Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Hot Water Gun

De-melt iced-over water dishes
 
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I have six dogs. In the winter, their water ices over regularly. I pour hot water on it, but the water comes from the sink, which takes about 10 minutes to load, and because only the top layers of the ice are melted, leaving the underside chilled, it doesn't stay unmelted for long. I have to repeat this process at least twice a day with each pen.

So: a hot-water gun. Load it up from the tub, then close it, and plug its power supply in. I go do my normal work. In a few minutes, I come back and unplug the gun. The built-in heaters have made the water piping hot.

When that is done, I go back to the dog pens, an' squirt (the pails, not the dogs). The hot water (hotter than I can carry in a watering pail) slices through the ice, heating the water underneath and melting the ice on top ('specially if I cut in a circle).

Almafeta, Dec 14 2003

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       I like your Tom Sawyer-esque approach to the problem, [Alma], so bread from me. On a more practical note, try this: 2 large (5 gallon) buckets. Fill both. Put one outside, the other inside. When you notice the one outside has iced, swap it with the one inside. You can put the iced one near something hot like your heat register. If you live somewhere truly cold, use 3 buckets.   

       I wonder if adding copious sugar to the water would lower its melting temperature without impairing its hydrating ability? For another day.
bungston, Dec 14 2003
  

       Bungston: But would adding so much sugar be good for the dog's health?
Almafeta, Dec 14 2003
  

       [Alma] - if your dogs are hanging around outside in weather cold enough to freeze their water 3x/day, I think a little sugar would be fine. Probably they would appreciate hot chocolate.
bungston, Dec 15 2003
  

       Why not just plug in the dish. The dish will have an auto shutoff when the water gets to a temperature of say 1-2C obove 0. Bonus of this.. Less work for you.   

       Ruff Ruff.... "Ahhhhh shaddap.. I'm coming.."
v0rtexx, Dec 15 2003
  

       [Bungston] You would need 180g of sugar, per liter, to lower the freezing point a mere 1.86 degrees. I'm going to guess that [Almafeta] probably deals with temperatures around ten to fifteen degrees below freezing on a daily basis.   

       A copious amount of sugar indeed.
Overpanic, Dec 15 2003
  
      
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