Bostik Heatstep Wire Installation Manual
HeatStep? Wire is a complete heating cable consisting of a series resistance heating cable and single power lead for easy single-point connection. The heating cable cannot be cut to fit.
Voltages: 120, 240 VAC, 1-phase
Watts: 10 W/sqft (34 Btu/h/sqft) when spaced 3 inches on center, up to 15 W/sqft (51 Btu/h/sqft) when spaced 2 inches on center (see Table 1)
Maximum heater current: 10 amps
Maximum circuit load: 15 amps
Maximum circuit protection: 20 amps breaker
GFCI: (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) for each circuit (included in the HeatStep? control)
Listing: UL Listed for U.S. and Canada under UL 1673 and CAN/CSA C22.2 No. 130.2-93, File No. E185866
Application: (-X) - (see UL Label on product) For indoor floor heating application only. Shower area Listed (see Step 5.20 for restrictions) (-W on the nameplate label indicates CUL Listing for Wet Location in Canada per Canadian Electrical Code, Part I (CEC). Embedded in polymer-modified cement based mortar only (see Appendix 1).
Minimum bend radius: 1 inch
Maximum exposure temperature: (continuous and storage) 194°F (90°C)
Minimum installation temperature: 50°F (10°C)
NEVER bang a trowel or other tool on the heating cable.
Always embed the factory splice and all heating wire in mortar. NEVER bend the splice or place any part of it in the wall or through the floor.
use less than 2" spacing
Phase 2: PreparationTable 2 - Cautions
As with any electrical product, care should be taken to guard against the potential risks of fire, electric shock, and injury to persons. The following cautions must be observed:
NEVER install Heating wire under carpet, wood,vinyl, or other non-masonry flooring without embedding it in Bostik SL-150?, WebCrete® 95, WebCrete® 98 or Ultra Finish.
NEVER install HeatStep? wire in adhesives orglues intended for vinyl tile or other laminate flooring, or in pre-mix mortars. It must be embedded in polymer-modified, cement based mortar.
NEVER cut the heating wire. Doing so will causedangerous overheating and will void the warranty. The power lead may be cut shorter if necessary, but never remove completely from the heating wire.
NEVER bang a trowel or other tool on the heatingwire. Be careful not to nick, cut, or pinch the wire causing it to be damaged.
NEVER use nails, staples, or similar to fasten theheating wire to the floor.
NEVER attempt to repair a damaged heating wire,splice, or power lead using unauthorized parts. Use only factory authorized repair parts and methods.
NEVER splice one heating wire to another to makeit longer. Multiple heating wire power leads must be connected in parallel in a junction box or to the thermostat.
NEVER install one heating wire on top of anotheror overlap the heating wire on itself. This will cause dangerous overheating.
NEVER forget to install the floor sensor includedwith the thermostat.
NEVER install HeatStep? wire in any walls, or over walls or partitions that extend to the ceiling.
NEVER install heating wire under cabinets or otherbuilt-ins having no floor clearance, or in small closets. Excessive heat will build up in these confined spaces, and the heating wire can be damaged by fasteners (nails, screws, etc.) used to install built-ins.
NEVER remove the nameplate label from thepower leads. Make sure it is viewable for inspection later.
NEVER extend the heating wire beyond the roomor area in which it originates.
NEVER allow a power lead or sensor wire to crossover or under a heating cable. Damage could result.
ALWAYS completely embed the heating wire andfactory splices in Bostik SL-150?, WebCrete® 95, WebCrete® 98 or Ultra Finish.
ALWAYS maintain a minimum of 2" spacingbetween heating wires.
ALWAYS pay close attention to voltage andamperage requirements of the breaker, the thermostat, and the HeatStep? wire. For instance, do not supply 240 VAC power to 120 VAC HeatStep?wire as damage will result.
ALWAYS make sure all electrical work is done byqualified persons in accordance with local building and electrical codes, Section 62 of the Canadian Electrical Code (CEC) Part I, and the National Electrical Code (NEC), especially Article 424.
ALWAYS use copper only as supply conductors tothe thermostat. Do not use aluminium.
ALWAYS seek help if a problem arises. If ever indoubt about the correct installation procedure to follow, or if the product appears to be damaged, the factory must be called before proceeding with the installation.
