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Mistakes I've made "making liquid salt brine"

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by DodgeBlizzard, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    You know what they say. You can learn from other peoples mistakes. And yes, you can laugh at them, too. This thread can also be used for anybody else who wants to post the things they've done in the past and we can learn and laugh at your mistakes, too. A lot of times, my work day reminds me of the episode Gold Rush.

    So anyway, I'm so excited to get my liquid salt brine system going (A big thanks to Kubota's posts on this site) that I find a decent deal on 4-275 gallon tanks on Craigslist. Mistake #1. Apparently I didn't check the tanks over good enough and one of them had a hole in it. I take two of the tanks and use them as rain barrels off the storage buildings gutters and use the other two to make the new brine maker. Next, I get a pump, and the pvc fitting and pipes and do all the plumbing. Absolutely no leaks. Makes up for mistake number one. I get a skid loader bucket full of salt into the newly made by me brine maker. I'm tickled pink. I was so anxious to get this going, that I didn't want to take the time to build a wood box on top so I could dump the bucket load of salt. Mistake #2. A 1,000 lbs of salt sucks to shovel, especially when you're in a nice skid loader bucket doing it. So then I fill the dual tanks with water and I'm making brine. I've got my beacon and tester to test the solution and of course I just have to take a 2"x4" and test to see how much salt is left in the bottom. Mistake # 3. I hit the pvc downtube and now I've got all the pressure coming out in mostly one spot now. So much for the good plumbing job. I get that fixed and the first batch came out to the 23.5 percent and I transfer it into the holding tank. But their seems to be a lot of unmixed solution. Next it's hand load the salt from the bucket for another batch. I know I need to build a dump box for the top but hey it's pretty nice outside and you have to make hay while the sun is shining. This batch seems to take even longer. Is it too cold out? Am I not doing something right? It's taking forever. I carefully take the 2''x4'' and there is a pile of stuff at the bottom not mixing. So I decide I will empty the bottom tank and then take the solution out of the upper tank. Mistake # 4. It not only pulled the water up, but enough unmixed salt/sediment to stall the pump. I try starting it back up and oh no it won't even pull. I'm ready to switch back to just plain rock salt. M^%$*r Fu$%&*. The wife shows up and somehow calms me down. I decide to take the pump apart but the brine wants to shoot out everywhere. Duh, there's pressure in the system. Let's turn some valves and release the pressure. I put an empty bucket under the one open valve. Mistake # 5. The pressurized brine shot down into that empty bucket and right back up like a pissed off volcano. I had more saltwater up my nose then a week long vacation at the ocean. So I dry off and get back to the pump. Sure enough the pump is packed full of unmixed salt. But I also pull out a few small screening sized stones and one large enough to say I was lucky not to damage the pump. How did that get in there? I chalk it up to the skid loader tires picking it up and getting pushed into the pile. I cleaned the pump up and washed it out good. Put it back together and smack myself for being stupid and make up for it by at least fixing the problem. The pump starts back up with one pull. I decide it's time to start back at step one and climb inside the two tanks and clean them both out. I hand scoop about 4 inches of unmixed solution from the bottom. Yes that's right. I had to unload it by hand and now I'm freaking loading it back into the skid loader bucket by hand. As I'm throwing it into the skid loader bucket I can now see way too many small screenings in the mix. Come to find out the back of the salt pile has anti skid (small stone screenings) mixed in with the rock salt. Mistake number I don't even know anymore. I quit for the day. I hate Kubota and his posts. haha The final kicker was when I get home and was home for about a half hour and my eyebrows itch. I scratch them and my eyes burn instantly. I was like what the heck? YEP I have dried saltwater brine all over my forehead. And my son says oh is that what that was. I thought you just ate a sugar donut. HUH? Why would I have sugar from a donut on my dang forehead? He says, well why would you have dried salt water on your forehead? OK son, I'll give you that one. I hit the shower and hope for a better day tomorrow. :dizzy:
  2. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

    How much salt to how much water = 23.3 %?
  3. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Great Post! Thanks for sharing. Thumbs Up.

