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Newbie Questions about Liquid Deicers/Anti-icers

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by The Mowerdude, Nov 28, 2002.

  1. The Mowerdude

    The Mowerdude Junior Member
    Messages: 22

    This will be my 2nd year providing snow/ice control. I've been subbing from another service, and I've already committed to subbing this season. But next year I plan on striking out on my own.

    I'm really really curious about making the jump to liquids. My main goals are to eliminate having an employee to dump bags of calcium into the spreader and I'd like to cover my customer's lots in less time without sacrificing quality. And since I'll be on my own, I can price things the way I want instead of going with someone else's prices. However, when it comes to this stuff, I'm so "unknowledgeable" that I feel that many of my questions will come across as silly. When I read the posts that many have put on this forum, I feel that a lot of the responses here are based on the assumption that many have much more experience already. But hey, what the hell? Here goes:

    #1. Who manufactures the correct spray equipment for applying liquid deicers? Is it the same as the stuff we Lawn dudes use for fert apps?

    #2. How is the product mixed? By that, I mean, do you buy it already in liquid form or do you add something to a pile of rock salt to dissolve it? (or for that matter, a bag of calcium chloride?)

    #3. If I need to mix it myself, can I do it in the spray equipment itself, or do I need to consider the purchase of yet more equipment?

    #4. Should I just hang it up and stick with granular materials?

    Any help is appreciated.
  2. Mike Nelson

    Mike Nelson Senior Member
    Messages: 637


    Feel free to call us on Monday and speak with Jay.He would be happy to discuss liquid deicers and equipment with you.

    Happy Thanksgiving
  3. slingshot

    slingshot Junior Member
    Messages: 21

    Mowerdude, You can give me a call at 570-558-2541 or you can contact John Parker at 845-485-4200 We can set you up wjth everything you need for liquids. We will also give you all the pros and cons about them . you can also check out magicsalt.com Thanks, mark
  4. ceaman

    ceaman Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    There sure is more info to be found on here about liquid then I could find a year or so ago when I wanted to get started. Just remember.... Any one liquid is not the cure for all of your problems. Each is a tool that has its applications and purposes, everyones experience with it may be a little different. For my use Liquid anti/de-icer works great!
  5. OriginalSnowman

    OriginalSnowman Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    Going to liquids to eliminate dumping bags of dry calcium completely will not give you satisfactory results in my experience. Liquids are a solution of the corresponding dry product. So right off you are adding water to snow and ice.

    The relative humidities in the East (and southeast) are too high to successfully use liquids for DE-ICING exclusively. If you look at the states that successfully run liquid only deicing they are all arrid mountain states where the most moisture is found on the road in the snow. In the East, most of the mositure is in the air and therein lies the problem with deicing with liquids in the East. You create more slickness than you eliminate in my experience.

    Anti-icing (spraying down the surface prior to snowfall to prevent the freeze layer), and Pre-wetting (spraying the dry materials you throw) are proven success in the East but I have not found anyone who is spraying liquids only for DE-ICING successfully.

    Liquids are intended to be used for pre-wetting salt/abrasives so that they stick to the road, and to catalyze their performance by lowering the temperature at which brining begins by coating the salt with a performance liquid. Some liquids have inhibitor packages in them that will keep the liquid from corroding the steel it comes in contact with. Some liquids claim that they will inhibit the rock salt and make it non-corrosive to steel but I think that this is poppycock. The liquids with inhibitor packages that are biodegradeable mean that the inhibitor is biodegradeable, not the inorganic liquid, so once the inhibitor biodegrades, you are left with the same liquid base you started with.

    There is a lot of misinformation and outright bull**** out there on liquids. Carefully cut through it all. The trends in the industry now are toward performance blended dry deicers because you are carrying the maximum amount of horsepower (dry) and it is designed to do what you are trying to do. Add to that performance blended deicer a pre-wetting liquid and you are really cooking. Add to your program an anti-icing program of using liquids in advance of the storm and you have covered all the bases and there are no bases left.

    Remember that all deicers lower the freeze point of water and the objective is to form a "liquid snow brine" with a freezepoint that is lower than the prevailing temperature. In straight forward chemical terms, you can easily find these concentrations plotted for salt, calcium, magnesium, and all the other chemical deicers out there. If you start with dry products, you can put more horsepower to the problem than if you start with liquids and that's undeniable.

    Do your homework carefully to avoid investing a bundle in equipment and chemicals that you find after the fact may not deliver what you need or expected.

    It seems like there's a lot of response on this board from people who are trying to sell their products. Seek opinions from people who are not trying to sell you their product or their chemistry if you want to find the complete unbiased answer.
  6. ceaman

    ceaman Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    I do not sell liquid or equipment.... I am the user.

    As for the investment..... Start out with a pump sprayer and 2 gallons and try it at home on the sidewalks and drive.
  7. Mick

    Mick PlowSite.com Veteran
    from Maine
    Messages: 5,546

    ceaman, along that same line - could I use a handheld sprayer to coat salt? There's one in Northern Tool that holds a couple gallons and works off a 12 volt battery. I'm using Magic-0. Would this flow well or just clog up the sprayer?

  8. ceaman

    ceaman Senior Member
    Messages: 372

    Magic should flow thru a pump sprayer as long as there is no small restrictions or filters to trap solids. I have not used magic or caliber but do have a sample of them coming.

    Last year I used a product called "Ice Ban Ultra" which is a Mag chloride with inhibitior. This year I decided to manufature my own brine to use. I had good luck with the product until I added the inhibitor to the product then it became foamy..... I am now looking to go back to a pre-mixed product while developing my "Home Brew" further. I became lucky that I still had 300 gallons of Ice Ban left over from last year to get me thru till I can purchace more.
  9. Dave1250

    Dave1250 Member
    Messages: 57

    Good questions

    I to am looking into this product for an act. They have a wool carpet and do not want any salt used . It is my best acount and let me do what I want to. Never a problem getting paid . But a small part of the parting lot approx 40x 30 never see the sun so my problem is I scrape and scrape but can not clean up that spot. I have been looking for something to work . good luck