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    Frozen in Ice Castle ideas?

    Have any of you ever dealt with a fish house that got flooded to about 6" of ice inside the shack and roughly a foot of ice up the outside? We chipped at it and worked on it yesterday. When we got out today water had pushed up through a crack or somewhere and flooded it again. With the weather coming this weekend we're probably going to lose all we've accomplished so far. To make matters worse, it's about a 25' long Ice Castle with a rear slide out that is frozen in the ice as well. Trying to help out a friend, but I'm running out of ideas!

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    Bertha torch and a Johny bar

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    Man I'm glad I'm not your buddy.

    Is it just me or does owning an ice castle seem to be about the biggest headache there is? About 1 out of 10 years the conditions are ideal to actually use one as a fish house.

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    Yeah, any time there's much snow they seem like a negative asset! Gotta be on top of getting them moved, blocked up or whatever if you get a thaw or heavy snow. He didn't make it out after the first heavier snow in January and it's been stuck since. Been so cold it just got left.
    I'm glad it's not mine too, but still feel bad for him!

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    No ideas. But can we see pics?!

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    I'm no expert on this, but I think heat sounds necessary. Maybe a nibco and a tarp to try and keep the heat deflected down towards the problem area while you are chipping? Or a weed burner which I believe is the same as the bertha torch previously mentioned.

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    And GPS points. Might be a good reef there come july!

    Jk.

    Kinda....

    Sorry........

    (We've all been in a tough spot, really I hope he gets it out.)

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    Gasoline and a match and a good insurance policy..... how do u cut/ melt enough to “pop” it free without severly damaging it or making ice around it unstable. If it were me id wait until this next cold passes and tarp/ melt areas with a diesel nibco. Use 2x4s and make lean-to”s with the tarp. Inside use propane heaters. Wait until mother nature will work with you instead of fighter her. Sounds like a money dumping endeavor to do now.

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    Last edited by Trip McNeely; 03-01-2019 at 04:21 PM.

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    As thick as the ice is, I'd just wait it out until later into March. We will have some warm days and it will thaw out. I think you run more of a risk of damage doing trying to physically remove the ice. Just let it thaw...plenty of time.

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    Last edited by ndwalleyes; 03-01-2019 at 04:28 PM.

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    Ideally you wait it out until the weather warms up a bit. If that isn't the case and you have to get it off the water this weekend then a torch and floorjack (or multiple) might help do the trick...If the sun is shinning then bring a bunch of salt. I've heard all this secondhand but I hope it helps.

    I have always blocked my house plenty avoiding these kinds of things but a floorjack has come in handy when cranks or cables break. Good luck!!!

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    Don't know how feasible it would be or how bad for environment but buying a bunch of some kid of ice melt salt and dumping it along the outside edges of the house and getting a # of buddy heaters or heaters of some kind inside and melting the ice on the inside of the house and hoping the combination allows you to get it broke free. I have used the salt trick on my rental garage door when it was froze in about 4-5 inches on the outside. I don't know how it would work to also take windshield washer fluid or the older isopropyl and creating a area along the house a few inches down and pouring a lot of the fluid in that channel created by chopping ice and hoping it melts in and under. just some quick thoughts that came to mind after reading this. dukgnfsn

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    Holy buckets!


    I've never seen one in that far. About the only advice I would have is to use water to free it. Yeah, it sounds counter-intuitive, but wait until there's a relatively warm day (thinking next weekend here) where air temps are in the upper 20s or 30s. Take a generator and a couple of sump pumps with garden hoses. Drill a couple holes for putting the sump pumps down into the lake and use the "warm" water of the lake (try taking water from several feet below the ice) and use it to melt the ice holding the shack down. This WILL take some time!

    Running water will eat away at the ice and if you do it on a day where the air temps are high enough you should be able to free the frame and sides of the Ice Castle. You will also probably want to drill a couple holes nearby to let the excess water you are pumping up onto the lake surface to drain back below the ice.

    This would be a hell of a mess, but it is the only thing I can think of at this point. I am guessing that on a "nice" day, this will take 4-8 hours of work to free it up. As for the initial tow, I would suggest a vehicle with a winch sitting at a decent distance maintaining a steady bind on the hitch/frame to where once it comes loose you will see it move.

    Note, as you have already noticed, chiseling a sunken ice house out when water is able to find a way to come up through cracks/hole in the ice is a losing proposition at these temps and your current situation.

