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  #1  
Old 08-26-2014, 03:50 PM
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Testing radiant electric ceiling heat

I have an offer out on a condo with radiant electric ceiling heat. Is there any quick way to test the system? Would sticking an voltmeter across the thermostat when the stat is off be enough? i.e. you should get 240V across the open switch since an intact heating panel would act as a return.

hot 1 -> voltmeter in parallel with thermostat -> panel -> hot 2
(if it's a dual-pole stat, I could bridge one of the poles or use two voltmeters)
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  #2  
Old 08-26-2014, 04:58 PM
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Ceiling? Would avoid.
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Old 08-26-2014, 05:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmac2012 View Post
Ceiling? Would avoid.
It's not a deal-breaker -- if it's broken, I'll just ask for a price discount enough to install an alternative electric heating system or install miniature PTAC heat pumps. Climate isn't harsh enough to need anything more.

In fact, I kind of hope that it IS broken because I can use it to knock down the price a bit more than fixing the issue would cost me And bringing the purchase cost basis down reduces property taxes as well.

Last edited by spdrun; 08-26-2014 at 05:31 PM.
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  #4  
Old 08-26-2014, 05:30 PM
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Why complicate things? Turn it on full blast and see if it gets hot in there.
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  #5  
Old 08-26-2014, 05:36 PM
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Spray it with water mist while it's energized. You will see the actual grids drying. We used this to identify where NOT to run screws when raising ceilings that have sagged.
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  #6  
Old 08-26-2014, 06:37 PM
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What is the functional advantage of installing a radiant heat system in the ceiling, as opposed to a floor installation? Since heated air rises, wouldn't you see a pretty broad difference in a temperature measured near the ceiling as compared to a temperature measured near the floor? You would sit in a chair and perhaps feel moderately warm, then stand up and feel as if you stuck your head in a blast furnace.
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Old 08-26-2014, 09:49 PM
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Early 70's technology. It does a good job of heating the room. You don't really notice the area closer to the ceiling being hotter. But you do feel a temp difference when you put your hand under an object like a bed or large table.
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  #8  
Old 08-26-2014, 11:50 PM
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My house has these. We have used them for years with no problems. I can understand the appeal as they have to be insanely cheap to install; sort of like putting in a light fixture.

They will heat up the room and I mean all the way down to the floor.

The big advantage to them is that they will never get water splashed on them nor will your kid ever fall into one. They also have no moving parts.
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  #9  
Old 08-27-2014, 10:00 AM
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The downside is resistant electric heating costs about triple that of natural gas in this and many other areas. I suspect its true that it is the most expensive per BTU anywhere in the country.
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:05 AM
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I chose the 2 story house heating method, heat rises, so it's always hotter on the second floor and that's where we stay in the winter.
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Old 08-27-2014, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Clk Man View Post
I chose the 2 story house heating method, heat rises, so it's always hotter on the second floor and that's where we stay in the winter.
Excellent plan Robert!
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  #12  
Old 08-28-2014, 10:14 AM
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Quick test of radiant heat panels. Just shut down all the breakers in the panel other than the radiant panel ones. Turn one units thermostat on at a time and watch the electric meter.

If the meter is one of the old fashion ones with the spinning wheel. Shut down that panels thermostat and try the next one.
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