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Hotbox Snow Melter?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by paponte, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. paponte

    paponte Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    Was at the shop the other day, and came to wonder if there would be a way to use an asphalt hotbox to melt snow. Would be nice to have one unit with dual purposes. Anyone have some intelligent input?
  2. wenzelosllc

    wenzelosllc Senior Member
    Messages: 406

    Never used a hot box but from what I looked up it only heats like a kettle would and that would be very inefficient. You would need a way to keep fresh snow on the hot metal.

    Our SnowDragon melter is designed much like a hot box except it has a pump that sprays water on the snow to help spread the heat around. It also produces 5.8 Mil btu/hr compared to maybe 4000 btu/hr in a hot box.

    So basically it might melt snow, but it wouldn't be practical based on capacity over a given period.
  3. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    snow melter

    The issue that would kill it is the fact that the asphault
    would be bleeding the emulsions into the melt water and
    the NYCDEC or NJDEP would have a field day.
  4. paponte

    paponte Senior Member
    Messages: 717

    What about if you made an insert for it. I could see problems with residue left in the machine, but I wouldn't think it's any more than your typical runoff from a lot. I also agree with the BTU issue, I'm not even sure what your standard box is, I would have to do some research. I was just kind of looking for an inexpensive alternative for melting snow on a smaller level. I could never justify shelling out a 1/4 mil. on an ice melter at this point in my business.
  5. wenzelosllc

    wenzelosllc Senior Member
    Messages: 406

    As far as the runoff goes, it might be comparable to regular everyday runoff but you can control the excess from the box; The everyday stuff is acceptable because it has to be there. An insert might work, a good idea.

    If you wanted to build your own you might be able to get away for a much smaller amount; That is if you're handy with a welder and can wire up a burner. The one we have at work might be spendy but that's only because they have to cover research costs and what not.

    If you just want to melt a few cubic yards an hour you might be able to get away spending like 20-50,000. Not cheap but you could pay for it pretty quick.