Making Great Ice: Are you prepared?

Well, guess what? Another season is fast approaching – if it hasn’t reached some of us already. Are you prepared?

Great ice at the Tim Hortons Brier

Now is the time to make sure your floor is clean and ready for installation.  If you have a painted floor, make sure you leave any touch-ups sufficient time to cure.  It takes at least 15 days for your acrylic latex to harden.  This will help in reducing your peeling in years to come. Have you called your refridgeration company? It’s time to book them in for your start-up. One thing I like to do is book my mechanic on a Thursday.  If there are any problems and he has to come back the next day, it’s not a Saturday and you won’t have to pay overtime. For you new ice makers or techs at a new club installing ice for the first time, follow the mechanic around when he is doing his start-up routine.  Watching him in action will give you a good opportunity to learn the ins and outs of your system and to ask questions.  It will also help in trouble-shooting down the road. Another thing I like to do with my refridgeration company is request the same mechanic for start-up, mid-season and shut down.  You will develop a better rapport and he will have a better understanding of your compressor room. Not only that, but it should save you money in the long run. Do you paint? Have you ordered your paint? No matter what company you use, they do like a little heads up on paint orders. If you rent a painting system, it’s important to get it scheduled early, as they have a tendency to get booked up quickly. Speaking of paint systems, and your facility in general: Do a dry run with your equipment before you start.  There’s nothing worse than getting started and having a breakdown.   Make sure you give your heaters a run before you start.  If they have been sitting idle all summer, who knows what might come out of them.  If you have a dehumidifier, make sure it is operating properly and ready for start-up. If your rocks aren’t in the ice shed, you can move them in so when you start cooling down, they will cool also.  That way, when you are ready to transfer them to the ice, they are not too warm. Have you got your blade back from the sharpening service? I know – you forgot to send it, right?  Get it shipped out soon because you were very likely not the only one who forgot and they will be very busy right now. Next Spring, remember to send it for sharpening right after season ends. And how about that little blade in the corner, on the stick? You might know it as a hand scraper.  Did you know it needs sharpening too? Give it a bit of attention and send it on a trip to the sharpeners also. Well, it’s time to get busy and get ready to enjoy another fun-filled season on the ice. Next month: INSTALL.  REMEMBER, IT IS JUST FROZEN WATER!