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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm relatively new to this whole huge winter thing but my new house has a pond out in the back that freezes up and is a decent size.
The previous owners used to skate back there so there are floodlights etc set up on the trees but there's so much crap and brush (not to mention a few feet of snow right now) back there that the surface is very rough, when I can get down to it.

I was thinking of buying one of those little gas powered water pumps and trying to flood it through a hole in the ice but I'm thinking it might be frozen through.

What's the best way to go about making a decent surface without getting huge water/sewer bill?
 

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If the pond is more than three feet deep, its very unlikely its frozen through..
you could have one to two feet of ice, but not likely to be more than that..

I like the idea of using a pump to re-flood the surface, that could work!

wait for a timeframe where you are sure you arent going to get new snow for a day or two, and its going to be nice and cold..
clear the surface of snow.
shovel out an area at the edge of the pond, on "land", to sit the pump.
drill a hole in the ice for the inlet tube,
flood the surface to an inch or so of water..plug up the hole, let it freeze..
should work nicely! :)

how big of a pond are we talking about?

Scot
 

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What's the best way to go about making a decent surface without getting huge water/sewer bill?
If you don't have a well, then yes as sscotman mentions flooding is a good way to get a somewhat decent surface. I had a 150ft X 50ft rink I started from scratch every year for 15 years for my children. For the nicest ice finish with minimum water I constructed a small Zamboni style and it was like an arena finish.
First I took a small pull wagon and put a 30 gal steel drum with a small (1"hose) attached to a galvanized (2 1/2') pipe and drilled 3/16" holes underside and lastly a rag enveloping the pipe full width. For the rink size I needed to fill the drum twice and within less than a minute or two everyone could skate on the new ice. I used cold water but very important was too remove all the snow as today a small gas blowers would be excellent to achieve this. I'll have to dig deep and see if I can get pics.
 

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First off, good job getting the kids/family in to a Great sport.... There are some kits you can look at Nice Rink. Backyard Ice Rinks, Ice Resurfacer, Ice Rink Liners, Portable Backyard Hockey Rinks, Outdoor Ice Skating

If you want to be like me, do it yourself, a few things.

2x4work (thats what I did) or you can go for 2x6 (thicker the better, youll see why)

Next you can either put a base of dirt, use snow, or like I did the grass.

If you use snow, take a 4x8 shiit of ply wood, use that to tamp or pack it down..... EITHER use plastic on top of the snow/grass and start to spray lightly.

If you used the snow with no plastic wait till its cold and you can just go right off of that....

Here are some pics of what I did this year. THis was the first year we have been in the new house, but have already made plans for the v2.0 rink.


But you could just get agravity pump (used in fishtank cleaning, you shake it and it will start to pump, they also make them for 55 gallon drums too.... if its not big and you dont mind having out a few min, you could use one of those.

This is about 18x26




 

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Discussion Starter #5
Some great ideas, thanks guys. I'm probably dealing with about 100x50ft all told but there's some brush and one very established oak tree in there... I'll have a better idea what I need to clear next year once this first winter is out of the way.
 
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