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Liquid ice melt

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by Phil, Dec 31, 2002.

  1. Phil

    Phil Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Does anyone have experience with using a liquid ice melt or pre treat that can be sprayed out of a ride-on speader sprayer. We have many lawn care firms that own these units for the application of liquid weed controls ect. They would like to use this unit more than 5 or 6 months out of the year. The tee jet nozzels can be changed, if that were an issue. What a great way to apply ice melt on vast side walk areas. Any direction on this would be great. Phil
  2. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    Phil, a couple of issues.... the sprayers you have now are not HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) which is what you want for liquids. The liquids commonly used for de-icing, weaken aluminum, so you'd want a cast iron pump, with as few aluminum parts as possible. Most of the plumbing being PVC and rubber, or plastic... is what you want.

    Actually, considering the small area of a walk way, you could almost gravity feed the liquid to the spray bar..... almost*.....

  3. Phil

    Phil Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Liquid ice control

    Thanks for the thought on this process. Not really sure how well the liquid would work for this application anyway. I have zero experience with this type of application. Where I was interested in using it was for a few customer that clear snow at Malls, Church's and Hospitals. Thought that it might buy them some time prior to actual LESCOMELT granular applications on the walk areas. Phil
  4. OriginalSnowman

    OriginalSnowman Junior Member
    Messages: 20

    I have had quite a bit of experience with liquids for anti-icing and for pre-wetting salt and abrasives. This unit you have would be a candidate for anti-icing as using liquids for deicing is generally not economical or effective in most regions of the US.

    It depends on the area that you are treating. If you are in the Northeast or Central US, you should stay under 30 gallons of liquid (calcium, magnesium, or enhanced liquids with agricultural additives) per lane mile. I do not agree with the post above about gravity and high volume. That actually will generally lead to disaster on road applications and is marginally effective on walkways and in parking lots. If you put down too much (more than 50 gallons per lane mile) you will enjoy disaster usually with creating a slippery pavement when motorists are not expecting it. When you see snow on the road, you know it's slippery, but if you see nothing, or a slight dampness motorists assume that its nothing to worry about and that's the problem. It is like smearing the road with liquid Joy when you over apply anti-icing liquids. Some are far more problematic than others.

    Read up on the process of anti-icing so you understand what it is and what you can expect from it. Anti-icing is not the end all, but another tool in the old snowfighter's toolbox. Many people have referred to it as pre-treatment but now we have a buzz phrase of anti-icing and it's considered "all new technology" which it is not.

    Whether you put down liquids or dry products in advance of a storm you will get the benefit of preventing the snow from freezing to the surface of the roadway or walkway. This gives you good clearing when you make the first pass with the plow or shovel, but that's it. The notion that it will melt the first "X" inches of snow is BS in my experience. It will melt the first 1/8th inch of snow at best. Chemically, we are talking about very small amounts of product and chemically it just can't do that.

    Pre-wetting is where you spray salt as it is applied or just before it's applied to enhance it's action and reduce the amount of salt you have to throw to accomplish good results.

    Know what you're doing before you start and above all don't just go out and experiment with amounts unless you have a protected area that you can grease up without any problems. Each approach has it's pros, it's cons, and it's adverse consequences, and you are likely only interested in the first of those three.