Ice Rink Volume and Fill Time Calculator
Enter the dimension of the ice rink and the flow rate of your hose to calculate the amount of water needed and the approximate time to fill the rink.
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How to Calculate the Volume of Water in an Ice Rink
One consideration when installing a backyard ice rink is the amount of water needed to fill it to the desired depth. You can find the water volume by using the standard volume formula.
volume = length × width × thickness
Thus, the volume in cubic inches is equal to the length times the width times the thickness, all in inches. The length and width dimensions should be in inches to match the thickness measurement
To calculate the water volume in gallons, multiply the volume in cubic inches by 0.004329. You could also use a cubic inches to gallons conversion calculator.
For example, let’s estimate the volume of water in a 20′ x 40′ x 4″ thick backyard ice rink.
Start by converting the length and width measurements to inches.
20′ × 12 = 240″
40′ × 12 = 480″
Then find the volume in cubic inches.
volume = 240″ × 480″ × 4″
volume = 460,800 cu in
Finally, convert the volume to gallons.
gallons = 460,800 cu in × 0.004329
gallons = 1,994.8032
Thus the volume of water required to fill a 20′ x 40′ rink to 4″ is 1,994.8032 gallons, or 1,995 if we round it up.
How to Estimate the Time to Fill an Ice Rink
The time it will take to fill the rink will depend on the flow rate of water coming out of your hose and the volume of water that needs to be filled.
The flow rate is determined by the diameter of the hose water pressure from the hose bibb, or spigot. Flow rate is measured in gallons per minute.
The time it will take to fill the rink in minutes is equal to the volume of water divided by the flow rate in gallons per minute.
Don’t know your flow rate? Don’t sweat it; you can use a calculator or this easy way to measure it.
Take a five-gallon pail and measure how long it takes to fill to the top. If it takes five minutes to fill the bucket, then the flow rate is five gallons divided by five minutes, or one gallon per minute.
For example, let’s estimate the time it will take to fill the 20′ x 40′ ice rink if the flow rate is 1.5 gallons per minute. In the previous example, we calculated that it would require 1,995 gallons to fill.
Divide the volume by the flow rate.
time to fill = 1,995 gal ÷ 1.5 gal/min
time to fill = 1,330 minutes
Divide that by 60 to find the time in hours.
hours = 1,330 minutes ÷ 60
hours = 22.17
Thus, it will take 22.17 hours (22 hr 10 min) to fill a 20′ x 40′ rink if the flow rate is 1.5 gallons per minute.