Open Forum

Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

  • 1.  Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 7 days ago
    Of course this will vary from owner to owner ....  but with some areas' snowy weather ... the snow piles are not melting fast enough.  Any glimpse as to the costs of being forced to have trucks being loaded up to remove it from laundromat parking lots that are not quite a large as we would like them?

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    Michael Walsh www.kingkoin.com
    King Koin Laundry, Car n Dog Wash
    Bismarck ND
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  • 2.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 7 days ago
    I've always wanted one of these.

    ISLignPIRzyoSlaXdLvB_Screen Shot 2019-02-09 at 10.02.37 PM.png

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    Luigi
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  • 3.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 7 days ago
    And you can get one for $160k.

    wD45yVx9TTmcOL3o19A4_for sale.PNG

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    Luigi
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  • 4.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 6 days ago
    Guys,

    Or, you can put through that overdue price increase and make do with the parking you have ... and save $160,000.

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    Larry Adamski
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    (616) 566-1987
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  • 5.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 6 days ago
    I've needed to have snow hauled on a couple of occasions in Massachusetts. It wasn't cheap. Last year's rates were approx. $110 per hour for an articulated bucket loader and $90 per hour for the 10 wheel dump and $35 per load dumping fee. 4 hour minimum. I've found guys whose rates are less but they would be using bobcats and smaller landscaping sized dump trucks which would take many hours longer and would end up costing much more.

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    Sam S.
    Massachusetts
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  • 6.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 6 days ago
    Working on plans for a new laundromat and it includes radiant parking lot heat to melt the snow.

    I have limited number of spots and no where to push the snow so I have decided on the radiant heat.

    Yes expensive, but:

    Not having to plow in the middle of the night (I do my own plowing)
    No salt needed
    Cleaner store as snow, salt and slush not tracked into the store
    Safer for the customers and employees

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    Duane King
    LMARIES Laundromat
    Bowling Green OH
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  • 7.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 6 days ago
    Duane,

    Wow, that will be nice during winter months.   You're correct about those advantages.   A small water heater should be able to handle the job.  I'm jealous.

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    Larry Adamski
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    (616) 566-1987
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  • 8.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 6 days ago
    Small water heater I wish....

    I will have 5000 sq feet of parking.  It will take about 6500 ft of 5/8 tubing with 23 loops around 300 feet each.  Estimated on the low side of 600,000 btus.  To get around the boiler issues of anything over 200k btus I will put in 3 199k heaters.   Just to keep the temp of the concrete around 35-38 degrees.

    When heating 6" of concrete in the winter time it is a black hole for btus....

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    Duane King
    LMARIES Laundromat
    Bowling Green OH
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  • 9.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 6 days ago
    Duane,

    600,000 btu is way more than I expected based on the heated floors in my car wash.  Will you install P gravel just below the concrete to contain the heat near the surface?

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    Larry Adamski
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    (616) 566-1987
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  • 10.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 6 days ago
    Duane:  What were the particulars of your cost analysis that led to this investment.  ROI or more it's worth not dealing with no stinkin snow anymore...

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    LES MONTHEI
    MT VIEW LAUNDROMAT
    LAKEHEAD CA
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  • 11.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 6 days ago
    Duane,

    Les makes a good point about looking at it from a ROI standpoint.

    I remember going with Jeff Deal's father Herm back in 1980 for setting up ours.  Our system is more specific to car washing & I think it is closer to about 2,000 square feet off the top of my head.  Just a thought ... you will mostly need to warm up the concrete possibly after you are closed in your new laundromat unless you are going to be 24/7.  Maybe sharing those three boilers with your other space heating & water heating???  Also step firing as needed makes sense.  Ours evolved into basically what I described.  I did get some help from a local mechanical engineer though for portions of it.  The dog wash & a portion of our RV bay actually has the boiler capacity branching out via Spirec Heat Exchangers .... for actual floor heat which of course runs at much higher temperatures.  Needless to say, we are very careful not to have a boiler down especially this time of year!

    I had no idea my snow removal inquiry would have so many responses from us "up north or up high" laundromats.  Some years an area can get record amounts of snow ... yes the problem can be a big deal with sometimes limited resources!

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    Michael Walsh www.kingkoin.com
    King Koin Laundry, Car n Dog Wash
    Bismarck ND
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  • 12.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 4 days ago
    Duane, I had a similar system installed for my house driveway which is very steep & dangerous when icy & snowy. A few things I discovered after the fact. The controller with air temperature,  moisture,  driveway temperature etc etc was very expensive & not worth it ( only a few companies make them). Too many things can go wrong  & system goes on when it should'nt & does not go on when it should . I basically use it as an off system. I also put insulation panels below the tubing to direct the heat upwards. However this also prevents the earths natural heat from rising up. Therefore sometimes I have lite snow & ice while my neighbors do not & I have to put the system on. I'm not sure what you can do to resolve this? You may also want to take good pictures/diagrams of where all your Pex connections are in case of a future leak you won't have to rip up all the cement . Also I used pavers which are about 1.5" and it takes awhile to get them hot enough to melt everything. I can't imagine 6" of concrete. Good luck. If you have any questions feel free to ask.

