deicers & ice eaters buyer guide

Why Do I Need a Deicer?

Dock damage without a de-icer

Basically, "deicers" and "ice eaters" are designed to prevent and remove ice by providing a continuous flow of warmer water to the surface. A propeller, driven by a small but powerful motor, agitates and draws warmer bottom water up to the colder water on the surface. The resulting water movement and temperature differential not only prevent ice from forming but can help melt existing ice. It's a simple concept that is extremely effective – and important!

Without a deicer, your dock, boat, slip, or marina are vulnerable to severe damage from ice formation and expansion. Simply put, a de-icer or ice eater is your best insurance policy against costly and time-consuming repairs. Don't wait for temperatures to drop – protect your investment with a de-icer or ice eater today.

How to Deicers Work?

Infographic: How De-Icers Work

Deicer Applications and Benefits

Boat and dock de-icer
Boats, Docks, Piers and Marinas

Deicers prevent or eliminate ice formation, creating an ice-free area around your boat, slip, dock, or pier to prevent damage from ice jacking and expansion during the cold winter months.

Deicers can also protect fish and other aquatic species in your marina during the winter by creating ice-free areas for oxygen to enter into the water.

De-icers and ice eaters for duck hunting
Duck Hunting

A deicer mounted on a frame specifically designed for duck ponds will quickly clear any ice and prevent its return.

By properly adjusting the de-icer, you can create water movement for realistic, life-like decoy movement to attract more waterfowl to your favorite hunting spot.

De-icers and ice eaters improve water quality
Improve Water Quality

The aeration provided by a deicer can reduce foul odors in stagnant water, encourage natural decomposition of organic matter and pollutants, and improve the overall health of fish and other organisms. De-icers can also direct water flow so debris and nuisance vegetation are funneled to one area, making trash removal simple.

De-icers prevent winterkill
Winterkill Prevention

Heavy snow and ice limit the amount of light penetration in your pond causing plants to die, which results in decreased oxygen levels. Without oxygen, your fish will also die.

By upwelling warm, bottom water to the surface, a deicer can create an open water area in your pond to maintain safe oxygen levels and prevent a winterkill situation.

De-icers protect water towers
Water Towers

Protecting a water tower from costly ice damage when water demand is low and turnover rates are slow can be easy and cost-effective with a deicer.

Managing the ice in your tower will allow you to protect the coating, help prevent ice fall which can collapse the tower, and improve mixture rates for more uniform temperature and chemical profiles.

5 Things to Consider When Buying a Deicer

1. Location and Size

Geographic location and the size of the area to be cleared are very important factors in determining your deicer needs. The lower the temperatures fall over a longer period of time, the less area a single de-icer will be able to clear. So regions with typically long and extremely cold winters, like Alaska and Minnesota, will generally require a deicer with more horsepower to protect an ice-prone area. Factor in the size of the area to be cleared, and you may find that multiple deicers are necessary.

Area Cleared by Temperature Range (Circular & Elliptical)
Horsepower34º to 20º F
(1.11º to -6.66º C)
19º to 0º F
(-7.22º to -17.77º C)
-1º to -20º F
(-18.33º to -28.88º C)
-21º F & below
(-29.44º C & below)
1/4 HP 55' diameter
25' x 90' ellipse
40' diameter
20' x 50' ellipse
35' diameter
20' x 40' ellipse
25' diameter
15' x 30' ellipse
1/2 HP 65' diameter
30' x 100' ellipse
50' diameter
25' x 60' ellipse
45' diameter
25' x 50' ellipse
35' diameter
20' x 40' ellipse
3/4 HP 85' diameter
35' x 120' ellipse
70' diameter
30' x 80' ellipse
65' diameter
30' x 75' ellipse
45' diameter
25' x 50' ellipse
1 HP 95' diameter
40' x 150' ellipse
80' diameter
35' x 90' ellipse
75' diameter
35' x 85' ellipse
55' diameter
30' x 60' ellipse
2. Water Type

Temperature varies among different types of water. For instance, the more salt in the water, the lower the freezing point. So fewer units may be needed in sea water or brackish water applications than in fresh water. We suggest a quick online search to determine the average high and low winter temperatures for the specific body of water in which you wish to install a deicer.

