Getting Your Mats Ready for the Winter
How do I set my mats up for the winter?
Winter is right around the corner, and you can get ahead of it by preparing your snow and ice melting mats. These easy steps will help ensure you’re ready for that first snow day when it arrives.
1. Are You Covered?
Consider where you’ve placed your snow and ice melting mats previously. If you’re planning to expand your mat coverage to new walkways, stairs, entrances, driveways, or other areas, now is the time! Visit the HeatTrak website to get your new mats before the temperature drops below freezing.
2. Evaluate Your Mats & Power System
When you get your mats out, give them a good inspection. Does everything look right? If you rolled them up for storage, it’s okay if they’re not laying flat; the heat will flatten them fully once they’re put to work. On a flat surface outside, clear off any debris that could damage the mats, then arrange them in the same configuration they’ll be during winter.
Next you’re going to check out the power units and cables. Be sure to note the total amps of each mat, which is noted on a small label around the male connector. Each power unit - and most outdoor outlets - are rated for 15 amps, so some quick math can confirm that you’re not overloading anything. Connect the mats by pairing the male and female connectors, then sliding the water-tight sleeve over the seam.
Before connecting the GFCI power unit to the mats, it is important to test it to be certain that it’s working properly. All you need to do is plug the power cord into a grounded outlet and press the reset button. A red light will appear. (The reset button is ON and the test button is OFF.) Next, connect the clear light tester into the end of the power unit, and it will illuminate. If you do not see these lights, make sure your outlet is powered. Should the power unit still not work, please contact us.
Once the power unit passes the test, it’s time to check the connections between the mats. Remove the light tester from the power unit cable. Connect the power unit into the first mat of the chain and insert the light tester into the female connector of the last mat. If all the mats in your system are connected properly and the power unit is on, the light tester will illuminate.
However, if it doesn’t light up, there’s a procedure for tracking down the issue. Remove the tester from the last mat in the system, disconnect the first mat from the chain, and insert the light tester into the first mat. It will illuminate if the power unit is properly connected to the first mat. Then remove the light tester from the mat and remove the first mat from the power unit. Next, plug only the second mat into the power unit and plug the light tester into the mat. After it illuminates, repeat this step with each mat individually to assure they are operating correctly. When you’re finished checking each mat, reassemble your configuration and assure each watertight connection is secure with the sleeve lock. Don’t forget to re-insert the light tester into the last mat - connect the power unit to the outlet only after all of the mats are properly connected to each other and the power unit is connected to the first mat.
3. Take Control
Systems with a HeatTrak wireless outlet and remote control, test it next by adding it to the system between your outside outlet and the power unit. Press the on and off buttons on the remote to confirm that the red power unit light turns on and that the light tester at the end of the chain illuminates. If it doesn’t allow you to power your mats on, you may need to replace the battery in the remote.
If you’ve integrated your HeatTrak system into your smart home with our wifi-enabled outlet, test it by plugging it in and accessing the app to confirm the connection with your network. For best results, there must be a strong wifi signal on the 2.4GHz band. This helps ensure the device stays connected (and we’re here to help if you can’t get connected after three tries). To prevent any disconnection when you’re using the smart plug, be sure that you’re controlling your mats only through the app.
Now Your Mats Are Ready For A Snow Day!
By evaluating your snow and ice melting mats before winter weather sets in, you can be sure you’ve got all the coverage you need and that everything is ready to go. Enjoy your snow day!