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Old 05-27-2007, 02:39 PM   #1
jjsole
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

I'm putting together a portable basketball system that has a 35 gallon base, to be filled with water or sand (I'm using be using water.)

I need to protect the plastic base in the winter from breaking when the water freezes and expands, and perhaps also need to leave a little room for air pressure that will increase when the ice expands.

How much water should I fill the base with?
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Old 05-27-2007, 02:51 PM   #2
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

..can you put a hose bib on it so it can be drained? I've had copper and galvanized pipes blow out due to freezing. So now I back drain.
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Old 05-27-2007, 02:53 PM   #3
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

compare the volumes of water and ice and 32F.
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Old 05-27-2007, 02:54 PM   #4
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

About 9% I think?

(To the title question, not the how much water question )
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Old 05-27-2007, 02:54 PM   #5
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

Fill it with sand?
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Old 05-27-2007, 02:56 PM   #6
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

It expands by abuot 10%
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Old 05-27-2007, 03:01 PM   #7
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

Fill it with sand. The amount of water in the base will not matter. Since the top of the water usually freezes over first, it "traps" the un-frozen water molecules under that first layer of ice.

You can figure out what happens from there. The water is trapped, and still expands 10% beyond the new "top" of the container. Crack!
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Old 05-27-2007, 05:24 PM   #8
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

9-10% is correct.
However, Eli has the wisdom of which you truly seek.
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Old 05-27-2007, 05:41 PM   #9
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

fill it with cheap vodka...
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Old 05-27-2007, 05:43 PM   #10
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

Quote:
Originally posted by: QueBert
fill it with cheap vodka...
HEY!

That's actually an excellent idea, and I'm shocked and disappointed that I didn't think of it.

If you insist on using water, you're going to have to mix in some antifreeze.
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Old 05-27-2007, 06:43 PM   #11
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

Quote:
Originally posted by: YOyoYOhowsDAjello
About 9% I think?


Quote:
Originally posted by: Eli
Fill it with sand. The amount of water in the base will not matter. Since the top of the water usually freezes over first, it "traps" the un-frozen water molecules under that first layer of ice.

You can figure out what happens from there. The water is trapped, and still expands 10% beyond the new "top" of the container. Crack!
Hmmm, makes sense, thx. I'm probably going to take that risk tho, maybe try and jostle it to crack the top occasionally if it may be starting to freeze.

Sand would make a great base but is too inconvenient otherwise...like getting the sand, filling it thru the 2.5" opening, as well as pouring it out if necessary, etc.... I'm not confident the two supports that screw into the [465lb sand] base would lift the base upright without breaking, in order to wheel it anywhere (even tho the manufacturer says sand is an option.)

Quote:
Originally posted by: QueBert
fill it with cheap vodka...
That would be excellent if 35 gallons of vodka were roughly the price of water.

Quote:
Originally posted by: Eli
If you insist on using water, you're going to have to mix in some antifreeze.
I've tried that before. It was a good solution but was a nightmare when I moved and needed to drain it. 30ish gallons of water/antifreeze into the alley/sewers?...I couldn't do that, and just gave the whole assembly to a neighboring family to use.

How about a lot of salt to reduce the freezing point? Salt for water softeners is pretty cheap, and dumpable when I need to drain the base. Not sure if that is actually 'salt' tho, muchless how much I'd need.

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Old 05-27-2007, 06:46 PM   #12
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

Quote:
Originally posted by: jjsole
How about a lot of salt to reduce the freezing point? Salt for water softeners is pretty cheap, and dumpable when I need to drain the base. Not sure if that is actually 'salt' tho, muchless how much I'd need.
Salt won't reduce the freezing point that much... maybe down to 27-28 degrees instead of 32. Eli wins! Fill it with sand.

Edit... I was wrong. Link With the right mixture of salt water you can avoid freezing down to 21 degrees below the normal freezing point. Cool.

I still vote sand though.
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Old 05-27-2007, 06:54 PM   #13
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

Quote:
Originally posted by: Whoozyerdaddy
Quote:
Originally posted by: jjsole
How about a lot of salt to reduce the freezing point? Salt for water softeners is pretty cheap, and dumpable when I need to drain the base. Not sure if that is actually 'salt' tho, muchless how much I'd need.
Salt won't reduce the freezing point that much... maybe down to 27-28 degrees instead of 32. Eli wins! Fill it with sand.

Edit... I was wrong. Link With the right mixture of salt water you can avoid freezing down to 21 degrees below the normal freezing point. Cool.

I still vote sand though.
depends on how much you use. It can depress the freezing point by atleast 8C.

Here's an experiment you can try at home. Take ice and salt and water. Mix them. Add a huge amount. Get a thermometer and watch till the water reaches -8 to -10. Put a seltzer bottle in the container. And let it cool down to the temperature of the water. Open the bottle and because the bottle contains so much CO2 as the CO2 is released the freezing point depression grows lower and therefore the bottle will freeze to ice in front of your eyes.
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Old 05-27-2007, 06:58 PM   #14
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

Quote:
Originally posted by: Praxis1452
Quote:
Originally posted by: Whoozyerdaddy
Quote:
Originally posted by: jjsole
How about a lot of salt to reduce the freezing point? Salt for water softeners is pretty cheap, and dumpable when I need to drain the base. Not sure if that is actually 'salt' tho, muchless how much I'd need.
Salt won't reduce the freezing point that much... maybe down to 27-28 degrees instead of 32. Eli wins! Fill it with sand.

