Ontario dad makes backyard Zamboni with bucket of hot water, valve, wagon, and rag


When the ice on the backyard rink or lake are a little bumpy, some will pull out an old hose and bucket to flood and resurface it. But a dad from Dundas, Ontario, had an even better idea. With just a wagon, an old bucket, a rag, and a valve for the hot water to come through, he built his very own Zamboni.

Conrad Galambos isn’t the first to fashion his own ice-levelling machine—there have been others who’ve created similar contraptions on the back of all-terrain vehicles, and even riding lawn mowers. He may, however, be the first to do it in such a simple and easy-to-imitate fashion.

Photo by CBC News

His homemade Zamboni involves pulling a bucket of hot water atop a small wagon. A valve attached to the bucket allows the hot water to exit onto a rag that’s connected to the back of the wagon. The valve also allows Galambos to turn the water on and off as he skates across the rink with the wagon in his hand.

It may seem rather makeshift, but he told CBC News that it’s much more effective than using a hose and bucket to flood the ice, which is what he did before building the “Galamboni.” He says that using a hose would create a thick layer of water that took a long time to freeze. His new invention “puts a much finer layer of water on [the rink], which allows it to freeze quicker and kids to get back on it sooner.”

It also uses way less water. It takes about one bucket for him to fix the entire rink—using a hose took about six.

This is the second year in a row that Galambos has created a backyard rink for his kids and the neighbours. He currently uses some boards and a plastic liner to prevent water from escaping into the rest of his yard, but he and his friends have been searching the internet for brackets that will hold the boards together better. Fashioning a few brackets of his own will be his next rink-related project.