Roof de-icing system - how does it work? Roof and drain heating + Video

Roof de-icing system - how does it work? Roof and drain heating + Video In the late autumn, warm winter and early spring, roofs of buildings and roofing materials experience an increased load due to heavy precipitation and subsequent formations of ice and snow, especially in overhangs and in gutters.

The weight of icing can reach several hundredweight, bending roofs and often breaking down, especially in warm weather. Removing ice and snow with your own hands is very laborious, often even dangerous; using hired labor with lifting mechanisms means periodically parting with money.

Therefore, the anti-icing roofing system is popular, which works so as not to allow snowdrifts to form and provides heating of gutters and roofs from icing and ice, and melt water is drained through the drain and into the sewer.

What is AOC?

Anti-icing system - a set, up to hundreds of meters, of lengthy cables - a heating conductor that provides melting of precipitation, mounted in places of snow accumulation and frequent formation of ice, along the perimeter closer to the edge of the roof, as well as in the drainage system.

This also includes the means of retaining snow and directing the flow of water.

IMPORTANT! Before installing the anti-icing system, draw up a project in advance and think over a directed continuous flow and flow of melt water.

General information

Standard set of anti-icing system


Single-core, often two-core, depending on the required power of work, an electric cable for heating the roof or a set of electric cables designed for heating areas and gutters.

PLEASE NOTE! Cable insulation must be UV-resistant!


  • Control elements of heating power and protection of the mains, junction boxes. This also includes a residual current device (RCD), which includes additional wires, automatic fuses or pouches.

  • Elements for fastening cables , plastic or other corrugation material to protect against touching cables and roofing materials and subsequent melting and fire.

ATTENTION! The anti-icing system cables must be enclosed in corrugations and not touch the surface of the materials of the heated elements. Especially flammable materials: ondulin, bitumen and its derivatives, such as shingles, polymers: for example, films and polymer membranes, waterproofing materials and all types of insulation.

For complete convenience due to automation, the entire circuit is equipped with a control unit: an information sensor for heating the roof, controlling an automatic machine, wires and signal exchange lines that provide communication with the main and / or necessary, from the weather, parts of the system on roof and drains. Sensors are used to control the temperature of the air and the surface of the roof, as well as the humidity of the environment.

Principle of operation

The simplest automatic system, when the ambient (air) temperature drops to five degrees, heating is activated in automatic mode.

Types of anti-icing system heating elements

The simplest anti-icing system heating elements are represented by two types:

  1. Roof de-icing system - how does it work? Roof and drain heating + Video Resistive - nickel-chromium thin thread in a fluoroplastic sheath that releases heat due to the resistance of the core alloy, with copper braid and insulating rubber coating. Resistive wires can be single-core (the installation price per meter of wire is cheaper), then two wires are laid and connected in a switch, or two-core, then one wire is laid instead of two during installation.
    For more correct operation, a control unit is required that regulates the voltage supply depending on the required heating intensity.
    If you connect the resistive wire directly to the network, you must provide a copper or aluminum corrugation to dissipate excess heat and avoid frequent burnout of the nickel-chromium core.

    The disadvantage is the unregulated standard length of the cable, which often needs to be neatly "fit" in the required sections.

  2. Self-regulating - consists of two parallel copper wires (cores) in a conductive sheath, connected by jumpers.
    Has a high installation price, however, it allows you to adjust the power of the system when calculating the project and laying and save on electricity consumption during the operation of the system. Depending on the temperature and humidity, such a cable system itself changes the degree of heating, so there is no need for a thermostat here.
    The cable can be cut into segments of any length and laid where necessary.

    The disadvantage is that this system is not suitable for frosty areas with heavy snowfall due to the relatively low heat generation.

Calculation during design and installation is reduced to providing an approximate thermal power of 300 W per sq. m. According to the calculations, it is necessary to buy 15 to 60 meters of cable per square meter. m of the heated surface, depending on the heat release of the cable: from 5 to 20 W per meter.

For a metal roof, the calculation is taken to provide an approximate thermal power of 400 W per square meter. You will need to buy from 20 to 80 meters of cable per sq. m of surface. However, the climatic peculiarity of the region should also be taken into account.

The heating cable must be laid along the entire sequence of the melt water flow: gutters of the roof geometry, at the joints of opposite roof slopes, in problematic and weak places, equipped with trays for directing the flow and collecting water, along the outer perimeter of the roof, in drains, including outlets from them, drains into storm drains and storm sewers up to the depth of soil freezing in the collector and the entrance to it.

To prevent the formation of icicles, you can run the heating cable under the roof along the perimeter of the roof.

Installation of anti-icing system elements

SPECIAL ATTENTION! When installing the system, damage to the integrity of the wiring and factory insulation is not allowed. It is extremely important, in order to avoid spontaneous combustion, to replace damaged cables with new ones without traces of repair, twisting and restoration of insulation. Check periodically

Initially, the supply power cable is led to the location of the box with the elements for switching on and controlling the anti-icing system. It is important to lay this network cable in a dedicated cable channel, hide it in the structural elements of the walls and corrugation if the cable is led out.

Roof de-icing system - how does it work? Roof and drain heating + Video Heating cables are laid on all sections of the path of melt water, including drains, and when it flows into the drain below the level freezing of the soil, otherwise ice will re-form from melt water and clog the entire system.

Correctly lay the cable in a zigzag or snake in a half-meter wide strip in order to avoid covering heating elements during snowfall and forming a tunnel arch above them and accumulating snow cap and forming ice on the tunnel walls.

So that the heating cable does not touch the roofing materials, it is laid on plastic or metal caps, distributing them evenly along the entire length of the installation, thus increasing fire safety and efficiency.

Next, drains and water collectors are equipped. In the gutters, the wire is laid at a height of 1 cm from the bottom using galvanized galvanized jumpers fixed on the sides of the gutter, preferably in the places where the gutter itself is suspended, mainly in places of greatest load: corners, turns, joints and joints.

In nozzles, funnels, snails and valleys, the wire is laid in several turns (usually 2-3). From the inside of the drain pipes, it is hung from the inside on a metal cable. For the sewage system and its receiving window, wires are used that have a separate connection to the electrical network. The use of fastening types that damage the roofing material and the top layer of the heated elements is allowed only in gutters, because otherwise there is no way to do it.

IMPORTANT! It is necessary to think over and ensure a phased shutdown of the anti-icing system: first the roof, behind it the collection trays, then the gutter.

Tools that you will need for self-assembly: tape measure, cord with length marks, hammer, pliers, screwdriver or screwdriver, possibly metal scissors, hacksaw, puncher or impact drill, clamps.

For a complete visual understanding of the process of installing the anti-icing system, you can find and watch videos on the most popular video host resources, which also provide feedback on this or that type of cables.