Installing Floor Heat Electrical Wiring
How to Install a Floor Heat System: Laying out the Area for the Floor Heat System, Determine the Circuit Requirements, Thermostat Control and GFCI Protection, Installing the Floor Heat Cables or Heating Mat, Installing the Electrical Circuit.
Floor Heat Installation and Wiring
Electrical Question: How is the electrical wiring installed for a floor heating system under ceramic tiles?
This electrical wiring question came from: James, from Regina, Canada.
Thanks for your electrical wiring question James.
How to Install a Floor Heat System
Application: Electric Circuit Wiring for a Floor Heat System.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best installed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools, electric drill, auger bits and extension cord appropriate for the wiring path.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience, ability to work with tools and install electric floor heat wiring.
Notice: Installing an electrical circuit and installing wiring for a floor heat system should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
The Basic Process for Installing a Electric Floor Heating System
- Laying out the Area for the Floor Heat System
The area of where the floor is to be heated needs top be identified and measured. Some floor heat systems are available in specific sized heat mats or a custom mat may be made for the specific design and shape of a custom floor, such as a bathroom.
- Determine the Circuit Requirements
The size of the floor heat mat will determine how many watts will be required to heat the floor. This will also specify what the electrical circuit requirement will be. Many popular floor heating systems are available for 120 volt or 240 volt circuits. I prefer 240 volt circuits because this will help maintain a balanced load of the electrical service which will also help keep the electrical utility cost down.
- Thermostat Control and GFCI Protection
Typical floor heat systems will provide fully programmable thermostats with built in GFCI protection which is required. Installing floor heat systems requires care and handling of the floor heat mats during the preparation of the floor tile components.
- Installing the Floor Heat Cables or Heating Mat
During the installation process the integrity of the floor heat mat is constantly monitored to make sure the heating cables do not get damaged. When purchasing a custom made floor heat mat the manufacturer will typically include the monitoring device which connects to the floor heat cables.
- Installing the Electrical Circuit
The electrical circuit is installed to the location of the thermostat, and the cables of the floor heat mat are brought to this same junction box. The incoming circuit power will be the same as the Line, and the cable wiring is connected as the Load.
Specific instructions will come with the thermostat for the floor heat system that is chosen.
More about Floor Heat Circuit Wiring
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Be Careful and Be Safe - Never Work on Energized Circuits!
Consult your Local Building Department about Permits and Inspections for all Electric Wiring Projects.