847-832-0700 1946-D Lehigh Ave
Glenview, IL 60026

Electric Ceiling Heat

Electric Ceiling Heat Installation And Repair. Many buildings in Chicago have electric ceiling heat that was installed in the 60 and 70’s when electricity was inexpensive.

Electric Ceiling Heat Installation & Repair

Commonwealth Edison used to promote it and service it when it went bad. They do not offer that service anymore.

It made sense for two reasons.

  • It doesn’t take up any space as it is imbedded in plaster in the ceiling and space is a big consideration for developers of high rises.
  • You don’t need any natural gas and high rises are always concerned about fires.
    The installation is time consuming. When the concrete is set on the ceiling the electric heat cable is attached to the ceiling by attaching thin plastic strips that are shaped to receive the cable. The cable is then run from one side of the room to the other every three inches until the entire ceiling is covered. The cable is left about 4 inches away from the point where the ceiling meets the wall. The installations are almost always 240 volts unless it is a very small room in which case it would be 120 volts. A thin layer of plaster is installed on top of the cable to protect it. There are two parts to the cable. The heating cable and the non- heating leads. The heating cables give off heat as the electricity flows through them. The non- heating leads are just to deliver the electricity from the relay that controls it to the heating cable.12 or 24 volt thermostats control relays that open or close to turn the heat on or off. The cables give off about 12 watts per square foot of energy. The only moving parts that can wear out are the thermostat and the relay.
    Although there are only two moving parts the cable can still be damaged. Often contractors that are unfamiliar with electric ceiling heat do great damage to the system when they attach the top plate to a new wall to the ceiling and drill or screw through the heating cables. Also hanging valances for drapes many contractors do the same thing by drilling or screwing in to the cable.

    If a contractor knows there is ceiling heat we can help out by energizing the cables and using a thermal imager to locate exactly where the cable is so they can miss the cables. It is not recommended to run a wall across the cables but I have seen many situations where a valance for drapes was installed without damaging the cable and the installation is fine.

    Current Electrical Contractors has the equipment to locate and repair any breaks in the ceiling. We locate the break and remove the plaster at that location. Then the cable is butt spliced with a manufacturer recommended splice.

    Many of these installations were done in the 60’s and 70’s. I have counseled many homeowners at posh addresses in the city that they need to replace the relays and thermostats. Although they don’t want to pay for it because it is something they can’t see it is very advisable. (See before and after pictures) It is always a wise investment to upgrade your HVAC system every so often. To wait 45 or 50 years is asking for trouble.

Our Clients Reviews

I have used Current sporadically over the years yet they treat me like I am a regular customer. They will schedule service around my schedule. I was having trouble understanding why the timer was not working on my terms. Turns out it was my error, yet they were nothing but great! Thanks

The service provided by Current Electrical Contractors Inc was excellent!

Very impressed with the company for the quality of work.


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1946-D Lehigh Ave, Glenview, IL 60026

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