    I'd be very interested in how this all works out for you and your bud!


    Note, ignore the ice inside the shack except for where it is holding the castle down like around the holes. Actually, I think I'd drill the holes out and let them serve as the drains! And remember, you will be working in 18" of standing water by the sounds of it. The trick here is to just let moving water do the work for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen View Post
    Holy buckets!


    I've never seen one in that far. About the only advice I would have is to use water to free it. Yeah, it sounds counter-intuitive, but wait until there's a relatively warm day (thinking next weekend here) where air temps are in the upper 20s or 30s. Take a generator and a couple of sump pumps with garden hoses. Drill a couple holes for putting the sump pumps down into the lake and use the "warm" water of the lake (try taking water from several feet below the ice) and use it to melt the ice holding the shack down. This WILL take some time!

    Running water will eat away at the ice and if you do it on a day where the air temps are high enough you should be able to free the frame and sides of the Ice Castle. You will also probably want to drill a couple holes nearby to let the excess water you are pumping up onto the lake surface to drain back below the ice.

    This would be a hell of a mess, but it is the only thing I can think of at this point. I am guessing that on a "nice" day, this will take 4-8 hours of work to free it up. As for the initial tow, I would suggest a vehicle with a winch sitting at a decent distance maintaining a steady bind on the hitch/frame to where once it comes loose you will see it move.

    Note, as you have already noticed, chiseling a sunken ice house out when water is able to find a way to come up through cracks/hole in the ice is a losing proposition at these temps and your current situation.

    I'd be very interested in how this all works out for you and your bud!


    Note, ignore the ice inside the shack except for where it is holding the castle down like around the holes. Actually, I think I'd drill the holes out and let them serve as the drains! And remember, you will be working in 18" of standing water by the sounds of it. The trick here is to just let moving water do the work for you.

    Ummm... This would create a problem of all problems. Drilling a hole to "drain the water?" NO WAY! This will start pumping even more water into the area.

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    Like others mention wait for the heat wave but I can about imagine about how he must feel with that on his mind. I'd think a generator, water pump and a steam jenny or diesel fired hot water pressure water would do the trick . I'd wait for a day that is above freezing before starting an operation like that though.

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    Have you tried leaving the heat on in the house for a day/ overnight? Should melt the perimeter as long as its not below zero and windy.

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    black dirt and bags of ice melt...and lots of praying

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  17. Back To Top    #17
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    I like the diesel hot water pressure washer idea. We tried to convince him that messing with it today was wasting time and energy, but you can imagine how he feels about leaving it. Had a huge Nipco heater there yesterday set up at an angle blasting down on the ice/shack intersection. It melted it some, but the thawing ice was a lot harder to chip as it didn't really shatter when you hit it. This may end up being the excuse I needed to get a hot water pressure washer I guess. I'll ask him if it's ok if I post some pics if I don't identify him. It is definately something to behold!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dblkluk View Post
    Ummm... This would create a problem of all problems. Drilling a hole to "drain the water?" NO WAY! This will start pumping even more water into the area.
    I would start punching a line of holes however deep its frozen in around the outside perimeter then get some big heaters inside to warm it up as best you can and then start chipping away from the outside holes inward. IF you are lucky you might be able to get a handyman jack or something similar to it and start working it up once its started to thaw, but I doubt it will come up without alot of damage.

    If it were mine, i'd get all the snow moved as far away from it as possible ASAP and then the next few weeks keep a daily eye on it until ma nature lets go.

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  19. Back To Top    #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dblkluk View Post
    Ummm... This would create a problem of all problems. Drilling a hole to "drain the water?" NO WAY! This will start pumping even more water into the area.
    There's already water coming up from the sounds of it through cracks. The ice won't get any thicker unless the sheet of ice sags even more.

    Which does bring another suggestion to bear. If a person had the equipment, I would try to remove as much weight from the ice's surface as I could. This means moving the snow away from the ice house, I'd suggest doing as much as is possible (20 yards probably wouldn't be enough).

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  20. Back To Top    #20
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    maybe even bring a 2'' trash pump and drill sump hole for the suction hose and try to pump the water away so you don't have to work in it .

    Or like allen mentioned flowing water on a warm day with a trash pump , let the equipment do the work and fish while your waiting.

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