More Frequently Asked Questions about REALice®

FAQ's about using the REAL ice System and making Great Ice
How is REALice installed?

Installation is simple and takes between 1-2 hours (certified plumber): REAL ice is installed next to the ice resurfacers’ water filling station. Two metal fittings are required to attach the system to the wall. The hose for the ice resurfacer is connected directly to the REAL ice system. Learn more about the REALIce installation

Can I apply REAL ice to existing ice?

Yes you can. Start by planing down the ice approximately  0.59″ – 0.79″ (15-20mm), or to the point where any advertisement and other graphics show. Afterwards start to rebuild the ice with REAL ice treated cold water only.  It is important to apply the new ice in thin layers that gets time to freeze in between refurbishing the ice. It is sufficient enough to add 0.59″ (15mm) of the new ice since it will be considerably stronger then the old one. Important: raise the ice temperature gradually and over time! This transition period will take approx. 2 weeks until you have the optimal settings, however the ice can be used right away.
Learn more about how to start using REAL ice in the ICE Academy

Can regular water be mixed with REAL ice treated water?

No. Regular water cannot be mixed  with REALice treated water even as little as washing the ice rag. Mixing the water would immediately aerate the treated water again. Once on REAL ice water, it has to be exclusive.

Why is there snow build up on the ice?

Snow build up on an ice sheet is created if the temperature is either too high (creates more snow, slash/wet snow), too low (creates more snow, chippy/dry snow) or the humidity in the rink is not correct. Ideal humidity in the rink lies at 53% – 57%.

How can I melt all the snow left in the gauges after heavy user groups have been on the ice?

In that case the wash water cannot get all the snow out of the gauges, therefore when you have a heavy load on the ice add a little warm water in to the wash water max 18-20 degrees and problem will be solved. Important: use all water thru the REAL ice system.

If your ice resurfacer doesn’t have wash water capabilities, then add a little bit of warm water, again max 18-20 degrees – to your resurfacing water, when dealing with heavy user groups.

Can lack of a wash result in more snow on the ice?

NO, what happen is, when you drive too fast with the machine, the snow in the gauges will jump up and give a rough surface, if the driver follow standard instructions how long time he/she needs to resurfacing the ice, (NHL size 8-10min) there will be no problem, REALice creates less gauges and even without wash water, it will be no problem to get a great sheet of ice.

What is the wash water used for and does every ice machine have wash water?
  • Older machines, no wash water installed
  • Yes can be mounted after, sledge needed to be changed and tank need to be mounted
  • Wash water tank, +/- 100L
  • Purpose of wash water, to clean gauges
  • As REAL ice creates less gauges, less wash water will be needed
  • We recommend to use wash water
  • Wash water need to have some temperature, approx. 20 degrees Celsius
Getting started with REAL ice, what do I do if now the cold water freezes too fast and the ice gets brittle?

Starting with REAL ice you have to adjust your brine temperature up (warmer) right away. As you lower the temperature of the resurfacing water you go up (warmer) with the brine temperature. Observe the snow produced on the ice. Best ice produces powdery snow. Start using the wash water with every ice clean. The wash water will fill the gauges.

How much time should I allow to resurface the ice?

To resurface the ice, allow at least 8minutes and 3-5minutes to let the ice dry. Drive the ice resurfacer machine slowly, especially in the corners.

How about maintenance for the REAL ice System?

REAL ice is 100% maintenance free, no additional energy sources systems needed

More Frequently Asked Questions
What is the FortisBC de-aerator pilot program?

FortisBC completed a pilot project investigating into vortex mechanical de-aerator technology during 2014 ice season. 10 arenas in British Columbia were chosen to evaluate REAL ice in their arenas. See Study Results from the FortisBC pilot program

Is it possible to use cold water to flood the ice?

Yes, with the REAL ice technology cold water can be used to flood and resurface the ice. Depending on the conditions some ambient temperature water needs to be mixed in. The temperature of the water although should never exceed 18 degrees Celsius.

Does REAL ice help to reduce lime scaling?

In untreated water, limescale appears in the form of calcite, which has an angular shape on the limescale crystal. This means that it easily attaches to other limescale crystals, pipes and nozzles, forming limescale deposits. These limescale deposits obstruct the water supply and routinely have to be removed. In water treated using the REAL ice System, calcite is transformed into aragonite, which has a more rounded shape and consequently does not attach itself to other limescale crystals, pipes or nozzles.

What is the adoption rate of REAL ice in different countries?

The adoption rates of REAL ice in Europe (as of fall 2012):

  • The Netherlands 50%
  • Finland 17%
  • Sweden 15%
  • Germany 5%
  • Switzerland 5%
  • France 2%

Italy, Russia, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Spain, currently feature 2-3 units per country. Thanks in large part to the strong support from the KHL, the number of systems in Russia is quickly growing and is on track to reach 10-15% in the near future.

What are qualities of REAL ice treated de-aerated water?

Besides from removing the micro air bubbles from the water, the vortex generator has a big influence on other aspects of the water, such as increased heat transfer capacity, lowered viscosity, increase in electrical conductivity…

Will REAL ice help to increase the life span of the compressors?