Edit... I was wrong. Link With the right mixture of salt water you can avoid freezing down to 21 degrees below the normal freezing point. Cool.

I still vote sand though.
depends on how much you use. It can depress the freezing point by atleast 8C.

Here's an experiment you can try at home. Take ice and salt and water. Mix them. Add a huge amount. Get a thermometer and watch till the water reaches -8 to -10. Put a seltzer bottle in the container. And let it cool down to the temperature of the water. Open the bottle and because the bottle contains so much CO2 as the CO2 is released the freezing point depression grows lower and therefore the bottle will freeze to ice in front of your eyes.
Check my link. You can keep it liquid to -21C below freezing depending on the salinity.
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Old 05-27-2007, 07:00 PM   #15
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

sand or antifreeze

http://www.sierraantifreeze.com/benefit.html
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Old 05-27-2007, 07:06 PM   #16
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

interesting fact: Water expands when it first freezes, but the colder it gets, it actually starts to contract.
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Old 05-27-2007, 07:15 PM   #17
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

Fill it with isopropanol. It'll be good down to like -30, it's relatively cheap, and it's safe to dump down the drain.
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Old 05-27-2007, 07:15 PM   #18
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

Quote:
Originally posted by: Whoozyerdaddy
Quote:
Originally posted by: jjsole
How about a lot of salt to reduce the freezing point? Salt for water softeners is pretty cheap, and dumpable when I need to drain the base. Not sure if that is actually 'salt' tho, muchless how much I'd need.
Salt won't reduce the freezing point that much... maybe down to 27-28 degrees instead of 32. Eli wins! Fill it with sand.

Edit... I was wrong. Link With the right mixture of salt water you can avoid freezing down to 21 degrees below the normal freezing point. Cool.

I still vote sand though.
Interesting, thx for the link. Temperatures occasionally can drop into the single digits, but rarely stay below (or much below) freezing during daylight hours. The black base will also help increase the water temp during the day.

How about lots of salt and a few gallons of rubbing alcohol? That's probably cheap in bulk, and still something that can be dumped into the street/sewer.

Regarding sand, imo it wins the battle but loses the war, which is to keep this a portable system that can be easily moved or drained for transporting. If I didn't mind it being inconvenient and difficult to move I'd probably go with an in-ground system.
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Old 05-27-2007, 07:18 PM   #19
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

What we did growing up is fill it during summer and then when it started getting colder, drain it for the winter and not use it
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Old 05-27-2007, 07:23 PM   #20
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

Quote:
Originally posted by: YOyoYOhowsDAjello
What we did growing up is fill it during summer and then when it started getting colder, drain it for the winter and not use it
That appears to be Wisconsin...

But I'm in New Mexico, mostly for the very reason that I can still enjoy much of the winter.
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Old 05-27-2007, 07:52 PM   #21
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

Quote:
Originally posted by: jjsole
Quote:
Originally posted by: YOyoYOhowsDAjello
What we did growing up is fill it during summer and then when it started getting colder, drain it for the winter and not use it
That appears to be Wisconsin...

But I'm in New Mexico, mostly for the very reason that I can still enjoy much of the winter.
How could could it possibly get in New Mexico?
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:00 PM   #22
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

Quote:
Originally posted by: mercanucaribe
Quote:
Originally posted by: jjsole
Quote:
Originally posted by: YOyoYOhowsDAjello
What we did growing up is fill it during summer and then when it started getting colder, drain it for the winter and not use it
That appears to be Wisconsin...

But I'm in New Mexico, mostly for the very reason that I can still enjoy much of the winter.
How could could it possibly get in New Mexico?
We had record snow this winter in the albuquerque area. Elevation is about 5k.
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Old 05-28-2007, 12:34 PM   #23
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

I just remembered that I've been to Albuquerque, last November. Can't remember the temperature though.
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Old 05-28-2007, 12:36 PM   #24
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

Quote:
Originally posted by: jjsole
Quote:
Originally posted by: YOyoYOhowsDAjello
What we did growing up is fill it during summer and then when it started getting colder, drain it for the winter and not use it
That appears to be Wisconsin...

But I'm in New Mexico, mostly for the very reason that I can still enjoy much of the winter.
I enjoy winter... just indoors... under blankets... and watching movies
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Old 05-28-2007, 12:42 PM   #25
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Default How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

Quote:
Originally posted by: mercanucaribe
Quote:
Originally posted by: jjsole
Quote:
Originally posted by: YOyoYOhowsDAjello
What we did growing up is fill it during summer and then when it started getting colder, drain it for the winter and not use it
That appears to be Wisconsin...

But I'm in New Mexico, mostly for the very reason that I can still enjoy much of the winter.
How could could it possibly get in New Mexico?
Depends on where you are. I spent the Holidays in Santa Fe, and they got walloped with snow.

Of course, the elevation is 7,000 feet. Don't let "New Mexico" fool you, much of it is high desert. It does get cold.
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