Making Great Ice: Tis the Season!

Tis the season! Did you put in your Christmas wish list yet? New pebble heads, a true blade, maybe a new scraper? We all like to wish this time of year.  How about just a new start to the New Year?  If you are one of the lucky ones who has the holidays to tune up your ice, take that opportunity. Now is the perfect time to clean up the ice and give it a levelling flood.

CCA Head Ice Technician Jamie Bourassa's great ice (Photo J. Bourassa)

Before the flood, you will want to get rid of all the dirt that has accumulated in your ice over the last three months.  A few ways to do this are to burn it out with a full sheet burner or tiger torch, wash it out with a hot water wash or hot mopping, or scrape it out with your ice scraper. If you choose one of the first two methods, first scrape the ice surface to get down farther in the ice, giving you a better chance to get more dirt out.  Once you have done this and cleaned up the ice, you can go ahead and give it a leveling flood. Remember, you want to put between 100 and 120 gallons of water on your sheet.  Once this is frozen, remember that your low spots will become your high spots and vice versa .  The reason for this is your low spots will hold more water after the flood and, in turn, have more expansion area when they freeze.  Once you have done your flood and it has frozen, scrape the ice as you did at the start of the year. Now is a good time to make sure all your equipment is in good shape to get you through the rest of the year.  A mid-season check on your compressors is a good idea.  Send out any blades that may need sharpening to get you through the rest of the season, both scraper blades and hand scraper blades.  Check your water quality after the flood to make sure your PH is still between 5 and 6. Have a great holiday season and cheers to a new surface for the New Year!