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When to flood? -

When to flood?

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goblue35
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When to flood?

Postby goblue35 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:12 pm

What's the thought on tempreture for flooding? Here in SE Michigan we have 10 days with highs hovering right around freezing (34-29) with lows at night in the mid 20's (26-20)... Our rink is fairly well shaded by the house, but we'll still get about 4 hours of direct sunlight. My hope is that we could flood tonight and be skating in 5 or so days. Last year the decision was a no brainer as it got cold so quickly. I'd apprecaite input from guys who've been through a few more seasons than I have... Am I just over eager? Do I need to wait until the highs are in the 20's etc... The only thing we've got going is the 10 day doesn't have any snow in the forecast, so no need to worry about a ton of snow on a thin slab....

If there are any other considerations I need to make with flooding at these temps I'd really appreciate any input... Thanks folks!

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kevmac
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Re: When to flood?

Postby kevmac » Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:33 am

I don't understand the waiting game - the water isn't going anywhere unless you have a poor liner. I have already filled my rink and just waiting for the ice to form. The only downfall to early filling is leaves and debris in your water. Any snow that falls before it freezes is going to melt in the water. Snowfalls are going to happen whether you wait or fill early - you can't always work around the weather. Why wait and miss a potential cold snap?

That's just me though - I like to get things out of the way as soon as possible.
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goblue35
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Re: When to flood?

Postby goblue35 » Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:47 pm

kevmac - thanks for the input. when you fill this early, do you have any concerns with deer? This may sound odd, but when I was putting the lighting up the other night I had a half dozen making there way through my yard. Any chance they would walk on the liner filled with water? I'm concerned their hoves could puncture the liner... This concern could be bordering on rediculous... but just interested to know your thoughts... Our liner is white like yours, but the boards are only 18". I'll probably flood tonight for slight possiblity we could be skating next week...

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kevmac
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Re: When to flood?

Postby kevmac » Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:03 pm

I'm more of a rink maker than I am a wildlife expert, who knows what they would do? :-)

I've had deer wander past my rink when I was out for a skate but I've never had wildlife in my rink, except for some squirrels running along the top of the boards. Could you put up a temporary 4' snow fence on the one side to discourage them from taking a dip?
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Joe
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Re: When to flood?

Postby Joe » Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:39 pm

This may be the only topic where Kev and I disagree. I like to wait for the aforementioned wildlife reasons...for the most part, you only get one chance to lay your liner down and fill it (particularly if you spend a few hundred bucks on a water tank - that's not a fun check to write twice). So my advice is usually to wait until you KNOW that you will start making ice the night you fill. When I fill (both my own rinks and my customers) I always try to fill during or at the start of a cold front. Yes, we may miss a few days at the start, but the plan is more of a long-term one, and I'm looking for a liner drop and fill with no issues. Of course, I have never heard of someone filling in mid-November and then having wildlife ruin the liner, so maybe I'm overly cautious...and clearly both approaches work. I just always tend to lean towards the safer option, which to me is filling and having a protective layer of ice by the following morning, versus having water sit for prolonged periods. Of course, all depends on your climate and local animal population, too.
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Joe
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Re: When to flood?

Postby Joe » Sat Nov 22, 2014 8:44 pm

Oh, and here are my general guidelines for when to fill, in order or preference. Not sure I've ever nailed all of these, but this is my blue-sky:

1 - Days below 32 for the next 3-4 days
2 - Nights in the teens for the next 3-4 nights
3 - No wind on fill day (makes it really hard to get the liner down)
4 - No snow in the near future (hard to shovel before the ice freezes)

You can't control any of those, so best to pick a window that looks good and go with it. And if it doesn't work out exactly as planned...well, that's kind of what you're signing up for :)
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wilsondmw
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Re: When to flood?

Postby wilsondmw » Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:56 pm

Amen!

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Re: When to flood?

Postby goblue35 » Mon Nov 24, 2014 8:35 am

Well.... I got excited and went with Kevmac's advice and flooded... The weather conditions were borderline on Joe's recommednations, and we just barely froze enough to skate for about 24 hours before everything melted... New record for our house on earliest ice, Nov 21!
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Re: When to flood?

Postby kevmac » Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:37 pm

My boards are 4' high so if a deer gets in there, I might have venison for supper. :-)

I skated on November 19th this year. Although I got three laps in and then went through the ice, I still skated!!
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