Outdoor basketball hoop question

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I bought my young son an outdoor basketball hoop, the kind where you fill the base with water.
Well, winter is coming and my gut feeling tells me to empty the water so it doesn't freeze and expand, possibly breaking the plastic base. Without water in it, the stake that holds it to the ground just doesn't seem good enough to keep it from falling over and seriously hurting someone. I really have no where to lay it down. I'd rather it stay where it is. I don't really want to put sand in it.
Any thoughts? Is it okay to just leave the water in it during winter?
Thanks
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My son's got one of those. The top is almost flat, enough so that we were able to use paver stones for weight in the winter. I wasn't comfortable with leaving the water in it.
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if you leave the top open so the water can expand, won't that work ok?
Mark
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You'd think so, but I left a watering can filled with water on my porch. It froze solid and the ice pushed the bottom of the metal can into a round shape. Very weird. Half the top of the can is wide open - plenty of room for expansion.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

If the ground was warmer than the air then it probably froze from the top and sides down towards the ground, creating a nice plug that apparently was stronger than the bottom of the can.
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That makes sense. It was on a cement porch where snow still melts when it lands - the cement hasn't totally cooled down yet.
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Unfortunately for this problem, water freeze from the top down.
This property of water, however is fortunate overall, since none of us critters would be here if water froze from the bottom up.
-- Todd H. http://www.toddh.net /
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yeah I remember reading that once, I don't recall why...enlighten us...
Mark
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environments.
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Just realized that this is in response to a rather old post (12/1). Here is what prompted this:

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You answered your own question.
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I empty mine & lay it down in back yard, but that is because I transport it to my church gym and set it up as a 3rd hoop for a little 3-on-3 bball tourney that we have over the Christmas Holiday. If I left water in it would be a solid block of ice and could not empty it for transport.
If I did not have to move it every winter, I think I would fill it with sand and leave it up year round. I am pretty certain leaving water in would crack base, but with dry sand, you are good to go all year.
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It's a worthy thing to worry about. I'd be inclined to cruise to the manufacturer's web site and look around for a FAQ or a customer service phone number. It has to be a pretty common question ya'd think.
I was interested enough to search on it and found this:
"The best option to fill your portable basketball goal is with non-toxic antifreeze, which is recommended to protect pets and the environment. Antifreeze will keep the base from cracking from frozen water in the winter and also keep the bacteria to a minimum in the summer heat."
From: http://www.atlantahoops.com/portable_basketball_goals.html
-- Todd H. http://www.toddh.net /
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Wow, never thought of that. That sounds like a great idea. The website you gave says two gallons should do the trick. Thanks!
And thanks to everyone who responded.
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Fill it with 65%/35% ethylene glycol antifreeze/water. or pure propylene glycol with no water. If it freezes then, you've got bigger problems than a busted basketball hoop.
--Goedjn
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What do you mean about having a bigger problem if it freezes?
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wrote:

Anti-freeze all over the place. Good if you're trying to get rid of the neighbor's dog permanently, but otherwise, no.
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wrote:

Off the top of my head, I think he means it's like -70 deg F....
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Did you ever think of contacting the manufacturer? I'm sure they Have had this question before. I would think freezing water would be a issue when designing it.
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Hit Walmart or a hardware store and get the "RV" anti-freeze. It is non-toxic, made to be put in water lines for winter storage.
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