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Question DetailsAsked on 10/14/2014

Who do you contact to have a heated floor installed - electrician? general contractor? flooring installer?

We are hoping to install electric heating on a concrete slab under wood or tile flooring. I think we'll need additional circuits added to accommodate this.

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Floor heating should be a separate circuit(s), so you need an electrician for that - but the company installing the heating system should first specify WHERE they want the connections, and amperage. AND have electrician confirm system capacity during bidding phase - I have seen several jobs where the electric heating elements were put in first, then they found out that their household circuit box could not handle the excess load or did not have available breaker slots and they had to spend another half thousand to two thousand to upgrade their household service - PAIN. Heard of one job where a contractor friend did 7 rooms of in-floor / under-floor heating loops which were installed and then abandoned (left unconnected) because it was going to cost over $7,000 to upgrade the household breaker panel, service disconnect, meter and meter base, service drop, transformer, and a half mile or so of service feed, because their power company connection was sized for just more than the initial service capacity without provision for additional houses along the way because the original homeowner had footed the entire bill for the transmission line extension to his house. OUCH.


As for who installs it - I have seen electricians, flooring contractors, general contractors, even tile contractors do it. Technically, I suppose electricians should be the ones to actually put it in, but seems like sort of a gray area, aside from having an electrician install the servicing AFCI circuit. Since you are talking electrician, tile or flooring installer and heating loops - you probably do not want to use separate contractors individually, because in the event of a failure it will be a "his fault" situation, with flooring guy saying loop installation was bad so it failed, electrician saying flooring guy nicked it - so I would go with a General Contractor to handle the subs and provide a turnkey installation, so you have one guy to go to if it fails, and leave it to him to fithgt it out with the subs about who was at fault. And warranty by the contractor will be a substantial part of your bidding decision, because manufacturer warranty is worthless on this type of system - they will always say it is an installation flaw that caused it to fail, and they are usually right about that.


BTW - if multiple loops are on one breaker, I suggest installing with positive on-off switch on each loop's wiring (required in many code jurisditions), so if one goes bad you do not lose use of all the loops on that circuit until it is fixed - particularly under rigid flooring or if embedded in concrete where it might be weeks before it gets fixed. Commonly done at a multiple gang box near the breaker box.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD




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