Experienced backyard rinkers know the importance of having a good source of water for making and maintaining a backyard rink.
But what about the ease of use of your water source? Bringing buckets of water up from a basement isn't an ideal scenario, but this is the type of thing that some folks do when deep temperatures freeze up water taps and create challenges using a hose.
Here are some things we have learned over the years.
There are two options for dealing with a hose. The first option is to drain the hose after each use so there is no water left in it and you can leave it outside. This involves lifting one end of the hose high up and letting the water drain out the other end, while you slowly move along the length of the hose. Keep in mind that this is not foolproof, and any water left in the hose will freeze and make it impossible to get water through it the next time you hook it back up to the tap. Then you are bringing the entire hose inside your house to let it thaw.
The second option is to use one of those "hose reels", and bring the entire reel and hose inside after use, maybe sitting at the back kitchen door/mudroom/warm space. This is a very easy way to deal with a hose and it is always warm when needed for a flood. Some occupants of the house may object to garden implements being stored in the kitchen, but hey, you want a rink, right?
The first, and best option is a hydrant faucet. The concept is like a fire hydrant. When you turn to tap handle on the outside wall, the water gets shut off some distance into the wall, anywhere from 8 - 12 inches. That is back in the warm part of the house, and thus the tap never gets frozen. It's a beautiful solution.
The next option is to use your regular outside faucet. If it's not a hydrant faucet the this involved turning the water on and off at the shutoff, usually in the basement of the house.
Another option is to keep a hose in the basement, and take it out through a window when flooding, and bring it back in when finished.
Whatever setup you have, you'll realize very quickly that backyard rink making it a wee bit tougher than watering flowers in the summer. But a rewarding effort it is!
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