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#46428 - 01/12/04 06:59 AM Flooding Ice for skating.
fozzybear Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/05/03
Posts: 115
Loc: SE Michigan
We have about a 1/2 pond in michigan that we finally beginning to skate on at long last. The question I have is has anybody had any experience regarding the best way to flood the ice for a smooth surface? We have been attaching 3 100ft hoses together to get water from the house and then skimming the surface. This works but takes a long time to make up any imperfections in the ice. My brother-in-law suggested cutting a hole in the ice in a non used area and then using a submersible pump to put about 1/2" of water on in one quick shot. Sounds like a good idea but wouldn't it create voids underneath the ice? anybody have any thoughts or ideas?
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#46429 - 01/12/04 10:28 AM Re: Flooding Ice for skating.
Tuzz Offline
Lunker

Registered: 08/17/03
Posts: 235
Loc: Greenfield Park, NY
I was told to try the same approach. I can't imagine that there should be a problem especially if your pond has any run off occuring at the time you do this.

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#46430 - 01/12/04 10:53 AM Re: Flooding Ice for skating.
Scott Trava Offline
Lunker

Registered: 10/28/03
Posts: 182
Loc: Wurtsboro N.Y.
Do it on a day that is above 45 degrees and sunny. Cut a hole in ice and rent a 3 inch gas powered pump and pump water over pond this will give you the volume you need so it does not ripple. A sump pump will take to long and a garden hose from the house is not enough water. To do a 1 acre pond with a 3 inch pump wil take about 30 min let sit overnight and great skating the next day.
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#46431 - 01/12/04 01:16 PM Re: Flooding Ice for skating.
Pottsy Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/21/02
Posts: 494
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Personally I use a submersible sump pump running through 1 1/2" line to do the job but I only maintain a small portion of the pond (Maybe 100'x100') since shovelling any more then that would give me a heart attack. Certainly a 3" gas pump would be more efficient and a whole lot faster but without owning one the rental costs might be prohibitive for each time you want to fix the ice. The tough thing is keeping it shovelled all the time so you don't end up with soft spots or snow freezing in/crusting over etc. and wrecking your surface. Never had much problem with voids... at worst the ice settles down a bit and you get some cracking. Depending on the weather conditions it can be alot of work to maintain.... so when you get it right make sure to skate your a$$ off.

Like Scott mentioned, a hose from the house is not nearly enough water unless you only want a 10x10 area or it is REALLY warm out that day and mother nature helps you out. (If it is really cold it will just tick you off trying to use one)
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#46432 - 01/12/04 02:19 PM Re: Flooding Ice for skating.
fozzybear Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/05/03
Posts: 115
Loc: SE Michigan
Boy, do I know using a hose from the house is alot of work. Two years ago when this was just a mud puddle (still a 1/2 acre in size) I fooded this with a hose about three times a week. The other 4 days I shoveled snow. We do have the most popular place in the neighborhood when I finally get the ice flat. I have made a hand made zamboni that works quite well when the ice is finally smooth. It is made out of 3/4" copper and hooks onto a garden hose. It is six feet wide and rides 1/2" off the surface with 60 1/8" diameter holes equally spaced on the bottom. I hook the hose to it a pull it across the pond and can do the whole thing in under 45 minutes. It just doesn't put down enough water for the initial surfacing though.
_________________________
Its not how well you do something,
Its how well you look doing it!


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#46433 - 01/21/04 12:30 PM Re: Flooding Ice for skating.
Tuzz Offline
Lunker

Registered: 08/17/03
Posts: 235
Loc: Greenfield Park, NY
fozzybear... I've been thinking about a "zambone" that I would attach to my ATV. Figure a 50 gallon water tank attached to it and maybe something like what you described. Do you have photo or more info on what you made that you can share?

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#46434 - 01/21/04 03:19 PM Re: Flooding Ice for skating.
fozzybear Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/05/03
Posts: 115
Loc: SE Michigan
Tuzz, If I remember it I will try and take a photo tonight and post tommorrow.
_________________________
Its not how well you do something,
Its how well you look doing it!