3. Water Depth

Deicers work by moving warmer subsurface water up to the colder surface water. The deeper the water, the more warm water will be available to deice the area. However, if the water is too deep, the rising warmer water will not effectively spread at the surface. Likewise, mounting your de-icer in shallow waters can reduce its effectiveness due to limited availability of warm water, especially during a long winter. Warmer water is more important than surface circulation in colder climates, so you may want to consider installing your deicer or ice eater in water that is a bit deeper in these areas.

To achieve maximum performance and successful de-icing efforts, water should typically be at least 4'-6' deep for vertical installation, and slightly shallower for angled operation. For colder climates, consider installing your de-icer in water that is at least 6'-8' deep. In all cases, the deicer should be at least one foot off the bottom to prevent clogging from debris.

When dealing with tidal influences, you'll want to split the difference in water depth so the deicer is in shallow water at low tide and deep water at high tide (one option is to mount your de-icer to a boat or floating dock which will allow the deicer to rise and fall with the tide).
De-Icer Diagram: Mount your de-icer to account for high and low tide

4. Power Type and Source
Most deicers and ice eaters are available in either 115V or 230V. Choose a model with the same voltage as your outlet. Whichever you choose, the amount of electricity used will be the same 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.

Also, consider the distance between the outlet and the location where the deicer will be used. It's important to order a deicer or ice eater with a power cord that is long enough to reach your deicer directly from the outlet without need for an extension cord. Voltage is naturally lost as electricity travels through a power cord, so any additional connections, such as an extension cord, will result in an even greater loss of voltage. This can result in reduced efficiency of your de-icer and may damage the unit.

Kasco Deicers are available with cord lengths up to 100’ and Power House Ice Eaters offer cord lengths up to 200’.
5. Obstructions

Objects in the water (i.e. boat hulls, dock floats, pilings, etc.) can obstruct, restrict, or re-route the warm water flow created by a deicer, limiting the effectiveness of the unit. The more objects in the area, the greater the potential for obstruction. In some cases, you may need multiple deicers to ensure continuous water movement in the area you’re trying to keep clear of ice. In all cases, the units will need to be mounted in the proper location and positioned appropriately for maximum performance.

De-Icer Diagram: Avoid ice expansion

Comparing Deicer Brands

Kasco De-Icer Quick Comparison Guide
Kasco De-Icer ModelMotorVoltageRunning AmpsThrustTypical Cleared Area*
2400D 1/2 HP 120V 5.7 29 lbs. Up to 50' Diameter
3400D 3/4 HP 120V 7 36 lbs. Up to 75' Diameter
3400HD 3/4 HP 240V 3.5 36 lbs. Up to 75' Diameter
4400D 1 HP 120V 9.1 41 lbs. Up to 90' Diameter
4400HD 1 HP 240V 4.5 41 lbs. Up to 90' Diameter
*Cleared area based on normal winter conditions. Extreme conditions may cause a smaller open diameter.


Power House Ice Eater Quick Comparison Guide
Ice Eater ModelMotorVoltageRunning AmpsThrustTypical Cleared Area*
P250 1/4 HP 115V 2.5 20 lbs. 20' to 25' Diameter
230V 1.25
P500 1/2 HP 115V 5.0 28 lbs. Up to 40' Diameter
230V 2.5
P750 3/4 HP 115V 4.7 32 lbs. Up to 60' Diameter
230V 2.35
P1000 1 HP 115V 7 36 lbs. Up to 80' Diameter
230V 3.5
*Cleared area based on normal winter conditions. Extreme conditions may cause a smaller open diameter.

Mounting Your Deicer

Circular or Elliptical De-icing Patterns

Deicers can be mounted to clear various diameters and either a circular or oval shaped area.

  • To clear ice in a circular pattern, mount your deicer vertically.
  • To clear ice in an elliptical pattern, mount your deicer at an angle.

