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blgoose

Ice Rink Help

32 posts in this topic

Looking for some help with a back yard ice rink for the kids. I want to only apply well water with no boards.The plan size is about 50x35 on flat ground.My neigbor has tried for 3 years with out success.Last year he layed plastic down and that didnt work.This being my first year, I need some pointers on flooding and should the water be hot or cold,should I shovel the snow and flood.or flood over the Snow.Will I have any dead grass come spring...and help or thoughts would be greatful. Thanks from me and the kids Goose

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As a person who flooded more than my share of rinks growing up, I think I can help you out here.
1. Clear the area of any snow.
2. Do not lay plastic on the ground.
3. Make sure the ground is frozen, if it is, lay the hose on the ground and let run for a long period of time (2 hrs or more). It takes a lot of water to get started. If the ground is sucking up all the water it's to early. If the ground is starting to leave puddles, move the hose to a different spot and repeat, it'll freeze over night.
Once you have the entire area covered with ice, flood the rink by holding the hose and splashing the entire surface. You'll want a full 1 - 2 inches before you start skating. Walk the surface and break all air bubbles prior to the next flood (Air pockets can break ankles).
Skate all the bumps off.

It may be a bit early in the year to start making a rink. I'd wait and plan the rink for Christmas vacation. It's seldom you can keep ice from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

Good Luck.

[This message has been edited by Kidd (edited 11-24-2003).]

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The method that Kidd described is what most of the cities in the metro areas use to make ice rinks, though they have boards at most rinks, especially in Bloomington. The key thing is to wait until it will be consistently cold enough, then make sure the ground is frozen, and then just flood the area. Most skating rinks in Bloomington don't "open" for skating until early January.

It does take a LOT of water though, so make sure you're well can handle it.

fp

------------------
"Cast riiiiight....there."

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The problem with the grass comes with all the running around on the water once it melts in the spring. If you can keep people off the rink area until it's dried you should be all right. As a kid our hockey rink was the same area as our baseball infield and the grass always came back.

That rinkrake looks pretty interesting. For $50.00 it might be worth trying. Being able to flood over snow would save a lot of water. I have my doubts about it, but I guess technology has spread it's roots to something as non-technical as ice making.

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Roll the hose up after every use and bring in the house. Don't bother with warm water, use cold.

[This message has been edited by Kidd (edited 11-25-2003).]

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I laughed at my friend's rinkrake - couldn't believe he paid that much for some doggone PVC piping. He took a pretty merciless heckling from me.
Then I helped him flood.
Holy dump - that thing is absolutely the slickest backyard rink dealy-bob on the market. Experiment around a bit, and you will get arena-quality ice, no small feat in a backyard rink.
Hoses need to come in the house, and should be drained as well as possible after each use. Trapped water can freeze and plug the whole works up in mere minutes when its below zero, and you're huffing and puffing to get the hose out, get the kinks out, back into the house to turn the water on, etc.

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Thanks Kidd I will keep u all posted how my flooding is coming along.Looks like the project will not start until mid dec.Goose and the kids

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The last time I did this it killed all the grass underneath. Just a warning. Most of the grass did not come back either. Some did, most had to be overseeded.

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Big fish Thanks alot for the link.Great job..I see I have another problem already..DRAIN FIELD...its about 20 feet away from my area..next problem looks like direct sunlight!..never thought flooding a rink would be so much work..Thanks to the FM family for taking some of the kinks out of my HOSE .. I will have a month to get a plan together..Happy Thanksgiving to all.Off to northwoods for some fishing, sleding and couple cocktails..check back next week! Goose and the kids

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Luckily we have a pond in our backyard so that helps with the base. I did the whole works last year and although a hassle, it's nice to go out on a nice day or night and flood the rink. Kind of like the solitude of sitting in a deer stand or drifting for walleyes. We have speakers on the back of our house and on a nice day you can turn the tunes up and get the kids and neighbor kids out there. Helps to have a plow on the 4 wheeler to remove snow too. Another excuse for another toy. The rink rake is good, using the hose is pretty time consuming. But, some days in the winter there's nothing but time...

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Thanks for the all the responses. I live in grant township bye stillwater, My soil is all fill,and have poor drainage, so I hoping once the ground is frozen! hopefully will hold ice fine.The ground is flat for about 100 yards then slopes to a swamp.Hopefully the water will drain come spring..I too have been searching the web! Not sure if i want to spend $50 for the rink rake...couldnt get the pic or movie to down load to see how it works..keep the info coming thanks again goose and kids..

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I forgot one other thing, the garden hose.The problem I have is un-freezing it when i m done.I dont have a floor drain in the house, because its were they hooked up the shower,So if I flood with hot or warm water.Is this going to be a problem.Maybe give up fish house plans for a garage heater.BIG THANKS Goose and the kids

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Nope, I just waited until the ground was frozen, banke up the snow around the edges and turned on the hose. In spring, the grass was dead but the rink was fun all winter.

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although probably more messy to clean up, I think using plastic helps to prevent killing your lawn.

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I "sealed" it using threaded pvc that connects to the hose. It doesn't thread perfect but the hose didn't leak, I was assuming I'd end up stripping the pvc eventually and just replacing it, from your question I assume that may happen. Any ideas??? my father in law is an engineering guru and I'll ask him tomorrow before the Thanksgiving nap.

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Leech
Would a length of hose fit snug enough in the PVC to glue in place with the threaded end of the hose exposed? Thanks for the idea. I might put one together while watching football tomorrow.
Hook

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If you use plastic shovel off the snow or pack it down good. I've made the T's also. You can get a fitting that goes from pipe thread to a hose end.
I don't recall loosing any grass but all our rinks have been over packed snow so maybe thats the key. I wouldn't worry about direct sunlight if you had a white base (packed snow).

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