"De-icers" and "ice eaters" do not actually remove or "eat" ice but rather prevent it from developing in the first place. An electric motor and propeller draws deeper, warmer water up to the surface and circulates it to prevent ice formation. It is a simple concept that is extremely effective - and important.
Without a de-icer, your dock, boat, slip or marina remain vulnerable to severe damage from winter weather - damage that can be very costly to fix. Basically, you should think of a de-icer as a good insurance policy. No matter what long-term forecasts show, weather can change rapidly and you should have a de-icer ready to go as soon as the mercury dips and ice begins to form.
Most de-icers are available in either voltage. You can expect both models to use about the same amount of electricity if operated similarly. This is because the 230V unit will pull more power at a time, but it will need to operate for less time than the 115V unit.
2. How far is your de-icing area from the nearest outlet?
It is important that you order a de-icer with a power cord long enough to reach from your outlet directly to the de-icer, without the use of an extension cord. Voltage is lost as electricity travels through a cord and any connection (e.g. an extension cord) provides even an greater loss of voltage, thereby reducing the efficiency of your de-icer.
3. Selecting the right horsepower - What size clearing area do you need?
Horsepower (HP) will be the #1 factor in your choice as it determines the size of an area that a particular de-icer can clear.
Area Cleared by Temperature Range (Circular & Elliptical)
De-icers can be mounted to clear various diameters and either a circular or oval shaped area.
To clear ice in a circular pattern, mount your de-icer vertically.
To clear ice in an elliptical pattern, mount your de-icer at an angle.
De-Icer Mounting Tips
Mount your de-icer 3 to 5 feet below the water surface and at least 1 foot above the floor of the water. If too close to the floor, debris can be pulled in to the unit, damaging the motor and/or propeller.
Keep de-icer submerged during use at all times. If operated in open air, it will quickly overheat and destroy the motor.
For areas with varying water levels, mount de-icer to adjust with the water level, maintaining proper depth below the surface (3' to 5') and height above the bottom (1' minimum).
For shallow water, make sure the de-icer is not in a water zone that will freeze solid. If ice reaches the bottom, it will choke off the water supply to the de-icer, causing serious damage to the motor.
Always use a Ground Fault Interrupter (GFI) power source and check the GFI on a regular basis. A GFI is an outlet that senses current flow problems and automatically shuts off in those instances to maintain safe conditions.
Kasco De-Icer Mounting Options
Each de-icer unit ships with two suspension ropes to be spread at least 8' to 10' apart
Mounts de-icer to dock or pilings; can be extended to a maximum of 10' from the mounting bracket
Allows de-icer to be used in shallow waters or where water level fluctuates; de-icer floats and moves with water
Power House Ice Eater Mounting Options
Shallow Water Stand
Each ice eater unit ships with two suspension ropes to be spread at least 8' to 10' apart
Mounts ice eater to dock or pilings; can be extended to a maximum of 6' from the mounting bracket
Allows ice eater to be used in shallow waters and can be positioned horizontally or at an angle