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Old 04-17-2008, 10:37 PM   #1
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Radiant heat for floor


With respect to the electrical work, is there any code as to whether or not the thermostat/mat needs to be on its own circuit, or can it share a circuit with the lighting in the room? This is for a basement bathroom.

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Old 04-18-2008, 07:16 AM   #2
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Radiant heat for floor


Let's just say there isn't one in your state (but there probably is), it's just good sense to have a dedicated circuit for any electric heating system, especially if it's a line voltage system under your bathroom floor.

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Old 04-18-2008, 11:24 AM   #3
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Radiant heat for floor


Actually, electric radiant heat is not in the thosands of watts, most of the floor mats are under 400 watts.

They're NOT considered heaters, they're floor warmers, and consume power as an electric blanket would. No reason not to put them on a lighting circuit or even the bathroom 20a receptacle circuit would be acceptable.

Their thermostats have GFCI protection built in.
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Old 04-18-2008, 01:05 PM   #4
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Radiant heat for floor


Sparky
Umm..that's now old school thinking. The square footage of the project dictates the wattage. With a low voltage system, it can be regulated to watt fits the application, floor warming or primary heat.

A 100sf exposed bathroom floor utilizing low voltage will be 800-1200 watts, depending on whether it's floor warming or primary heating.

Low voltage doesn't require GFCI. Line voltage will require it and can cause issues if it's on a mixed circuit. But, in the end, that's up to the DYIer.
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Old 04-18-2008, 02:35 PM   #5
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Radiant heat for floor


I've never seen low-voltage floor heat. All I've ever seen and installed was line voltage.
Yes, while this stuff is 10 watts per sq/ft, it is NOT likely that he will have 100 sq/ft of heated area. That is a HUGE bathroom, considering that the heat does NOT go under the tub, toilet, vanity, etc.
A real 10x10 bath may might have 50 sq/ft of heat.

Depending on the circuit this definitely CAN be put on a circuit with lighting.
I would NEVER share any electric heat with the bath receptacle GFI circuit.
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Answers based on the 2008 & 2011 NEC.
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Old 04-18-2008, 05:59 PM   #6
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Radiant heat for floor


I only used the 100sf as an example. I'm not allowed to show you the low voltage systems we work with because it's construed as sales and that's tabu here.

Basically, it's a standard copper stranded wire roll, transformer and a digital Tstat with sensor. The big difference is the ability to add more wire at closer spacing, if we need more btu's, and the ease of repair if needed. Since it's just a loop of copper stranded insulated wire, if it's broken or nicked and, over time, corrodes through, a simple tic tracer finds the spot where the break is. Remove a tile(s), butt splice it and it's back to working again.

Yes, it can be cut in the field too. We cut the presized roll, splice in some cold lead and jump it up to the seat in the shower or whirlpool and then back down to the floor. Can't do that with line voltage mats or wire roll!

Do a heat loss calculation and fit the correct watts in that are 50% more than what is needed and you have a primary heating system. Naturally, in older construction if the heat loss is too great, it's not going to work but in current construction/remodels, we're in!
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:23 AM   #7
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Radiant heat for floor


Actually, Suntouch mats can be trimmed, run up a rise to a bench and back down again, and it is line voltage.
The biggest advantage I see for low voltage is "Off the grid" alternative power systems. I kind of like having those kinds of choices!

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