Pier Deicing 101 – How to Protect Your Dock from Ice Damage

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The idea behind keeping ice away from the dock, boathouse or pilings is to reduce the damage caused by ice floes or ice pressure buildup that can actually shift dock pilings and boat house structures resulting in some expensive repairs.

The principle of keeping a dock or marina clear of ice is to ensure that the natural crushing pressure of ice is not able to squeeze the structure. Ice is so powerful that it can literally lift lake bed pilings out of their footings and cause thousands of dollars of damage.

While ice usually forms in shallow or areas in lakes and ponds without circulation it is important to remember that early ice formations can occur in November in some areas. While typical ice thickness will not maintain a constant spread until December in most Northern Latitudes the freezing of ponds can occur without warning so it makes sense to add a de-icer before December!

The principal types of automatic systems for protecting marinas and docks from ice damage can be broken down into two main types: the submersed de-icer and the dock mount water circulator.

De-icers involve placing a heavy-duty submersible motor that drives a rugged propeller in continuous duty to draw warm waters from the depths of the pond or lake towards the surface. The warmer waters at the bottom of the pond usually maintain a temperature of around 39 Fahrenheit and by bringing them rapidly to the surface in a directed thrusting stream they can keep large areas of open water even in the coldest of winter temperatures.

The standard de-icer works best when you have deeper waters around the dock but keep in mind that even a de-icer aimed at the shallow shoreline, if it originates in waters of 12′ deep, can create a large opening under the entire dock structure. The size of the opening depends on the overall air temperature. A 1/2 HP de-icer can open up a hole in the ice up to 60 feet in diameter!

One website that offers tools tips and tricks to manage the ice around your dock can be found at .

When a dock is in shallow water, the deicer may not work as well because it needs to push warmer water to the surface in order to be effective. When waters are 6 feet deep or less there is less temperature stratification in the water and even the water at the very bottom can be too cold to effectively melt surface ice. In these conditions, Lake Weeder’s Digest’s water circulators work best because they offer 1/2, 3/4, and 1 hp water models with dock mount or free standing frames that rest on the lake/pond bottom. Multiple units can even be mounted together to maintain large areas of ice-free water.

One website that offers tools tips and tricks to manage the ice around your dock can be found at .

STIHL machines are available @
Omm enterprise, Old No:36/New No:93,Rangarajapuram Main Road,
Kodambakkam, Chennai 600024, , Tamilnadu.
ph: 9840054346
fax: 42133793
alt: 9790908229
(Omm enterprise has several branches across Tamil Nadu for customer convinence )

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