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Hey rink builders, rookie rink guy here!  I only on about 1" of ice right now, and I am expecting about 10" of snow.  Waiting for the snow to melt is not an option.  Here is my potential solution...get ahold of a high volume trash pump from my contractor buddies and circulate the water during the storm to "melt" the snow and keep everything in a liquid state.  Thoughts?  Am I crazy?  I just cant sit on the sidelines with the deep freeze approaching again.

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Comment by Andrew Johnston on January 23, 2014 at 1:59pm

Tom, you are very correct!  I have thought about it and I will be securing the hoses into fixed locations so neither the feed or output can be moved.  Its very dangerous, but so is frying a Turkey too.  This is an emergency repair situation so its not going to be a common event.  We acutally have a hot water tap coming from the just wont recover fast enough.

Comment by Tom Pathoulas on January 23, 2014 at 1:31pm


I'm sure you have already thought of this but mixing very hot oil with water is potentially very dangerous. If you were to get water into the hot oil you would have trouble. I would make sure there is no one around. Just the potential of pulling over the fryer with the hose is pretty scary.

Good luck!

Comment by Andrew Johnston on January 23, 2014 at 11:06am

I agree, I'm not sure 20' of copper is enough...that is the potential flaw in my plan.  However, the reason for using the oil and copper is to counteract the limited length.  Oil has a very high boiling point, Corn Oil is about 450 and Peanut is 425.  Therefore, I will get the oil up to 350 to 400 degrees, superheat the copper and hopefully get the water to 150 or so.  The oil also will create a better "connection" with the copper due to its viscosity.  The risk will be if the copper gets too hot, the water might instantly boil and create gas bubbles.  its an experiment that I will approach with caution...but i think it will work.  But I thought the trash pump would work better than it knows.

Comment by Tom Pathoulas on January 23, 2014 at 8:46am

I am curious about the turkey fryer. Why use oil? Heated water will do the same thing. Not sure 20' of coil will be enough to heat the water, of ccourse it depends how fast the water is moving through the coil. I use the trash can over a fire method. I have about 75' of hose coiled in the trash can. The copper probably transfers heat to the water a little better than a hose. The water warms but does not get super hot.

Comment by Magnus Leslie on January 23, 2014 at 12:56am

Thanks for the report!   Love the turkey fryer idea too.  That's one of the best parts of this "hobby"- hearing all the ingenious ways people come up with to solve problems and battle the weather.  Sounds like the recirculation pump saved you an even bigger mess so nice work!

Comment by Chris on January 22, 2014 at 11:03pm

The turkey fryer is a great idea.  I've heard about using a bonfire to heat a barrel full of water and sticking a copper coil in a fire, but the fryer sounds like a much more efficient way to go.  I want this to work - good luck!

Comment by Andrew Johnston on January 22, 2014 at 10:31pm

Ok everyone…here are the results:  Yes the snow was melted, but the surface is a very rough mess.  If I had left the snow, I think the ice would never have frozen due the insulating properties of snow.  And with a strong cold front moving in MA for the next week, I think the flooding worked, its just going to be a long long night tomorrow shaving and floating a new surface.  We've got a hot water faucet, but that is only good for one thin resurface…so I converted my turkey fryer into a "water heater"…anyone ever try this?  I think it will work.  I'll get the oil up to 350 degrees and I have 20' of 1/2" copper tube coiled inside the oil which I will use to push the tap water through.  I think it should work, thoughts?  I'll report back Friday.  I love this stuff! 

Comment by Chris on January 21, 2014 at 10:44pm

I'm also curious about the re-circulation pump method.  I have no idea if it will work or not, but it sounds like it will accomplish a couple of things that could lead to success - melting the snow as it lands eliminates the shoveling, and you gain whatever volume of water the snow turns into. 

Comment by Magnus Leslie on January 21, 2014 at 5:30pm

Indeed, 45 x 90 would be tough to keep clear with a roof rake (tried twice on a 32x80 before and couldn't keep up) and 18k is more than you'd want to drain or refill.  If you do end up trying the recirculation pump, please let us know how it turns out.  I'm sure I'm not the only one out here who would love to hear how it worked.  Always good to learn from other members and have another trick up one's sleeve when the conditions get difficult!

Comment by Andrew Johnston on January 21, 2014 at 3:36pm

Thanks for the note.  The rink is 45'x90'.  I thought about the roof rake, but im not sure I'll be able to keep up with the snow given the size.  The rink has about 18,000 gallons of water in it, so I dont want to drain it.  I am leaning towards pumping it, but maybe I'll start with the roof rake and be ready with the pump.  Has anyone tired pumping during a snow storm?

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