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The weather patter appears to be changing here in Western New York by weeks end rain to ice then to snow/poss lake effect snow. Question is: Should I drop the plastic this weekend  it and hope we get a true pattern change or wait till there is a snow pack and fill after. I'm getting alittle gun shy after last years let down.

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Wait till its minus 10 celcius for at least 2nights and no snow conditions. Make your base 3 inches Max and you should be OK.

I hear you I have about 18 inches to fill and last year waited and waited and never got my rink going

I would say look at the 14 day weather and the night time temps

If it going to be cold enough to freeze load it up

BUT it depends on your liner does it really hold water or does it leak a little (the blue tarps leak)

this year I got a Rink liner (hold the water) so it doesn't matter when I load it up (which I did last week)

once loaded it stays

But Richard is right if you liner leaks wait for very COLD 

Not to step on toes being new to forum I. Live in western New York snow belt up and down weather I fill it during a cold spell if it snows I slow the water allow snow to melt in to water keeping in mind to stop filling when water is 2" below ur highest point always keep in mind with our up and down weather every thing must be white your plastic most important to be white

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