How It Works-THAWING

The versatile Ground Heater® - solves cold weather construction problems! Ground Heaters®' dry, radiant, hydronic heat is economical and easy to use!

  • Thaw frozen ground for excavation and concrete placements
  • Thaw up to 1 foot deep per day!
  • Accurately quote winter construction jobs
  • Deliver projects on time
  • Keep crews and equipment working all winter
  • Protect exposed footings from frost heaving
  • No need to build temporary roads.. adjacent ground stays frozen

Ice in the soil!
Know Your Dirt! Ice Content of Frozen Soils


gravel sand clay silt
5 to 7 lbs.
in 1 cu. ft.
14 to 18 lbs.
in 1 cu. ft.
16 to 22 lbs.
in 1 cu. ft.
15 to 52 lbs.
in 1 cu. ft.
Up to 1,001
Btu's required
to melt ice
Up to 2,574
Btu's required
to melt ice
Up to 3,146
Btu's required
to melt ice
Up to 7,436
Btu's required
to melt ice
Melting ice requires 143 Btu's per pound!

Frost Facts

  • Soil does not freeze
  • Water in soil freezes
  • Ice binds soil
  • Melting ice requires 143 Btu's per pound!

Ground Heater® System



94% of the heat is conducted into frozen ground!

  • Thaws at a fast rate - typically 1 ft. deep per day
  • Achieves up to 10' thaw depth per application
  • No temporary enclosure to build
  • Uses fuel efficiently; fuel costs per cu. ft. thawed:
    mini= less than 1¢

    propane= 37¢

  • Requires minimal supervision
  • Utilizes BTU's efficiently with minimal heat loss

Hot Air System



Only 15% of the heat is conducted into the frozen ground!

  • Limited thaw depth
  • Requires building costly temporary enclosures
  • Requires noisy propane heaters
  • Creates outrageous propane bills
  • Emits noxious fumes into enclosure
  • Requires constant supervision

Thawing 6,000 sq. ft., 3 ft. deep


System Hot Air
Ground Heater mini
Time 25 days OWN
3 Days
3 Days
materials cost
$2,877 $530 $1,436
Fuel Cost $6,600 $132 $132
Total Job cost $9,477 $662 $1,568
Cost/cu. ft. 52.7¢ 3.7¢ 8.7¢

NOTE: Figures above are based on average rates/costs. Actual rates/cost incurred may vary depending upon geographical location.
Ground Heater® mini out-performs hot air!
Thawing 6,000 sq. ft., 3 ft. deep
Time 8:1
Fuel Cost 50:1
Overall Cost 14:1


  1. Prepare Site Scrape snow and ice from thaw site.
  2. Position Heat Transfer Hose Space hose 2 feet on center over thaw site area. A closed system, only heat goes into ground.
  3. Lay Poly Vapor Barrier Place minimum 3 mil poly vapor barrier to contain water vapor.
  4. Prevents loss of heat
  5. Keeps soil moist for better heat conduction
  6. Keeps hoses and blankets clean
  7. Place Insulation Blankets
  8. Prevent heat loss and direct heat into ground. Requires 2 to 3 layers of high R value blankets.
  • Thaw fast - typically 1 foot deep/ day!
  • Thaw cheap - as low as 3.7¢/cu. ft.
  • Thaw deep - up to 10 feet/application
  • Thaw easy - no enclosures to build; set up is simple
  • Thaw large areas - up to 12,000 sq. ft./application
  • Thaw safe - certified in the US and Canada