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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would anyone mind telling me (if possible) how the heating elements typicaly look in ceiling heat installed in the 60's?

How wide are the elements? What are they made from/are they rigid? Did they typicaly locate them in a particular area of the joist bay? Is there an element in every joist bay, more than one?

Thanks in advance.
 

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We had these in my house that I built in the 60's. I installed them in every room in the house (2000 sq ft). They were just a long cable that was stapled to the ceiling then plastered over. They were about 1/4 " round and very flexible. They were installed in a "s" pattern over the entire ceiling about 3-4" apart and about 6" from the wall. Each heating element had their own thermostat (one per room). I ordered the heating element by supplying the ceiling size for each room and the supplier gave me the correct length of cable for each room. The were plastic covered just like a electrical cable but round and not flat.
 

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You may be talking about the sheetrock that had the heating elements (just wire) embedded in it also. If I remember it had the pattern printed on both sides of the board so if you can expose one side you may be able to get an idea. Remember also that not all areas of the ceiling were heated.

Failing that something that comes to mind that you might try is a non-contact electrical tester, the kind that you wave in front of a receptacle or switch to see if it is energized before you work on it. Turn the heat on and run it along the ceiling to see if it will locate the wiring.

Infrared thermography gear is probably out of the question but that should show where the wires are.

-Hal
 

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I did a retro installation on a home with ceiling heat. When we cut in the supply registers and return boxes, we came across the "elements" which consisted of insulated wire that was sandwiched between two sheets of dry-wall. the wire were spaced about 4" apart. There wasn't much to it. The homeowner did not like the electric bill. That is why we installed a "hybrid" setup. At this job, the wires were in each bay, and it was impossible to miss them when cutting the sheetrock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanx for the responses. I need to relocate some ceiling fixtures so I'm going to have to try the tick, good idea by the way.

I'll also try an infared thermometer, maybe the ceiling will be a little hotter right under the loops.
 

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Thanx for the responses. I need to relocate some ceiling fixtures so I'm going to have to try the tick, good idea by the way.

I'll also try an infared thermometer, maybe the ceiling will be a little hotter right under the loops.
We have this in our home and I've used an infrared thermometer to find them when the heat is turned on and also you can use a spray bottle and turn the heat on for 15 minutes or so, then spray the ceiling with a fine mist of water in the area you need to locate. The areas where the heating cables are will dry first.
 
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