Yes. Due to the reduced compressor loads by using REAL ice the service life of the compressors can increase by about 10 % or 2.5 years.

Where are REAL ice installations in Canada and USA?

Please refer to our REALice Finder Map to see a complete list of installations in North America.

Who is endorsing the REAL ice Technology?
  • International Ice Hockey Federation
  • Swedish Hockey Federation
  • Finish Hockey Federation
Are there studies conducted on REAL ice in North America?

Yes, the ice rink water treatment system assessment, by the Design & Engineering Services Customer Service Business Unit Southern California Edison, was conducted in Dec. 2010.

    • The study was conducted on a small arena (75 gallons per resurface, 8 x daily) in California, applying the first generation of REALice.
    • Edison quantifies the electricity savings and estimates the savings on natural gas without quantifying it.
    • Edison mentions improved product as a result of using REALice;  better, harder ice through elimination of impurities through the Vortex treatment process.
    • Edison also mentions the impact of REALice on other applications such as preventing hard water scales build up. Preventing lime scale build up in the ice resurfacer machine for example extends its life span and reduces maintenance time.
    • Edison recommends REALice to all their ice rink customers as an energy savings solution


Large Scale Study through FortisBC with 10 participating arenas across British Columbia


  • 90% of the pilot participants successfully adapted their operations to the REALice technology.
  • The achieved ice quality was evaluated from acceptable to excellent.
  • Fortis quantified the average savings across the participating pilot arenas at 330 GJ in Natural Gas per year
  • Across the pilot arenas, an increase of the slab temperature was required at all sites and an average increase of  3°F was observed. A reduction in the ice slab thickness on average by 0.25 – 0.5 inch was noted also.
  • Electricity savings through increasing the slab temperature (approx. 20,000 kWh per 1.8°F) and reduction of the ice thickness (according to SaskPower and Manitoba Hydro) are significant and can be added on top of the calculated electricity savings from the Fortis report. Please refer to: Ice Rink Resurfacing Efficiency Pilot – Summary of Study Results.pdf to see internal results and estimates from some of the arenas also.
Does REAL ice affect workplace safety?

Yes, using cold water to flood the ice eliminates the need to operate with hot water 60ºC/140ºF to 71ºC/160ºF takes away the risk of burning injuries for anyone involved in the ice making process.

Where is REAL ice engineered, designed and manufactured?

REAL ice is engineered, designed and manufactured in Sweden by Watreco AB in Sweden.

The trademark REAL ice is owned by the Watreco Group in Sweden.  Watreco operates within the fields of limescale reduction and ice & snow.

The REAL ice system is based on the processing and treatment of water in a natural, ecological and environmentally-friendly way.

Within the framework of REAL ice, a complete system for treating water for artificially-frozen ice rinks has been developed, which delivers harder, better and more energy-efficient ice.

The Watreco/REAL ice vortex generator is protected by an international patent. It is able to generate a well-defined vortex at a considerably lower pressure and flow than what can be achieved through other techniques.

Do you offer any support with installing and using REAL ice?

Yes, we offer support for any arena installing and using REALice:

  • Comprehensive manual, guide and tips
  • Connecting ice makers with ice makers already using REALice
  • Phone support from Canada and from the manufacturer in Sweden.
Do you offer any support in capturing and documenting the savings with the REAL ice System?

Yes, we offer to help you monitor and evaluate at the savings with the REAL ice System.

Is REAL ice a water filtration system?

No, REAL ice is not removing anything out of the water except from air bubbles. By removing of the air bubbles, the properties of the water is altered – viscosity is decreased and the heat transfer capacity increased.

Can you explain the initial cost of the REAL ice system?

The REAL ice system is a complete solution, developed, applied and tested to the highest standards of engineering, executed (3D printing) and quality controlled in Sweden. The system is priced on a ROI of  2 – 3 years on a single sheet of ice (depending on the arena and prices paid for gas and electricity) and enables you to fundamentally change the operation of your arena by using cold instead of hot water to resurface the ice. Besides creating excellent ice, saving energy and costs these are the additional benefits:

  • less humidity in the arena – less draw on de-humidifiers,
  • less draw on compressors and therefore extended life,
  • reduced load on hot water boilers,
  • reduced lime scale build up,
  • less ice cleans and less water used
Can we still get significant savings with REAL ice, even though we are using heat exchange systems in our arena?

Absolutely, the heat recovery only will affect the gas bill, since wouldn’t have to pay for heating up the water. Significant savings using the REAL ice system will still occur for:

1.) compressors, less running time
2.) de-humidifer, less running time
3.) less maintenance in the building, due to less humidity
4.) less maintenance on the Zamboni
5.) without air bubbles, thinner ice and less energy used

Is REAL ice harder, stronger and more resilient than traditionally made ice?

Yes, it is. Studies have shown that the overall uniformity of ice strength is much better after the installation of the REAL ice system. This means that the ice was more consistent in hardness across the entire rink.

Who can I contact about REAL ice in the USA?

You can contact Cypress Ltd. via at or toll free at: +1-844-464-8408.

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