STEP 4.8 Install a maximum 20-amp circuit breaker(s) into the breaker panel, depending on the load of the system. Use a 120-VAC single-pole breaker for a 120-VAC system. Use a 240-VAC double-pole breaker for a 240-VAC system.
For systems that are too large to directly power through one HeatStep? Control but must be operated by one floor-sensing control, use a HeatStep? Control in combination with up to 10 HeatStep? Relay Controls. Contact a HeatStep? dealer or the factory for more information.
STEP 4.9 Cut an opening in the wall for the control electrical box. If installing one to two cables, use an extra-deep single-gang box to allow plenty of room for the wiring. Use a 4"-square box if installing three cables. The box can be located almost anywhere that is well ventilated. However, the best place is in the same room as the cable, typically about 60" above the floor, and within reach of the power lead wires of the cable. If installing more than three cables, it will be necessary to connect their power leads in a junction box first (see Step 4.11) to keep from overfilling the control box. Then route one power supply from this junction box to the control box. See Step 5.22 for special requirements if the control will connect to a heating cable entering a shower area.
STEP 4.10 Following code, feed 14- or 12-gauge NM type electrical wiring from the circuit breaker panel to the control electrical box opening. Leave about 6"?8" of extra wire extended from the opening.
STEP 4.11 If the control box must be mounted in a location that is too far to reach with the power lead wires, it will also be necessary to mount a junction box where the lead wires can terminate. Use a standard junction box with a cover, mounting it below the floor, in the attic, or in another easily accessible location. It must remain easily accessible and not located behind a cabinet or similar obstruction. Then use 14- or 12-gauge NM type or other accepted electrical wiring to connect from the junction box to the control electrical box.
STEP 4.12 At the floor level below the control box, cut a 2"x 2"-wide piece from the wall surface. Use a wood chisel to notch out a channel in the baseplate to make it easier to route the wires up the wall.
STEP 4.13 Mark the circuit breaker in the panel which feeds the system with "Floor warming/bath" or similar.
Phase 5: Install the Cables
IMPORTANT! Refer to Phase 8 and Appendix 1 to make sure the floor is properly prepared for installation of the cable(s), especially the use of reinforcement, leveling, and insulation on concrete slab.
STEP 5.1 Use the sketch and design considerations made earlier in Phase 1 to begin laying the cables. Do not install the cables closer than about 6" from wax toilet rings and plumbing to keep from over- heating these items
STEP 5.2 Make sure to space the cables to provide the warmth desired. This heating cable CANNOT be cut shorter to fit! Do not overlap or cross over heating cable on itself. Do not space heating cables less than 2" apart. Failure to do so may result in damage to the product and dangerous overheating.
STEP 5.3 If this is new construction, draw lines on the floor or use templates to outline the area of any cabinets, fixtures, or future walls that will be placed in the room. NEVER install the cables under cabinets, fixtures, or walls. Excess heat may build up under these items and cause damage.
STEP 5.4 Decide which direction the cables will run on the floor for the easiest coverage. Refer to the sample layouts in this manual for assistance. Depending on the shape of the area, it may help to think of it in terms of several smaller areas.
STEP 5.5 Measure about 3" from the wall for the strap. In counter or vanity kick-spaces, install the strap so the cable will be 1-1/2" to 2" away from the vanity base.
STEP 5.6 Cut the strap to fit the length of the first area.
STEP 5.7 Secure the strap to the floor. Depending on the floor type, different
methods may be used. Refer to the instructions provided with the strap
for full details.
· Plywood, cement board, or similar: Galvanized nails or screws may be used to secure the strap every 6" to 10".
· Concrete or similar: Concrete nails or similar. Double-sided tape (if included with your cable), hot glue, or strong spray adhesive may be used if the floor is well cleaned and the strap is wiped free of any oils. However, it is highly recommended to also screw the strap down in several places to ensure it does not come loose. If using a strong spray adhesive, apply to both the back of the strap and the floor where it will be placed, and carefully follow all spray manufacturer's instructions and cautions.
STEP 5.8 Cut another piece of strap for the other end of the area and secure 3" from the wall(s) or other obstruction(s).
STEP 5.9 Unreel the power leads of
the cable up to the factory splice. Let
the coil of power leads sit on the floor
for now. Beyond the factory splice is
the heating cable itself. Factory splice
must be installed in the mortar bed.
