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Tips & Tricks

This topic is always one that no one can agree on. One of the reasons I love the Yahoo Group is that you get so many viewpoints form fellow rinkmasters and even though we all don't agree and a method, we all do agree than resurfacing your rink from time to time makes the skating a little more enjoyable. This year the debate has come up again (as always) and I still feel that hot or cold each has there merits and a right time to be used.

It has been stated over and over that cold water will help build depth while hot will build a stronger surface. These statements are 100% true. The trick is knowing which you want.

No matter which way you go, please remember that you should always go "THIN TO WIN" as a heavier flood can cause "shell ice" and that is something you never want to see. Due to several years of being part of and reading every post on this subject I will revamp my previous statements below...

I use cold water floods/resurfaces early in the season when I am trying to get a solid slab of ice that will support a few adults and kids at the same time. The cold water doesn't evaporate like hot water does and you get a thicker layer of water on the top of the ice. As long as the temps are below 28F you will get a nice buildup. <Winter 2012 UPDATE> I usually do this with what we call bucket dumps. Yup, you guessed it, fill a bucket/barrel with water and knock it over on the rink. Water self levels, so as long as you keep a wet edge you will be OK. I have done bucket dumps in as cold as 12 F temps, but it is hard to keep the wet edge at this temp.

I use hot water for two reasons.

  1. When I want to get a quick resurface in before or after a skating session. The hot water tends to freeze quicker due to the evaporation and makes a nice smooth surface.
  2. When the surface gets bumpy from snow/sleet/rain. The hot water melts the top of the ice and smoothes out some of the bumps. Depending on the severity of the bumps this could take a couple resurfaces, but does an extremely good job.

So depending on what you are trying to accomplish you may end up using hot and cold water to resurface your rink.

Winter 2007 UPDATE!

--- QUOTE From The Utah Statesman Online ---
After the ice is cleaned, the conditioner drops 160-degree water onto the ice.

"This becomes the new surface of ice," Hardy said. "A rag drops behind it and pushes the water into all the grooves and smooths it."

Hardy said it is important that very hot water is used.

"When water is frozen, the actual molecule is closed," she said. "The hot water sort of opens it up and forms one solid piece of ice. If you put cold or just tepid water on it, it would just freeze with air in between the old ice and new ice. It would chip as soon as someone skated on it."

She said this is why pond ice is never quite as good as rink ice.
--- END QUOTE ---

This is good enough for me to say that when resurfacing the rink for a skating surface you should use hot water. Although as the temps drop further you may want to use warm water so as not to cause too much cracking of the surface.

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