How much does water/ice expand when freezing?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Miramonti, May 27, 2007.

  1. Miramonti

    Miramonti Lifer

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    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?
     
  2. IGBT

    IGBT Lifer

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    ..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.
     
  3. Fenixgoon

    Fenixgoon Lifer

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    compare the volumes of water and ice and 32F.
     
  4. YOyoYOhowsDAjello

    YOyoYOhowsDAjello Moderator<br>A/V & Home Theater<br>Elite member

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    About 9% I think?

    (To the title question, not the how much water question :p )
     
  5. Lonyo

    Lonyo Lifer

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    Fill it with sand?
     
  6. Whoozyerdaddy

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    It expands by abuot 10%
     
  7. Eli

    Eli Super Moderator<br>Elite Member
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    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!
     
  8. jupiter57

    jupiter57 Diamond Member

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    9-10% is correct.
    However, Eli has the wisdom of which you truly seek.
     
  9. QueBert

    QueBert Lifer

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    fill it with cheap vodka...
     
  10. Eli

    Eli Super Moderator<br>Elite Member
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    HEY!

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

    If you insist on using water, you're going to have to mix in some antifreeze. :)
     
  11. Miramonti

    Miramonti Lifer

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    :thumbsup:

    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.)

    That would be excellent if 35 gallons of vodka were roughly the price of water. ;)

    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.

     
  12. Whoozyerdaddy

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    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.
     
  13. Praxis1452

    Praxis1452 Platinum Member

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    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.
     
  14. Whoozyerdaddy

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    Check my link. You can keep it liquid to -21C below freezing depending on the salinity.
     
  15. FoBoT

    FoBoT No Lifer

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  16. Accipiter22

    Accipiter22 Banned

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    interesting fact: Water expands when it first freezes, but the colder it gets, it actually starts to contract.
     
  17. imported_Tick

    imported_Tick Diamond Member

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    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.
     
  18. Miramonti

    Miramonti Lifer

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    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.
     
  19. YOyoYOhowsDAjello

    YOyoYOhowsDAjello Moderator<br>A/V & Home Theater<br>Elite member

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    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 :p
     
  20. Miramonti

    Miramonti Lifer

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    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. ;)
     
  21. mercanucaribe

    mercanucaribe Banned

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    How could could it possibly get in New Mexico?
     
  22. Miramonti

    Miramonti Lifer

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    We had record snow this winter in the albuquerque area. Elevation is about 5k.
     
  23. mercanucaribe

    mercanucaribe Banned

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    I just remembered that I've been to Albuquerque, last November. Can't remember the temperature though.
     
  24. YOyoYOhowsDAjello

    YOyoYOhowsDAjello Moderator<br>A/V & Home Theater<br>Elite member

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    I enjoy winter... just indoors... under blankets... and watching movies :p
     
  25. Eli

    Eli Super Moderator<br>Elite Member
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    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.