CAUTION: Completely embed the factory splices and heating cable in the mortar, and never bend the factory splices. NEVER allow any part of the splice or heating cable to enter a wall or drop through the subfloor.
STEP 5.10 Before installing more strap, fill in the first section with cable. Begin by making a "strain-relief" at the beginning so the cable is not accidentally pulled loose. Zigzag the cable under the tabs only as shown. Press the tabs down to secure the cable.
STEP 5.11 Weave the cable back and forth across the area at the desired spacing until the other side of the room has been reached. Once this area is completed, press down all the tabs. NEVER space the cables less than 2" apart.
STEP 5.12 If there are additional areas to cover with cable, cut the lengths of strap necessary, attach them to the floor, and begin weaving the cable into that area.
Because many different room shapes and floor obstructions may be encountered in any given installation, additional layouts are provided below to assist in determining the best way to complete installations in oddshaped areas.
Corner shower or vanity
STEP 5.13 For an angled area, such as a corner shower, first cut several pieces of strap a little longer than the cable spacing being used.
STEP 5.14 Use a chalk line or pen to mark the floor at 3" from the edge of the shower.
STEP 5.15 Use this chalk line to attach each piece of strap to the floor so that the cable does not get any closer to the corner shower than 3". Make sure that the cables are spaced evenly and parallel to one another.
STEP 5.16 Fill in the section with cable.
STEP 5.17 For an entryway or other small area where warmth is required, begin by cutting two lengths of strap a little shorter than the length of the entry opening. Then secure the two straps parallel to each other.
STEP 5.18 Fill in with cable, adjusting spacing as necessary to fill in as much of the area as possible.
STEP 5.19 If covering a bench seat or step area (not in a shower area), place a single run up the riser. Use straps to secure the cable to the seat area at the desired spacing, then install a single run down the riser. Again, the cable on the riser and seat area be fully embedded in mortar and have approved floor coverings. Use hot glue where necessary to secure the cable flat against the riser.
Shower area installation
This application into a shower area must be verified by the local inspector the authority having jurisdiction.
STEP 5.20 Cables only with (-W) on the nameplate label may be installed
into a floor or bench seat located in a shower area. It must never be
installed into walls. In general, the cable should be completely embedded
into mortar directly below the surface coverings of tile or stone. Other
types of coverings are not recommended. It may be installed into a mortar
layer lower than this and beneath the waterproof system, however
performance will be reduced.
See Appendix 5 for an example of this type installation.
Consider installing a dedicated cable in the shower area separate from the rest of the bath floor. In case there is ever a problem with the shower installation, this cable could be disconnected without loss of heat to the rest of the floor.
STEP 5.21 Make sure the power lead factory splice (the connection between the power leads and the heating cable) is located outside the shower area and at least 1" away from shower openings and other similar areas normally exposed to water. Make sure the control is located at least 4" away from shower openings such that it cannot be exposed to water or touched by a person in the shower area.
STEP 5.22 If the heating cable must enter the shower area over a curb, notch the corners of the curb with a minimum 1" wide notch to ensure the cable is not bent sharply or pinched when surface coverings are installed. Do not damage any waterproofing components, and do not run the heating cable through a non-masonry curb, causing it to overheat.
STEP 5.23 If covering a shower floor, cut lengths of strap and secure to the floor with adhesives. Do not use fasteners that penetrate any waterproofing membrane or waterproofing system. Fill in the floor area with cable. Around the drain leave at least 2" spacing from the edge of the flange. Make sure cable is not placed where door hardware, handrails, or other items may mount to the floor.
STEP 5.24 If covering a bench seat in the shower, cut lengths of strap and secure to the top surface of the seat with adhesives. Do not use fasteners that penetrate any waterproofing membrane or waterproofing system. Use hot glue to secure a single run of cable up the side of the bench riser. Fill in the seat area with cable. Then secure a single run of cable down the riser if needed.
STEP 5.25 If the cable cannot exit the shower area, the end of the cable has a waterproof splice that may be located in the shower area, fully embedded into the mortar like the heating cable.
STEP 5.26 If any part of the heating cable entering a shower area is damaged during installation, do not attempt to repair it. A field repair or modification of the cable may result in serious shock hazard.
STEP 5.27 If a second cable is to be installed in the area, all power leads must come back to the control, or to a junction box and then to the control. NEVER run power leads across heating cables, under baseboard areas, or other potentially damaging areas. Never join two cables in series.
