First Things to check with floor heating cable - Safety First!

Each heating cable undergoes thorough quality control at the factory. However, it is possible for cables to sustain damage after leaving the factory. To ensure consistent quality throughout the installation process, a series of tests are performed before, during, and after cable installation. These tests involve comparing measurements with factory values and documenting them in the Heating Cable Tests Log. Depends on your state/province regulation the following must be done by a licenced electrician.

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What you will need for warranty?

To register the warranty with Schluter Systems, the owner must submit a completed tests log along with the warranty registration card, and retain the log for warranty purposes.

The first set of tests is conducted before removing the cable from the spool. If any breaks or damage are detected during these tests, the heating cable should be returned to the original place of purchase. Test one assesses the conductor resistance of the heating cable, which is a requirement for warranty coverage. An ohmmeter or multi-meter is connected to the power leads of the cable to determine the conductor resistance. The measured resistance should be within ten percent of the resistance value printed on the spool. The factory value and the reading are recorded in the log.

What testing for heating cable must be done?

Test two checks for continuity between the heating cable conductor and the ground braid, also necessary for warranty coverage. An ohmmeter or multi-meter is connected to one of the power leads and the ground braid. A successful test will display “I” for infinity or “OL” for overload, indicating that the conductor is not touching the ground braid. The reading is recorded in the log.

Test three examines the insulation of the heating cable conductor. While not mandatory, completing this test and submitting it with the tests log will provide an extended warranty for the heating cable. The insulation resistance test ensures that there are no minor breaks in the cable insulation that may go undetected during the continuity test. Even small breaks can cause current leakage to the ground, leading to the disabling of the floor heating system by the GFCI. A megohmmeter, set to one-thousand volts, is connected to one of the power leads and the ground braid. The resistance measurement should exceed one Gigaohm or one-thousand Megaohms. The reading is recorded in the log.

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Preparation for the heating cable installation.

If the heating cable passes all three tests, it can be installed in the DITRA-HEAT or DITRA-HEAT-DUO membrane. These tests will be repeated to verify that the cable remains undamaged during the installation process. The floor temperature sensors are also tested using an ohmmeter or multi-meter to ensure accuracy. The resistance will vary based on the ambient temperature. This test is required for warranty coverage. The meter is connected to the sensor leads, and the measurement is compared to the expected values in the heating cable tests log. The actual temperature and measured resistances are recorded in the log.