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Old 10-13-2010, 03:30 PM   #1
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Radiant CounterTop


My project is to heat a cast concrete counter top. I want to thermostatically control the temperature. I would like to circulate through my Hot Water boiler. I want to achieve this result as inexpensively as possible. I plan to use 1/4" O.D. PEX within the cast. If I tie in the ability to back flush the system I am hoping that I can avoid the heat exchanging expense. I am hoping to be able to tap into the DHW supply with a small inline pump or valve thermostatically controlled and return directly to boiler supply line. Does this sound like a reasonable idea? Your help is appreciated.

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Old 10-13-2010, 09:36 PM   #2
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Just the one question. Why?

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Old 10-13-2010, 09:38 PM   #3
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Radiant CounterTop


Why not ?
I want to do the same thing
Counter top gets cold in the winter
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Old 10-14-2010, 08:07 AM   #4
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Radiant CounterTop


The countertop I am referring to is actually a bar-top that is elevated along one edge of a kitchen island. What do people do when approaching a bar-top? Often they will lean on it with one arm or when sitting at a bar rest their arms on it. A warm surface is inviting. This surface will radiate heat into the house during the winter. If making bread the dough will rise nicely. The first reason is enough for me.
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Old 10-14-2010, 02:20 PM   #5
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Radiant CounterTop


I would look into the electric radiant heat cable used under ceramic floor tile. It would be a whole lot less complex than a pump and a valve and back-flushing. And less complex usually means less cost.
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:49 AM   #6
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How many square feet of coverage is there in this top?
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:09 PM   #7
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The top is only about 9-10 sq/ft surface. It has a weird amoeba shape, no straight edges and 2" Thick. Does anybody know if they make an electric coil or tape for this application?
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:48 PM   #8
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Radiant CounterTop


Have you considered installing a hanging fixture or two and installing low wattage IR bulbs? Whole lot less work....

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BTW, I've got the opposite problem... my wife keeps asking me to find a way to refrigerate a portion of one of our counter tops, so that is will be easier to roll out pastry .

I'm considering installing a inlaid section of marble above a under-counter refrigerator with the top removed, when not in use as a "refrigerated" counter top an insulated cutting board would sit on top of the marble. Whole lot more work than just cooling a piece of marble in the refrigerator...
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:54 PM   #9
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You could use a line voltage cable system with an in-slab sensor for the thermostat. That would allow you to shape the system to the top. You would have to set the top in a mortar. All electric cable heating elements of this design need to be in a mortar as a heat sink.

You could also use a low voltage system but it would cost more. You would get a much better warranty (25 years on the element compared to 10 years for line voltage) and it is a much more rugged element to work with but I think for this size system, the line voltage would be a simpler install. The low voltage system would need space for a 7" square box for the transformer in a location within 20 linear feet of the top.

The cost difference is nominal. Maybe $100. more for the low voltage system. In both cases you must use all of the element that comes on the roll so there is a calculation we could help you with for element spacing. There is no cutting or overlapping of the element.
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Old 10-18-2010, 03:00 PM   #10
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Radiant CounterTop


There are heating elements that get thinsetted down under tiles that might work if you have access to the underside of the concrete countertop.

[edit]
didn't read the above reply. Likely the same thing.
[/edit]

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