  4. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,963

    "And my son says oh is that what that was. I thought you just ate a sugar donut. HUH? Why would I have sugar from a donut on my dang forehead? He says, well why would you have dried salt water on your forehead? OK son, I'll give you that one. " :laughing:

    Absolutely PRICELESS. Sure glad I had swallowed my coffee just before I read that.:laughing:

    Sucking salt from the top tote. Been there done that. Raise the suction tube up about 9" off the bottom of the salt tote. Packing the pump? Not good.

    HEY, no more sugar donuts!
  5. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,963

  6. Triple L

    Triple L PlowSite Fanatic
    from Canada
    Messages: 6,078

  7. BossPlow2010

    BossPlow2010 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,069

    Yes that was the funny part of the story.
  8. Plow man Foster

    Plow man Foster PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,153

    hahaha sorry to hear about your day! kids are funny! gotta love 'em
    liquid stories are the best!
    i had a buddy fall into a storage tank before...
    another buddy who forgot to wash his hands after being around liquid! took a piss and yeah lol!
  9. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    Well I haven't experienced that burn. But I have experienced the burn of what it feels like sitting on the throne and not knowing the wife put in one of those pink toilet fresheners and she put it at the front of the toilet. LET ME TELL YOU.....that is a burn that will make you scream like a little girl, run to the shower and be in agony for the next half hour, trying everything from warm to extreme cold water to make the pain go away. I dang near cried and she laughed the entire time. Who puts those things ''in the front'' of the toilet anyways? Geez. I'm pretty sure I look for those every single time I sit now. lol
  10. leigh

    leigh 2000 Club Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,342

    Post the video when its edited:popcorn:
  11. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,963

    OK I'm not enjoying making brine today. 37 F, windy, now sleeting.
  12. DodgeBlizzard

    DodgeBlizzard Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    50 degrees and muddy from all the rain. More rain tonight.
  13. Grassman09

    Grassman09 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,808

    Well what were you doing sitting down to pee in the 1st place? :laughing: That's mistake #1 :nod:
  14. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,963

    Appears to have been domesticated. :laughing::laughing:
  15. leon

    leon Senior Member
    Messages: 872

    brine etc.

    Sorry to hear about the problems you had today.

    A small air operated ARO stainless steel diaphram pump would solve your issues with pebbles as they will pass solids to a certain size depending upon the size of the pump frame and discharge piping size(intake and discharge are the same size). .

    The motorised sand pipers-electric and or gasoline powered with the gearbox operated diaphram pumps(cam arm)work very very well well if you fo not own a larger air compressor to operate an an air powered sandpiper.
  16. BossPlow2010

    BossPlow2010 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,069

    Ok well I have a nice mistake that I laugh at now. A few years ago I had a snowex 1075 pivot pro. And I decided to run bulk salt in it, mistake #1. I had the skid dump the wet bulk rock salt directly into the spreader, Mistake 2. So I'm driving to my first account (maybe about 4-5 miles away) and I get there. Well apparently the motor couldn't handle 500 lbs of wet salt, so I had to shovel it out on a 150k sq ft parking lot. That sucks a lot. No pun intended
  17. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,963

    Made 1700 gallons of brine (part time) the past couple days. No unglued fittings, no broken fittings, no hoses getting loose, so NO SUGAR DONUTS HERE>! All is good.

    My little brine maker never seems to fail to impress me. If I had a decent water supply I could consistently make 3,600 gallons every 8 hours. But this BS of loading it by hand is wearing very,VERY thin. I'm thinking a new design may be coming soon.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
  18. GTMN

    GTMN Member
    Messages: 41

    I am using NSC minerals mineral melt salt to make brine and for some reason I always have 200-250 pounds of salt at the bottom of the bin that I cannot get to dissolve. With that being said I'm still not near the saturation point and I'm wondering why it won't dissolve. Is this normal?
  19. Kubota 8540

    Kubota 8540 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,963

    I have had some salt that was VERY hard to dissolve. Different salts different results. Maybe try some different brand?