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DIY Winter Ice Rinks

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  • #31
    My ice is looking pretty good now. I've switched to using a little transfer pump, garden hose, and pond rake. It's less work than hauling hot water down and filling/refilling the garbage can zamboni.

    Another tip, if it snows and you plow with an ATV/SXS, make sure you shovel it off after to get rid of the tire tracks. Otherwise, you have to put a lot of water down to cover them up. They will leave very rough ice if you don't shovel or put enough water down to melt/cover them. We had 3" of snow on Friday, but I got it taken care of Saturday morning and have put a few coats down since. The ice fishing went pretty well with the kids yesterday too.

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    • #32
      OK so i was messing around today and i believe now that on a lake you want a big pump. Here are 2 images the white one is how the ice looked. it had that horrible frozen snow that is crunchy like a sleet that just is horrible. Anyway since the ice is still to thin i thought i would try a quick pump over the top just to see what happens in an area that doesn't matter. it is about a 50x50 area maybe a bit bigger. It was still during the daytime, 7-10mph wind and zero ice clearing. I ran the pump less than 2 minutes just to see what would happen and here are the results. I really believe that if i had a properly cleared or even mostly cleared rink a pump is the way to go. the downside is you can not skate immediately on it like you could with a diy zamboni. But if you are going to do a flood at night for the next days skating i have yet to find something as easy or quick. Let me know if anyone has any questions.

      and yes i know it isn't perfect but for just flushing water on it the job it did was amazing.
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      • #33
        OK an update, if you live on a lake and want a rink get a gas water pump plain and simple. So we finally got enough ice to play on and it was pretty good ice. most of us just ice skate and do not play hockey much. so anyway we didn't have a lot to fix then we got a few warm days and it snowed and rained and the ice was the worst shell ice you could imagine. on top of that if anyone was walking on it when it refroze the top it left huge marks. So then down the lake some people were coming up and they were wanting a rink so the night before it was supposed to get down to about 10 degrees F. We did have wind and a bit of snow. So i got the pump out, put the lay flat hose on it and fired it up. the hose immediately blew up which was funny. Don't use lay flat hose it just does not work find some fire hose. However I didn't have any fire hose handy right then so i decided to just flood the ice as much as i could. We drilled a few holes so i could move around as there wasn't any snow banks to hold the water in and i started dumping water on top of the ice. It was dark and my headlamp was not exactly the best source of lite so i just ended up flooding in various places for about 30 to 45 minutes. by the time i was done an area of about the size of a football field minus endzones was in about a half inch of water on average i would say. So the next day after the wind and snow that night everyone went out skating attached are a couple pictures again we didn't do hockey but just skated and almost all of the ice was beautiful. If we had a rink setup like normal with snowbank edges it would have turned out much much better. So I call this a huge win and if you are on a lake and like doing rinks forget the diy zamboni and get a gas powered water pump and just do killer floods.
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        • #34
          I’m glad that worked for you. An issue I have run into doing it that way is you can get an uneven sheet depending on temp and wind conditions. Especially if you are flooding an open area with nothing to contain the water. Just my 2 cents

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          • #35
            LOL I am 110% certain it was not perfectly level but then again the way i ended up doing it was more of a comedy than anything else. I am actually surprised it worked at all. But now i know if we have good banks/edges around a rink this is a great alternative to a diy zamboni with much less work IMHO. flood go on my merry way. Plus I do not have to think about how to get electricity out there and all that other stuff.

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