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View Full Version : Keeping my parking lot grate clear in the great north


FIMCO-MEISTER
12-19-2011, 10:19 AM
I have a grate in the middle of an asphalt parking lot. Every time the plow comes it levels the snow and packs the top of the grate. Consequently when it melts some an ice pool of considerable size builds up around the grate. So after working for about a week with snow melt and an ice breaker I've got it all removed. Now I'm trying to figure a way to avoid the problem again. Today I went behind the plow and cleared it out. May be my only solution but on the off chance a clever person is lurking I'm hoping someone has a solution to this.
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Wet_Boots
12-19-2011, 10:55 AM
they do make waterproof heating cables, so maybe you could snake one into the drain line and loop it around the grate

FIMCO-MEISTER
12-19-2011, 11:32 AM
they do make waterproof heating cables, so maybe you could snake one into the drain line and loop it around the grate

I thought about that but the extension cord across the parking lot won't work. I looked into how one would build a battery powered heat cord but those things require a lot of wattage.

Let me rephrase. If you have a parking lot that has pooled and froze overnight besides ice melt how else would you remove or melt?

I'm going to be gone a week and I don't want to have another ice rink to chip at.

Wet_Boots
12-19-2011, 12:16 PM
Unless you know the exact route of the drain line, you do not know that a heating cable can't work. In an asphalt lot, the grate has to be metal, I would expect, and heat will keep it clear.

Darryl G
12-19-2011, 12:24 PM
Make a solar oven out of a cardboard box or plywood and put it over it...not sure how practical that is but should be fairly effective and simple.

Read what Wet Boots said...no cord across the lot...snake it through the line if you can.

FIMCO-MEISTER
12-19-2011, 01:01 PM
The cord won't work. Trust me. The drain runs from the parking lot to the bottom of some railroad ties 60' away. The only way to get power is at the parking lot and running a cord across the parking lot isn't practical much less safe. I do like your solar power suggestion. Not sure such an animal exists but if you built a dome out of pvc and covered it with some type of solar plastic maybe......

Wet_Boots
12-19-2011, 01:22 PM
As long as you type the words "across the parking lot" you are clearly not getting it.

The real question is, just how important is this? If doing nothing means you spend 30 hours chipping away at accumulated ice when you return from a vacation, then maybe that's what you have to do.

FIMCO-MEISTER
12-19-2011, 01:28 PM
Heat tape has a plug. To get power to that plug I need to get an extension cord. Find an outlet. Run the extension cord to the plug on the heat tape which I have snaked into the drain pipe.

What would happen to that extension cord if it snowed and the plow came through?

Its important to me cuz I get paid a contract fee for managing this place and spending 30 hours chipping ice screws up my return on effort.

DanaMac
12-19-2011, 01:41 PM
Might be a good question to ask at plowsite.com, or just do some searches there.

Wet_Boots
12-19-2011, 01:43 PM
So, nowhere on the grounds of this complex, is an outdoor power outlet? That does work against an electrical solution.

The product I'm recommending is not heat tape. As far as I know, heat tape is not designed to be submerged under water. There is a more durable item, that is designed for use in pump suction lines that lead into lakes.

FIMCO-MEISTER
12-19-2011, 01:46 PM
Might be a good question to ask at plowsite.com, or just do some searches there.

I don't venture beyond my safety zone. Those plow guys are a bunch of Southies.

Darryl G
12-19-2011, 01:51 PM
Solar hot box if you will...plywood, foil on sides and clear top. Kids make them in first grade out of cardboard boxes. Gets surprisingly hot in there. Just not sure you can have a structure like that in your parking area...can always just put it on as needed I suppose.

http://www.hometrainingtools.com/build-a-solar-oven-project/a/1237/

Mdirrigation
12-19-2011, 03:05 PM
traffic cone over the grate, tell the plow guy to shovel

FIMCO-MEISTER
12-19-2011, 04:50 PM
He is in a big ol front end loader with a massive bucket. I'm not sure he can even climb out of that thing without an 8' ladder. I may try your cone idea though.
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Sprinkus
12-19-2011, 04:52 PM
Looks like these guys (http://www.calgarydraincleaning.com/FloodedParkingLots/default.htm) use hot water and a "power jetter", which could be a pressure washer.

Wet_Boots
12-19-2011, 05:33 PM
I wonder what exists in the way of low-voltage heating tapes, that could work from a solar/battery setup.

S&MLL
12-19-2011, 05:54 PM
Have them send the plow truck over the grate after the pusher clears. If the pusher is that big it probably has a rubber cutting edge. Which might be why its not scraping the snow

txirrigation
12-19-2011, 06:17 PM
He is in a big ol front end loader with a massive bucket. I'm not sure he can even climb out of that thing without an 8' ladder. I may try your cone idea though.
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Back in my college days we would pour grain alcohol on our sat tv dishes during ice storms.... sure put the buzz back into the TV

Mdirrigation
12-19-2011, 08:02 PM
Your dealing with snow , I am still doing blowouts , had 3 today and 5 tomorrow.

