Best Practices using REALice®

With a REALice® system in place, all the water needed to build and maintain your ice needs to be treated through the REALice wall unit or with the REALice hand-held nozzle.

Never bypass the REALice system!


After Installing the REALice Wall Unit (Fixed Inline Application)  

First, increase the ice temperature by a couple of degrees to make shaving the ice easier. Shave the ice to just above the lines/logos. After the shaving is done, return the ice temperature to what it was. Now, using only REALice-treated floodwater, begin to build your ice up once again.


Building a New Sheet of Ice Using REALice:

For the greatest energy consumption savings, cold water can be used through the REALice system. In some circumstances, you may have to temper the water, adding some warm water to the cold — but all water needs to pass through the REALice.

The need to use tempered water happens most often when:

  • the water is very cold to begin with (near 40°F) and/or
  • if the brine temperature either has not been reset higher or if there are inconsistencies in resetting the brine temperature or
  • the indoor temperature in your arena is below freezing. Then you’ll need to use a little warmer water to make sure the cloth on the conditioner doesn’t freeze.

In any of these instances case, try adding a little warm water to your floodwater, a little at a time if you do not get good results using only cold water. Just make sure that any water you add is run through the fixed REALice wall unit or the REALice handheld nozzle first.


Trickle-filling with REALice-treated water will result in wavy ice. To make great ice, use the water at full-blast (with a static minimum water pressure of 45 psi) to have the best impact on the water possible.

If you’re building your ice from scratch, use the REALice handheld nozzle to build your ice in very thin layers. The REALice handheld nozzle is also perfect for spot fixes and maintenance on existing ice.

Note: We recommend a mixing valve be installed before the REALice wall unit to allow hot/cold mixing. This can help with rate of freezing, as does confirming accurate control of brine temperature.


Water Pressure

The static water pressure going to the REALice system needs to be at least 45 psi.

City water usually provides adequate pressure, often in the range of 45–60 psi or more. If your pressure is less than 45 psi, please contact our support team.


Floodwater Tank

Fill the floodwater tank in your ice resurfacer with only REALice-treated water from here on out. If you have a high quantity of calc in your water, we recommend that you clean out your floodwater tank and de-scale it before making or maintaining the ice with the REALice system.


Why Can’t I Mix REALice-treated Water with Untreated Water???

The cardinal rule is do not mix REALice-treated water with untreated water — or put untreated water on ice made with REALice. Normal water and REALice-treated water have different properties and should not be mixed.

Mixing the water will give you a poor ice quality and will result in higher energy consumption.

The effect of a REALice treatment lasts for at least 24 hours. This means that you can fill up the ice resurfacer the evening before for resurfacing the following day — or for your next flood an hour from now!


Wash Water

Although you can use REALice-treated water for the wash water, you don’t have to. We recommend that your wash water is tempered.


Typical Ice Thickness: 1.25 Inches

Because REALice lets you create a clearer sheet of ice, don’t surprised if your operations team performs drill tests more often that they did before. Although the ice thickness you maintain will vary based on your preferences, on local conditions or if the rink will need to be covered for other events, we recommend an ice thickness of one and a quarter inches.


Ice Temperature (Brine Temp)

Reducing the energy consumption by not heating up the water anymore is obvious. Less obvious, however, is the brine temperature reset. Many arena managers are reluctant to increase their brine temperature, but since the REALice-treated water freezes faster, warmer ice is needed to prevent flash freezing. If the ice is too cold, it will look grey and lifeless, becoming dry and brittle — and a lot of snow will quickly build up on the ice as soon as skaters begin skating or hockey players begin playing. If your ice is creating too much snow, it’s an indication that your ice temperature is too cold.

The ice’s optimal temperature range varies from ice rink to ice rink, based on climate zone, age and use of refrigeration equipment, etc. The best way to find the your ice’s optimal temperature range is to raise the ice temperature in small increments, about 1°F at a time and then wait at least a couple of days.

Study the ice quality. Is the ice still brittle, creating a lot of snow? If it is, raise the temperature again by another degree and wait for a few days to see, once again, how the ice is reacting. Repeat this a few more times — until you feel that the ice quality is on the verge of being bad. Once you’re feel you’re at that point, lower the ice temperature by one degree and this should be your optimal temperature.

Infrared Sensors

Are you using infrared sensors to measure the temperature of your ice?

Infrared sensors may need to be re-calibrated with the clearer ice you’re able to make using REALice-treated water.



Ice made of REALice-treated water is more durable than ordinary ice. This means that it does not get as many skate scars compared to regular ice, and the scars are not as deep. This often means that the amount of water needed for resurfacing can be reduced or your ice may be durable enough to let you skip some resurfacing rounds. It is important that you shave the ice with every resurfacing round, and not only “collect” the snow.



High humidity creates rime on the ice and therefore produces more snow. To obtain optimal ice, the humidity in the ice arena should not exceed 50-55%. Also very low ambient temperature (less than 50°F) can cause fogging and frost/rime on the ice — especially if the temperature approaches the dew point.

In short: 

Like gas put in a diesel engine, normal water put on ice made with REALice-treated water gives bad results. Do not bypass the REALice system.

If the rink’s indoor temperature falls below freezing, you will need to use warmer water (treated with REALice) until the inside temperature warms up. This will avoid freezing the towel on the conditioner of your ice resurfacer.

Trickle-filling the ice resurfacer results in wavy ice. REALice needs all the water pressure (a static pressure of at least 45 psi to begin with) to drain the water from the air bubbles to make dense, clear ice. Put the hose into the resurfacer and fill it at full blast each time.

Make sure your blade is sharp and changed regularly.

Drive slowly to flood the ice: NHL: 8-10 minutes; OLY 10-12 minutes.

Shave the ice with each flood – don’t just pick up the snow. And, for the very best results, get rid of skate scars and impurities by building an early-morning dry shave into your routine.

Reset your brine temperature from 2-5°F with gradual 1°F increments (5-7 days) until you find your ice’s sweet-spot.

Use the REALice spray nozzle for spot-maintenance and repairs – and to build your ice from scratch.

REALice-treated water never needs to be dumped: it will easily last for the next flood – in an hour or even overnight.

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