I'm buying a house which has a radiant heated driveway (for snow and ice abatement) How can I go about testing it in warm weather?

  • What type of system is it? Liquid or thermoelectric? For liquid you just have to verify that the heater works that the loop is sealed and that flow rate is acceptable. For thermoelectric you may need to use a meggar to verify insulation is good, a meter for continuity and resistance, and it may be a semiconductor type that functions as a sensor or have actual sensors, in which case you need to check the sensors.
    – K H
    May 6, 2021 at 4:26

3 Answers 3


Wait until night time, then turn it on and look at it with an infrared camera?

  • Smart! Does it have to be night? How about cloudy?
    – P2000
    May 6, 2021 at 4:39
  • 2
    @P2000 solar gain will mess you up, so no. Really I would turn the electricity on at 1AM and check it at 5AM. Otherwise the "solar gain" the pavement collected all day will throw off the reading. May 6, 2021 at 5:58
  • Just stating the obvious: Since the property isn't owned by the OP, arrangements will have to be made with the current owner to turn it on at the appropriate time, and to be allowed onto the property early in the morning to do the infrared scanning. I suppose you could point the camera from the street... Just alert the owner & neighbors so they're not concerned about a prowler early in the morning.
    – FreeMan
    May 6, 2021 at 12:52

Use a multimeter and check the resistance of the heating elements.

You will need to know how they are connected series , parallel or a combination.

  • How will the measurements change? Couldn't I, instead, use an ammeter to measure current through them?
    – Matthew
    May 6, 2021 at 5:25
  • Assuming your skill level from your questions, I suggest measuring the resistance as the power is off. If you want to measure current then the power will be on and you could get a shock - which might even be fatal. As for calue, assuming the elements are the same length then the resistance reading should be very similar, its the ones the are open circuit that will need more investigation. Also consider the use of the megger as suggested. @Matthew
    – Solar Mike
    May 6, 2021 at 5:37

You could wait for the sun to go down, then scrape the snow out of your freezer and spread it on part of the surface (maybe chalk a square) and on another surface that isn't heated, then turn the system on and watch and compare.

  • That's not particularly scientific. There are many reasons a bit of frost would melt more quickly in one area than another. Maybe ice cubes, with more mass....
    – isherwood
    May 6, 2021 at 13:25

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