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    Ray
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  • 13.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 6 days ago

    Working on plans for a new laundromat and it includes radiant parking lot heat to melt the snow.
    Duane King,  02-10-2019 11:21
    I'm about to redo my parking lot and just had this fantasy (although plowing is only $80 per).

    How expensive is it?  Do you have to keep it on all the time, or just during snow?  If it melts, and you turn it off, do you get an ice rink?  what's the amperage draw per square (something)?

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    Luigi
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  • 14.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 6 days ago


    At this point I really don't care about the ROI as when it snows I have no where to put the snow other than taking up the limited number of spots I will have.  Then if it doesn't melt I would need to have it hauled away.  Just a PIA. And the benefits of having a cleaner store makes it worth it for me.

    There are many ways to run the snow melt system.  Leave on all the time and pay the big heating bills, have it controlled automatically with sensors (if a sensor goes bad it could leave the system on or off when needed or not needed).  Or they way I am going to do it is just manual on and off.

    I already have compacted gravel now and will be removing some for grading.  Then I will add 2" of insulation on top of the gravel, run all of the loops on top of the insulation and finish with rebar and 6" of concrete.  Each loop will be about 9" apart.

    No amps (or very little for pumps) as I will be using a hydronic system that loops antifreeze through boilers and through the pex tubing loops.  I have budged $25k for the system, but that is very low as I will be doing the install myself.  I could have gone with an electric heating system, but I am trying to stay with single phase and it is limited to 400 amps.  By getting rid of 3 phase electric it will safe me more than $300 per month in demand fees.

    With a good grade most of the water should run off into the street.

    I will be using a normal HVAC system for the inside of the store.  Placing tubes in the floor now is okay, but if I ever wanted to move equipment around or need to open up the floor for any reason the system could be come useless.    And the system will be separate from my water heating system.


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    Duane King
    LMARIES Laundromat
    Bowling Green OH
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  • 15.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 6 days ago
    Duane,

    You don't want to just drop cold melt water into the street as it will freeze as soon as it leaves your heated concrete.  You will end up with a huge ice dam there.

    Ideally, melt water must remain on heated concrete until it enters an underground drain system.

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    Larry Adamski
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    (616) 566-1987
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  • 16.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 6 days ago
    Yes,  the sewer is at the edge of my lot and it will be graded toward it so all the water runs directly into the sewer.

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    Duane King
    LMARIES Laundromat
    Bowling Green OH
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  • 17.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 6 days ago
    Way back when we install radiant heat in a large custom home the family built with a 4 split level design.  All copper system with several stations...the pets always loved the warm spots.

    Duane:  I don't know much about the weather in Ohio or exterior hydronic systems, but you definitely don't want icy spots puddling to add to liability concerns.  In CA we have to run any surface water away from sewer systems.

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    LES MONTHEI
    MT VIEW LAUNDROMAT
    LAKEHEAD CA
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  • 18.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 5 days ago
    Edited by Michael Walsh 5 days ago
    Agains Les & Larry A. make good points.

    For those considering Duane's (done deal ???) approach ... they should look at actual statistics for their area.  I did:
    https://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/bowling-green/ohio/united-states/usoh0110

    I am sure Duane probably did also:
    https://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/bowling-green/ohio/united-states/usoh0110

    Hmmm ... they list our local average annual snowfall as 50 inches.  Blank dash (-) for Duanes average snowfall???

    Note our low average highs which means if we get records snows in October & November which has happened ... it is not fun watching piles of snow melt ... no matter how much patience our customers & us have.  I do assume Duane has observed how during a snowfall a deicer temporarily leaves snow between melts which is a consideration for someone wanting to get rid of any sloppy wetness coming into their pristinely clean laundromat.  Just go to the apron area of self service car washes & you will tend to get a glimpse of the slower melting between the tubing.

    We have "after entry" large mats where our customers can knock some of the clumps of temporary snow & our polished concrete floor is really not slippery at all.  Les, are you sure your fancy deluxe carpet is compatible with fresh snow?!

    No offense & I am OK with Duane's approach as long as it does not become the norm & some wacky attorney-judge goes bizarrio against those of us who did not go the snow melt route for our entire parking lot.  Insurance people could possibly should be concerned.

    It will be interesting on how overall successful Duane's snow melt approach turns out for the long term.   I guarantee if the snow melt is turned off like he suggests & if it is a severe extended cold spell ... he will find that it takes awhile for the concrete to get back up to the needed snow melt temperature.  Like the pioneers who used to warm up the rocks &/or large boulder in their horse drawn buggies to help warm themselves on their way to town in the early morning ... they saw first hand how many BTUs were necessary to bring that heat source back up to temperature again.