STEP 5.28 To secure long lengths of heating cable, place additional, short lengths of the strap at 3-4-ft. intervals. Spray the back of the strap with a high-tack adhesive, and slide the strap, upside down, under the cables. Turn the strap over when it is positioned and adhere to the floor. Press the tabs down over the cables. If a spray adhesive was not used, carefully secure these short lengths of strap to the floor without damaging the cable.
STEP 5.29 After the cable installation is completed, inspect the work. Make sure all tabs are pressed down, cable spacings are correct, no cables cross over each other, all the cables are undamaged, and all areas to be heated are covered with cable.
STEP 5.30 Take resistance readings of the cable again to make sure it has not been damaged during the installation. This is very important to do. Record these readings in the Cable and Sensor Resistance Log (Table 4).
STEP 5.31 (optional) With the heating portion of the cable fully installed, it is recommended that the cable be temporarily connected to the power source and allowed to heat for several minutes. After the cables begin to feel warm to the touch, disconnect the power.
STEP 5.32 Lay cardboard, carpet, or similar material over the cables to protect them from damage until the floor covering is installed.
HeatStep? Wire cables only with (-W) on the nameplate label installed in shower floors and/or benches. See Step 5.20 and Appendix 5.
Phase 8: Install the Floor Coverings
STEP 8.1 Make a Final Inspection of the Installation. Inspect the installation very carefully for evidence of damage or missing sensor(s).
STEP 8.2 Select Type of Construction. Choose the best thinset,
thick-set, or self-leveling mortar method for the application.
See Appendix 1 for reference.
It is recommended to consult with professional flooring installers to make sure proper materials are used and proper installation techniques are followed. Please note, this installation manual is not a structural or a floor covering installation manual and is intended only for general guidance as it applies to the HeatStep? Wire product.
When installing tile or stone, the Tile Council of North America (TCNA) guidelines or ANSI specifications should be followed as a minimum standard.
Use Bostik SL-150?, WebCrete® 95, WebCrete® 98 or Ultra Finish?. Do not use water-based multi-purpose materials when installing a radiant product. Do not use solvent based adhesives or pre-mix mortars because they are not as heat resistant and do not conduct heat well.
Select the proper size trowel for the installation of tile or stone. We recommend a minimum 3/8" x 1/4" trowel. This trowel works well for most ceramic tile. A thicker thin-set can be used if required. Select the thin-set thickness in accordance with the floor covering requirements.
For additional information on tile installation, please contact TCNA at 864-646-8453 or visit their web site at www.tileusa.com, or contact NTCA at 601-939-2071 or see their web site at www.tile-assn.com.
When installing floor coverings other than tile or stone, follow industry and/or manufacturer's recommendations. Ensure the heating wire is first covered with a layer of SL-150? self-leveling cement based mortar, letting it cure fully before applying any surface underlayment, floating wood or laminate flooring, carpet, etc. The combined R-values of all floor coverings over the heating wire should not exceed R-3. Higher R-values will diminish performance. Consult the floor covering manufacturer to verify compatibility with radiant electric heat. Also, make sure nails, screws, or other fasteners do not penetrate the floor in the heated area. The wire can easily be damaged by fasteners penetrating the floor.
All floor coverings must be in direct contact with the cement-based mortar encasing the heating wire. Do not elevate the floor above the mortar mass. Do not install 2" x 4" wooden nailers (sleepers) on top of a slab for the purpose of attaching hardwood. Any air gap between the heating wire and the finished floor covering will drastically reduce the overall output of the heated floor.
Care should be taken when laying area rugs, throw rugs, and other surface products on the floor. Most products are okay to use, but if in doubt, consult the product manufacturer for compatibility. Do not use rubber backed products.
When placing furniture make sure an air clearance of at least 1-1/2" is available. Furniture able to trap heat can damage the heating system, the flooring, and the furniture over time.
STEP 8.3 After floor coverings have been installed, take resistance readings of the cable again to make sure it has not been inadvertently damaged. Record these readings in the Cable and Sensor Resistance Log (Table 4).
Phase 9: Install Insulation
Insulate under the subfloor for better performance and efficiency of the system. Refer to the Appendix 1 for diagrams and insulation recommendations.