You may want to get a 55 gallon drim , paint it orange and place it over the grate , cut the bottom out and place the open side down so there is less surface area to freeze to the ground .

wab1234
12-20-2011, 05:12 AM
http://www.harborfreight.com/propane-torch-with-push-button-igniter-91037.html

This is a big propane torch for melting snow might work quicker then chipping

AI Inc
12-20-2011, 06:03 AM
sprinkle the area around the grate heavy with salt before each storm.

RICHLONGHORN
12-20-2011, 07:58 AM
You could move back to Texas!:hammerhead::weightlifter:

FIMCO-MEISTER
12-20-2011, 08:24 AM
Next winter I'm going to spend in Texas. Got a part time gig for me?

Wet_Boots
12-20-2011, 09:03 AM
fire ant inspector

txgrassguy
12-20-2011, 09:39 AM
Peter, I didn't bother to read all of the posts so if this has been said already . . .

All I would do is obtain an inexpensive propane weed torch. Instead of chipping just go out there and melt everything away - worked for me in the NE fairly well. Plus I didn't get to cold being outside with it either.

DanaMac
12-20-2011, 09:41 AM
Won't it just freeze back up overnight? Unless he sits there and completely evaporates it with the torch?

irritation
12-20-2011, 09:42 AM
Next winter I'm going to spend in Texas. Got a part time gig for me?

armadillo carcass disposal specialist
mechanical bull calibrator
tumbleweed traffic cop

S.O.Contracting
12-20-2011, 10:40 AM
Won't it just freeze back up overnight? Unless he sits there and completely evaporates it with the torch?

Just spread salt on area after he gets it melted down. I've actually used mine on my wooden deck to melt the snow off, beats shoveling. And then I just put down ice melt.

Wet_Boots
12-20-2011, 11:28 AM
Won't it just freeze back up overnight? Unless he sits there and completely evaporates it with the torch?he could always supersize it

hoskm01
12-20-2011, 01:59 PM
If he is in an articulating loader with a box plow, the length of the plow is too large to get down in to the (likely) recess in the asphalt where the drain lies.

Sounds like the problem is not that the drain doesn't work, but the hardpacked layer prevents water which does come through from getting in to the drain, thus compounding the ice buildup problem. It's cold in Montana, don't screw with salt; hope you're using calcium or mag chloride.

Pete, you need to just keep the hardpack from being pushed there in the first place. The drum or the cone would be a start, just make sure it is LARGE and either reflective or lit. Things are hard to see from the captains chair in a large loader. After the storm, do a quick cleanup shovel around the drum where the loader "avoided" and stop by the bank on your way home to collect your paycheck. You could even get a dinky plow for your truck for small cleanups like that.

I understand it's not possible, but heating the grate would be your easiest, most hands-free option, were it doable.

Darryl G
12-20-2011, 03:12 PM
It's cold in Montana, don't screw with salt; hope you're using calcium or mag chloride.

Ummmm...those are salts.

txirrigation
12-20-2011, 04:17 PM
You could find a way to gather the hot air from this site....

hoskm01
12-20-2011, 05:24 PM
Ummmm...those are salts.
Darryl is correct, kind of.

Allow me to rephrase- "Stay away from Sodium Chloride, Pete. I hope you're using Magnesium or Calcium chloride blends due to the poor performance of sodium chloride in temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit."

hoskm01
12-20-2011, 05:25 PM
You could find a way to gather the hot air from this site....
America's next renewable energy source. Plentiful and never-ending; thanks for adding to it. :)

FIMCO-MEISTER
12-20-2011, 07:22 PM
Well I'm in minneapolis on my way to london. So if it snows ....it snows. Know what I mean? Merry Christmas everybody
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Mike Leary
12-20-2011, 07:27 PM
Well I'm in minneapolis on my way to london. So if it snows ....it snows. Know what I mean? Merry Christmas everybody

Same to you. Peter, say hello to your lovely daughter from all of us.

Dr.NewEarth
12-20-2011, 07:28 PM
How about a big propane bottle and a tiger torch?

irritation
12-20-2011, 07:31 PM
Well I'm in minneapolis on my way to london. So if it snows ....it snows. Know what I mean?

NO!, I want you here on Christmas day and that parking lot better be ice free!!

Mike Leary
12-20-2011, 08:06 PM
NO!, I want you here on Christmas day and that parking lot better be ice free!!

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

hoskm01
12-20-2011, 08:08 PM
Merry Christmas Pete... Looking forward to seeing you in Big Sky Country, and the rest of you thugs too.

Wet_Boots
12-20-2011, 08:16 PM
Put a sign next to the grate directing drunks and dogs to wizz on the grate

Mike Leary
12-20-2011, 08:20 PM
and the rest of you thugs too.

And the best to you and the family, Matt.:waving:

Kiril
12-20-2011, 09:21 PM
Darryl is correct, kind of.

No "kinda" about it. :)

hoskm01
12-21-2011, 08:15 AM
No "kinda" about it. :)
I didn't say "Dont use SALTS", I said don't bother with SALT, as in sodium chloride, as in chose another mixture that will yield better results. Some parts of the country don't realize that ice melts other than rock salt exist.