A frequent question we get asked is the value of hot water versus cold for flooding your rink. There are no shortage of opinions on this, and there is no right answer. But here's what we have learned.
We've used both hot and cold water for floods here at RinkMaster for many years. Because the question arises continually, and we periodically want to validate what we have learned. And that is, there is no noticeable difference.
Hot water is usually viewed as preferred for flooding, because that's what we all see in arenas across the country. The reason is that hot water contains less dissolved oxygen, or micro air bubbles, which aids with a harder ice surface. There is also the unproven theory that hot water freezes faster than cold water, but we aren't so certain about that.
Both of these reasons don't make enough of a noticeable impact to backyard skater, in part because the backyard is not as controlled an environment as typical arenas. Temperature and humidity controls are non-existent, and water quality and content (sulphurs) varies. These variations will have greater impact on ice quality when compared to temperature of water used to flood.
But here is one thing that absolutely does make a difference: that terry cloth towel at the back of the zamboni. That towel has a huge impact in creating a superior ice surface. If you have a floodlit rink you can see for yourself under the lights at night, without even skating on it. That's why our FloodMaster is such a popular item.
So try a test flooding with both hot and cold water on your rink. See if you can tell the difference and let us know! We'd like to hear from you.