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Old 02-16-2011, 09:24 AM   #1
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Heating outside gravel area.


Hello everyone, I'm completely new to the forum but I have been lurking for some time, especially since buying a home 2 years ago.

Here's my problem:
I have a small concrete backyard and two boxer dogs. I also live in Cleveland, Ohio and the backyard gets covered in snow whenever it does snow. My dogs use the backyard as their restrooms and it's really difficult to pick up after them when there is a big accumulation of snow on the ground.

Im planing on expanding the yard by redoing the fence and running the fence down the side of the house, this will be their designated restroom area -- about 5' x 15' of space.

I want to add gravel to the area, to make it easier to pick up after them, but I want to somehow heat the ground so the snow doesn't collect and makes it harder on me. I was thinking of using the heated cables(Thermwell products from HD) used on the gutters and laying those down under 2-3inches of gravel.

Does anyone here see a better idea on how I can heat this area for my dogs to use as their restroom? So far this is all I can come up with.

Thanks
Joey

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Old 02-16-2011, 11:58 AM   #2
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Heating outside gravel area.


I doubt you could put out enough heat with cables to keep ground/gravel warm enough to prevent freezing as surrounding air and ground will be a huge heatsink, sucking your heating dollars away. Also, won't the gravel be a bit sharp for the dogs' pads? Not sure what kind of gravel you were thinking of?

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Old 02-16-2011, 12:53 PM   #3
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Heating outside gravel area.


Sorry, I guess pebbles is a best description of what I want to use on the ground. If I'm not mistaken they are called "beach pebbles" at home depot and they are small, round and have a soft finish to them. Same thing used on our local dog parks.

As for the heating cables, this is what I'm referring to:

http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/...atalogId=10053

You really don't think it will work?
I have to figure something out...
Thanks
Joey
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:28 PM   #4
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Heating outside gravel area.


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You really don't think it will work?
I have to figure something out...
Ayuh,... Let 'em poo in the snow, 'n pick it up after it melts...
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Old 02-16-2011, 01:44 PM   #5
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Heating outside gravel area.


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Ayuh,... Let 'em poo in the snow, 'n pick it up after it melts...
Lol nah I gotta do something, it gets really nasty out there
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Old 02-16-2011, 02:10 PM   #6
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Heating outside gravel area.


Could you pour a concrete pad this spring. If you can you could add in-slab heat.

You wouldn't happen to have hot-water heat in your house would you? If you do it would be possible to add a hydronic loop to the pad. I don't know how much you are willing to invest on this, but hydronic would be the way I would go. It's used for deicing driveways a lot anymore.
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:07 PM   #7
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Could you pour a concrete pad this spring. If you can you could add in-slab heat.

You wouldn't happen to have hot-water heat in your house would you? If you do it would be possible to add a hydronic loop to the pad. I don't know how much you are willing to invest on this, but hydronic would be the way I would go. It's used for deicing driveways a lot anymore.
Yes I could pour concrete but the only issue with that, as with the backyard in the summer, is the smell of the dried-up urine after sittif all day under the hot sun. That's why I wanted to use pebbles because it will at least "irrigate" some and not be a puddle.

My home is forced air, so no hot-water heat. Did you get a chance to see the items on the link I posted? Do you think those cables could be used to melt the snow? I'm not planing on having them on all the time, just when there is some snow in the forecast.

Joey
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:33 PM   #8
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Heating outside gravel area.


You can melt the snow, but where will it run off to?

It either stays on your property or the neighbor will put 1 and 1 together.

Just clean up frequently and avoid the accumulation. Did you ever have any kids and tried to put off changing diapers until they got "potty trained". Maybe it just calls for routine maintenance/cleaning and training unless you want to install a waste disposal system for the kids (dogs). - I saw that in an apartment penthouse in China.

Dick
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Old 02-16-2011, 03:47 PM   #9
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Heating outside gravel area.


After thinking about it, is there a possibility of building a covered kennel for them? I'm wondering if the cost of what you're trying do is worth it to you. In my opinion, it's probably cheaper in the long term to build one and it will also allow a place for them to get out of the weather too...then again, I'm sure you've probably considered that already and maybe that's not a realistic option for you.
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Old 02-16-2011, 04:39 PM   #10
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The melted snow/ice will run off towards the sidewalk. That side of the house faces the street. No kids for my and I just yet

As for a kennell, I was thinking of maybe adding a roof/cover to that side of the fence, but I'm not sure it will look right. The 100ft. radiant heater cable is about $69(if I'm not mistaken) and if it can be used, it will look better.
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Old 02-16-2011, 06:09 PM   #11
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Heating outside gravel area.


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Yes I could pour concrete but the only issue with that, as with the backyard in the summer, is the smell of the dried-up urine after sittif all day under the hot sun. That's why I wanted to use pebbles because it will at least "irrigate" some and not be a puddle.
Ayuh,.. The pebbled area is gonna Stink, just like the backyard come summer....
Atleast with concrete, you can flush it with the garden hose occasionally...
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:10 PM   #12
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Heating outside gravel area.


I was referring to the long term costs....and thanks for the pricing part, I didn't realize it was that cheap. From what Ive seen/heard, heated driveways were expensive to operate, and I guess I made an assumption that gravel would be even more expensive to keep thawed.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:18 PM   #13
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Heating outside gravel area.


You can't put radiant heat under "pea" gravel ) (no pun intended). There is too much heat loss. You need to have some kind of mass to sink the het off the cable or the heat just dissipates from all the air in between. It just won't work.

I understand the concept, I have a Bernese Mtn Dog and it would be nice to have a source that would drain off yet hold the solids to clean up...all well!
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:31 PM   #14
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Heating outside gravel area.


Hi Joey,

I live in an area where snow removal is always a problem. Therefore in this town, the norm is becoming "road heating" and "floor heating". The whole system is very simple and only as expensive as you wish to make it. You simply bury vinyl pipes that circulate anti freeze/anti boil fluid. You use a pump and whatever form of "water heater" you desire. I always use spare parts and the system you are desiring sounds like it could be made for a few hundred dollars. Especially if you start with a scrap water heater. However, you should always include an air-float valve to keep air out of the lines and a pressure valve to protect the system. Also, it is good to make a small (maybe 1 gallon) expansion reservoir with a spring filler cap. If you need more info just ask.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:43 PM   #15
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Heating outside gravel area.


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Originally Posted by God's Fixit Man View Post
Hi Joey,

I live in an area where snow removal is always a problem. Therefore in this town, the norm is becoming "road heating" and "floor heating". The whole system is very simple and only as expensive as you wish to make it. You simply bury vinyl pipes that circulate anti freeze/anti boil fluid. You use a pump and whatever form of "water heater" you desire. I always use spare parts and the system you are desiring sounds like it could be made for a few hundred dollars. Especially if you start with a scrap water heater. However, you should always include an air-float valve to keep air out of the lines and a pressure valve to protect the system. Also, it is good to make a small (maybe 1 gallon) expansion reservoir with a spring filler cap. If you need more info just ask.
Im very interested in learning about this heating setup. I'm going to google for it but if there is a particular site you can point me towards, that would be great.

Thanks!

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