cannon
Lurking Renovator
Join Date: May 2010
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Default Passive Snowmelt

Needing input on a driveway snowmelt idea. I once knew an eccentric proprietor of solar/hydronic/heat pump equipment who I would have asked this question before he passed. He once said to me that people complained about snowmelt systems not working after a snowfall. The problem was that they turned on their systems after a storm dumped two feet of snow on their driveway. The system would melt the snow touching the driveway and leave a cavity that made melting the rest of the snow problematic as it would cost a ton to melt the rest of it.
My question is simply, if one sets up a system where the goal is to maintain a constant concrete surface temp of 40 or so by running the system pump all the time with no additional heat input other than what you get from the loops under the driveway; would that be enough to keep it clear as you would be melting the snow as it fell? Something to keep in mind, I live in SLC where the average high in January is 36.
My apologies if this question is ridiculous. If it is, I hope you get a good laugh out of it. Otherwise, I'd really like to know if this is feasible.

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