Phase 10: System Operation
After all system components are installed, do not energize the system, except to briefly test operation of all components (no longer than 10 minutes). Do not put the system into full operation until the tile or flooring installer verifies all cement materials are fully cured (typically two to four weeks). See mortar manufacturer's instructions for recommended curing time.
NOTE: Most laminate and wood floor manufacturers specify their flooring should not be subjected to temperatures over 82°F to 84°F (27°C to 28°C). Check with the flooring dealer or manufacturer and set the thermostat Floor Limit temperature appropriately.
Refer to the installation sheets provided with the controls for proper setting. The system should now operate as designed. Please leave this instruction manual, HeatStep? Control instructions, and copies of photos of the installed heating system with the end user.
Appendix 1: Types of Construction and Applications
Type of Construction
Thin-set and thick-set (self-leveling) mortar applications are illustrated to the right.
- If a backer board or plywood sheeting is used to strengthen the floor, or if the heating wire will be placed directly onto the slab, install heating wire in the thin-set mortar bond coat above these materials.
- If a thicker mortar bed, or self-leveling concrete, is used to strengthen the floor, the heating wire can be installed in either the mortar bed (dry-set) or in the mortar bond coat directly below the tile or stone.
The heating wire is generally installed above the self-leveling mortar in a thin-set bond coat. Use plastic lath instead of the typical metal lath when installing in a self-leveling layer.
Self-leveling Mortar Applications:
These are appropriate applications if installing engineered wood, vinyl, laminate, or carpet floor coverings. Attach the heating wire to the subfloor or slab, then pour self-leveling mortar 3/8" to 1/2". Install floor covering after the mortar has cured.
Isolation Membrane: Install the heating wire above the membrane, whenever possible, unless recommended otherwise by the membrane manufacturer.
Insulation: Insulation dramatically enhances the performance and efficiency of floor-warming systems. Do not install rigid insulation directly above or below backer board or mortar.
Mosaic Tile: When installing mosaic tile, it is recommended to apply a two-step process. First, embed the heating wire in a thin self-level mortar bed (1/4"?3/8"), then thin-set the mosaic tile according to typical practice.
Expansion Joints: Do not install heating wire through an expansion joint. Install heating wire right up to the joint, if necessary, but not through the joint.
Appendix 2: Typical Electrical Wiring Diagrams (120 and 240 VAC)
NOTE: Installation must be performed by a qualified licensed electrician in accordance with local building and electrical codes, ANSI/NFPA 70 (NEC Article 424) and CEC Part 1 Section 62 where applicable.
Appendix 3: Connecting Multiple Cables
NOTE: The control is not shown in these diagrams in order to simplify them. These diagrams are given only as examples of how to properly connect multiple cables. Care must be taken not to overfill a box. Be sure to use wire nuts that are the correct size for the connections being made. Follow all codes for wiring. If in doubt, consult an electrician.
Appendix 4: Connecting the Wire Fault Detector
Appendix 5: Sample Layouts
If not qualified to perform electrical installations, it is strongly recommended that a qualified, licensed electrician be hired to install the heating cables and related electrical components. If problems with the system arise, please consult the troubleshooting guide below. Any troubleshooting work should be done with the power removed from the circuit, unless otherwise indicated. Call Bostik at 1-800-726-7845 for further assistance.
|An analog ohmmeter (using a moving needle) was used to take the reading.|
|If measurement shows an open or short circuit, the cable has been damaged.|
|If measurement is just a little low or high, room temperature has affected the resistance.|
|The resistance measurement could be from more than one cable wired in series, or wired in parallel. Either will provide false resistance readings.|
|The multi-meter may be set to the wrong scale.|
|Cable has been damaged.|
|GFCI has tripped, indicated by a light on the control or "GFCI TRIP".|
|Incorrect voltage supplied, or mismatched electrical components used.|
|Uninsulated concrete slab floor.|
|Cables are wired in "series" or "daisy chained" (end-to-end).|
|Incorrect wiring. The control was "bypassed" when it was wired to the power supply.|
|If a programmable control, the programming may be incorrect.|
|Incorrect voltage supplied, or mismatched components used.|
|Floor sensor is not wired properly, or is not working properly.|
|Loose connection(s) on line side and/or load side of control.|
|No power is supplied.|
|Floor sensor is not wired properly, or is not working properly.|
|An electric motor or a ballasted light source is sharing the circuit with the cable(s).|
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