De-icer angles and clearing diameter

Deicer Mounting Tips
  • Mount your deicer 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 deicer 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 deicer is not in a water zone that will freeze solid. If ice reaches the bottom, it will choke off the water supply to the deicer, 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 Deicer Mounting Options
Rope SuspensionDock MountFloat Mount
Kasco De-icer Standard Suspension Rope Mount Kasco De-icer Dock Mount Kasco De-icer Float Mount
Each deicer unit ships with two suspension ropes to be spread at least 8' to 10' apart The Kasco Dock Mount secures your deicer to a dock or pilings; can be extended to a maximum of 10' from the mounting bracket The Kasco Float Mount allows your de-icer to be used in shallow waters or where water level fluctuates;
deicer floats and moves with water
Power House Ice Eater Mounting Options
Rope SuspensionDock MountShallow Water Stand
Power House Ice Eater Standard Suspension Rope Mount Power House Ice Eater Dock Mount Power House Ice Eater Shallow Water Stand
Each ice eater unit ships with two suspension ropes to be spread at least 8' to 10' apart The Ice Eater Dock Mount secures your ice eater to a dock or pilings; can be extended to a maximum of 6' from the mounting bracket The Shallow Water Stand allows your ice eater to be used in shallow waters and can be positioned horizontally or at an angle;
ideal for duck hunting and fishing

Deicer Accessories

Kasco C-10 thermostat

The C-10 Thermostat is an inexpensive way to control the operation of your Kasco Deicer by using air temperature. The C-10 plugs into a standard 120V outlet and allows you to set an air temperature setting. When the air temperature drops below that setting, the C-10 will turn on the Deicer and off again when the temperature rises, saving money on costly electrical bills. You can set the turn on temperature anywhere from 0 to 80 degrees. Once the temperature has risen 4 degrees above that start temperature, the unit will turn itself off. Savings example: Using a Kasco 1/2hp, 2400D Deicer and a C-10 Controller, you can avoid the hassle and expense of removing your dock and boat from the water for as little as $15 per month! Designed for use with Kasco 120V AC Deicers.

Important: The C-10 is designed to operate only one Kasco Deicer. Daily observation is required for all de-icing installations. Any electrical equipment should be plugged into a GFCI-protected outlet or circuit for safety, especially in water. It is never a good idea to be in the water with electrical equipment in operation or even plugged in. Also, make sure to test the GFCI breaker in the circuit once a month to ensure proper operation.

Kasco Thermostat Installation Instruction

Deicer Maintenance Tips

While deicers require little maintenance, it is important to inspect your Kasco deicer or Power House Ice Eater on a regular basis to ensure it continues operating at peak performance. These maintenance tips are for general informational purposes only, and are not brand specific. You should always consult your owner’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for your specific brand and model.

While your de-icer is operating during the winter months, you should observe it on a regular basis (daily, if possible) to ensure it is operating properly. If there is a decrease or variation in performance, disconnect the unit from its power source, remove any debris that may have clogged the system or wrapped around the shaft of the motor (i.e. plastic bags, fishing line, etc.), and inspect the propeller for damage.

The RCD (Residual Current Device) or GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) will alert you to electrical leaks in your deicer. Test the RCD or GFCI upon installation and reinstallation, as well as monthly to ensure proper operation. If you have repeat, consistent trips on your ground fault, disconnect your deicer from the power source, remove it from the water, and inspect the unit and power cord for visible damage. Contact the manufacturer for further instructions or order replacement parts online from SavvyBoater.

Inspect the zinc anode every 2-3 months for deterioration and/or corrosion, and replace it if reduced to half its original size or if it turns white. Since the zinc anode protects the deicer from corrosion and electrolysis, failure to operate the unit with zinc could result in metal deterioration and contamination, and may void your warranty.

Remove the de-icer or ice eater from the water and clean its exterior with a power washer at least once per year. It is especially important to clean any build up (calcium, algae, etc.) from the stainless steel motor housing, as this can become an insulator that blocks heat transfer (the motor housing dissipates heat into the water).

Deicers and ice eaters should be removed from the water, cleaned, and stored prop side down (upside down) in a cool place during the off season. Storing prop side down will keep the seals lubricated.

Seals can wear out just like brake pads on a car. Replacing the seals and oil every few years can extend the life of your deicer. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the replacement schedule.

Have your unit serviced by the manufacturer or an authorized repair service every three to four years (depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations).