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Tips & Tricks

You know you need a minimum of 3.5 inches of water when you fill your rink and you know that a couple kids can go out on the ice when you have 2.5 inches of ice.  The question is how to measure these depths easily.  I have made two tools for just such a thing and here they are...

Measuring water depth:

I took a 1x2 about 24 inches long and made marks at 3", 4", 5" and 6" from the end.  I then marked them in a way they are easily seen (see picture below).  When I am filling I put the stick at my shallowest point, which happens to be the farthest point from my house, and clamp it to my boards.  When I have reached the desired depth (between 4 and 5 inches typically as this is also my northern edge), I turn off the water and wait.

The other thing I use this for is for when I have too much water in the rink, from when snow gets on the rink and the ice isn't thick enough to remove it.  I again clamp the stick to the boards in my shallowest area and start my pump to remove the needed water to get back to my desired depth of water.

Measuring ice thickness:

I took a one foot length of solid 12 gauge wire (from a 12/2 romex cable) and bent it 3/4 of an inch from the end to 90 degrees.  I then made marks with silver and copper markers every 1/2 inch (see picture below).  When I want to measure the ice, I get my drill and my 1" spade bit and my measuring rod.  In my deep end I drill a hole, keeping the ice shavings set aside (to fill the hole once I get my measurement), and insert the rod.  I use the "L" at the bottom to catch the bottom of the ice and hold my fingers at ice level.  When I remove the rod (keeping my fingers at the ice level on the rod) I can then easily see how much ice I have.

I hope you find this helpful the next time you need to measure water depth or ice thickness!

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