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#396245 - 01/02/15 08:52 PM Re: Flooding Ice for skating. [Re: fozzybear]
canyoncreek Offline


Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1861
Loc: West Michigan
fozzybear, I know this is an old post but any experience you can share on better ways to flood your pond for skating? I'm also thinking through some options. Maybe others can share?

1. Flooding... Pumps, some have used ice augers going up and down in the hole to pump water.. sump pump, trash pump, etc.

--I have a 1 and 1/4" line from my well down to pond with frost free hydrant near pond edge. I think the vertical line coming out of the ground is 1" with the inside line going down to the frost free valve smaller than that? I'm not sure how they construct those red handled hydrants. Either way, the flow limiter is the 3/4" garden hose thread end. In nicer weather I could dig down, find the junction to the hydrant and consider a T off and then 1 1/4" line tunneled down to the ponds edge. If the connection had a valve and drain, or flowed downhill to be self draining it wouldn't freeze. That would at least get higher volume of water

--I'm also considering ways to increase flow without doing the steps in #1. I can get some used fire hose, I'm thinking 1 1/2", 2 of the 75' sections should be good. Then adapters to get from 1 1/2" NST thread to NPT thread and then probably pvc reducers to 3/4". The short segment that is 3/4" will rapidly expand to 1 1/2" and then the hose offers less resistance to flow. I think that in itself would help a lot if I 'hand flood' it by walking around and running the water until it pools.

--When doing by hand the trick is to let it puddle, just enough to fill in the cracks, not too much to leave big puddles. You almost have to be there to do it by hand with the hose. A zamboni (garden tractor with tank, bar behind it with holes and a squeegee or old towel to smooth it out) or a pole and hose like fozzybear used works if ice is pretty smooth and no snow on it.

--Thinking of ways to get it to puddle faster. It requires large volumes of water all at once. Setting a hose out and letting it run just creates a groove where the water melts through. Going around the edges and spraying the water on tends to leave all ripples as the water doesn't go on and spread out/puddle out evenly. Some have tried sprinklers and again you get little wavelets and sharp frozen edges.

--My banks slope down, I wonder if I had 30 gallon or 55 gallon drums staged around the pond, filled them, and then tipped them over. That much water pushing ahead should melt a little snow, and spread out pretty evenly. Again the time limitation would be the flow it takes to fill the 55 gallons up again (or the next one further down the bank) Could I do this with 5 gallon buckets and just throw them out to get it to spread evenly?

--Ideally I'd have a huge collapsible water container, like a big sock or large collapsing bag. It would need a huge opening at one end. I could then set it on the slope of the bank, start filling it after work, come out 3-4 hours later, pull the valve or open a large hatch and have a roar of thousands of gallons come down a tarp or something that won't erode soil. That much water going downhill would definitely flood anything on the pond surface and evenly spread itself out due to the shear volume of water. IT also could be pretty much an unattended fill up, and a VERY rapid flooding process. This could be done perhaps with a tank up on stilts (old fuel oil tank?) but modifications would have to be done to make a gate valve, or a quick release dump flap of some type to let a ton of water out all at once. Of course you couldn't leave any water in the tank or it would freeze solid. I was thinking about those big plastic square tanks with metal cages around it that are used to ship liquids but again, how do you get them to empty fast enough? Cut open the top and mount them on some type of large dump hinge? I'm not sure you could push over much more than 55 gallons of water with one person.

2. Zamboni--lots of great ideas by watching youtube videos. For me, the problem in michigan is that we get more snow (wet lake effect snow here in W Mi) than ice. So the insulating effect of the snow has to be removed first and usually the ice is too weak to get any people or equipment on it so ice skating is out. My pond is small so I could possibly set up ropes or cable to pull something back and forth from one side of the pond to the other, maybe with my tractor? I was thinking of a flooding bar maybe 15'-20' long, supported on each side maybe on runners or skiis, maybe one support in the middle and a wide flap of rubber or cloth behind it. You feed water to one side of the bar with all holes in the bottom about 12" off the ice. You then have a rope system on each side. You start the water and pull it across, then another person pulls it back, or use tractor to pull it back and forth. Could do quite a wide strip at once that way.

Other ideas?

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