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    Michael Walsh www.kingkoin.com
    King Koin Laundry, Car n Dog Wash
    Bismarck ND
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  • 19.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 5 days ago
    Michael,

    There are snow melt calculators that take into consideration many factors including where you live, tube sizing, tube spacing, tube lengths amount of insulation, dept of concrete, etc, etc, etc...  I have had two companies run the numbers and I even downloaded software myself to double check their numbers.

    It will be a learning experience when using the manual approach to running the system.  Especially the response time needed to go from cold to melting temps.

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    Duane King
    LMARIES Laundromat
    Bowling Green OH
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  • 20.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 5 days ago
    Duane,

    The slope to the drain sounds good however the concrete around the grate should be heated so the heat transfers to the cast iron grate too.  The grate must remain above freezing to prevent the melt water freezing on the grate and blocking the holes.

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    Larry Adamski
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    (616) 566-1987
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  • 21.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 5 days ago
    Larry,

    Yep, will have a trench drain around the edge of my parking lot with heating tubes running against it on both sides with the drain tied into the sewer drain line under ground.

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    Duane King
    LMARIES Laundromat
    Bowling Green OH
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  • 22.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 5 days ago
    Edited by Larry Adamski 5 days ago
    Duane,

    Okay.  I like that.  I don't know how you could design it better than that.

    On my carwash bays, I  had 12' trench drains about 6" wide.  These had galvanized steel grate sections that recessed into the trench for a neat, flush floor drain.  We ran the heat tubing along each side of the trough.  It worked great with never a freeze up.

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    Larry Adamski
    Muskegon Laundromat
    Spring Lake MI
    (616) 566-1987
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  • 23.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 5 days ago
    Duanne,  I hope you don't mind my piping in, but if you are going with a hot water system for your parking lot, you should consider using the same system to heat the laundromat.  You could still use radiant heat in the walls and/or ceiling.  It wouldn't be as efficient, but it would save you from installing a second heating system.  You might also want to consider going with an indirect hot water heater for your domestic hot water needs and use the boiler(s) for all three items.  Have you spoken to a heating engineer?  They should be able to help you with sizing.  In Canada most of the larger hvac stores that sell to the trades should have one.

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    R Weiss
    R Weiss Person
    Toronto ON
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  • 24.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 5 days ago
    I thought of radiant heat in the store, but will still need to install an AC system.  Installing a furnace with AC solves heating and cooling and I can install them myself very cost effectively.  Plus the furnace will be 95+ dual stage.

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    Duane King
    LMARIES Laundromat
    Bowling Green OH
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  • 25.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 5 days ago
    I suggest you talk to an HVAC expert, because they also have furnaces that use hot water from a boiler to heat the air.  If you are going to expense of installing a few boilers, I think you should at least see if it's worth getting them to do as much as possible.  It would at the very least reduce outages because you'd have at least another boiler as backup. Good luck with your decision and I hope you'll post what you do because this stuff fascinates me.

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    R Weiss
    Toronto ON
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  • 26.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 4 days ago
    Duane,

    Since cost of operation will vary depending on the severity of the winter ... did you or your experts look at Geothermal?  A building a block from us to the west went that route & put that specific tube much deeper underneath their parking lot.  That could help cost during an exceptionally hot summer for the AC you have in mind also.  Definitely some engineering involved to tie everything together optimally.

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    Michael Walsh www.kingkoin.com
    King Koin Laundry, Car n Dog Wash
    Bismarck ND
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  • 27.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 4 days ago

    I did consider geothermal, but the bedrock doesn't make it cost effective.

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    Duane King
    LMARIES Laundromat
    Bowling Green OH
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  • 28.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 4 days ago
    Duane & others,

    One observation I have noticed with a snow melt system that is never turned off ... the concrete surface slab stay in extra great shape similar to indoor concrete.  For the simple reason of not have the contraction & expanding that occurs with the combination of water etc with freeze thaw cycles.  So maybe when you go to sell it might fetch dollars more than a laundromat with a parking lot who has concrete that is not in as good of shape.  That could be a factor on the financials ROI & ROE.

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    Michael Walsh www.kingkoin.com
    King Koin Laundry, Car n Dog Wash
    Bismarck ND
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  • 29.  RE: Piles of Snow on Your Lot?

    Posted 4 days ago
    Nice going guys...all this talk of snow has brought the stuff in FarNorCal right to the LMat and on up the hill to Lakehead and beyond.  We have about 4 inches so far in Lakehead and probably less in Redding.  This will squash the roof inspection for tomorrow.  The wife is down the hill in the sister in law;s 2WD car trying to get past the CHP without chains.

    We get enough snow locally for it to be fun for the kids and put some snowboard life in the local Mount Shasta Ski Resort, but I for one could not live in a place that snowed all winter...too much monkey business.

    I have to go flip a coin with the cat to see who is cooking dinner tonight.

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    LES MONTHEI
    MT VIEW LAUNDROMAT
    LAKEHEAD CA
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