Really Snowed In

After a few days of snow, freezing rain, and below freezing temperatures-- I am effectively stuck inside my house due to mounds of steel-hard ice and slick stairs.
Shovels don't make a dent in it. Anyone has any suggestions to soften or remove ice quickly?
Thanks
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Ice melting salt.
Ron Hubbard wrote:

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Dynamite
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anything anyone would suggest here would be pretty useless since you're apparently unable to get outside to apply any suggested remedy.
If you can manage to escape by shinnying out a window or something, drive to the nearest hardware store and get yourself an ice chopper (looks like a hoe blade on a stick, except straight) to get rid of the present ice, and a big-ass bag of salt or ice melt (that white chemical-pellet stuff that works when it's too cold for plain salt, except it used to be pretty hard on sidewalks years ago) to toss down after the next time you shovel or snow-blow to prevent ice from forming.
AJS
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have a shovel handy you could boil some water with some salt in it. just remember that warm water freezes quicker than cold so you will only have a little while before it refreezes. you could even put a hose on the hot water heater!
Wayne

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Exactly how does water at a higher temp freeze faster than water at a lower temp? Think about it.
Could try one of those rosebud type torches to clear an area. I've seen my neighbor use one a few times, but I've never tried it.
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On 8 Jan 2004 13:17:22 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (Dave) wrote:

<snip>
Ah. Try this in two same-sized plastic cups, each marked differently. Put hot water in one cup, cool water in the other cup. Place both in the freezer. The cup with the hot water freezes before the cup with the cool water ! Don't believe it? Try it. The cause has to do with energy consumed by the water phase change.
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Wrong. Hot water freezes at a faster RATE than cold water due to the increased thermal motion of the molecules. The hot water must still pass through the colder water's temperature on the way to the solid state, at which point it takes just as long to freeze as the original cold water did. Otherwise, the T versus t function wouldn't be continuous.
Phisherman wrote:

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What I have heard is that the hot water slightly melts the ice or film of ice under the hot container and gives better contact with the cold floor of the freezer.
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Good grief! is this a joke?
Halvey wrote:

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Take a peek at the following sites: Interesting explanations. http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/heatques.html#c1 http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/thermo/freezhot.html#c2 MLD

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Phisherman wrote:

No need to try it. What you are saying is contrary to the basic laws of physics. You're confusing the old saw about boiled water (no dissolved oxygen) freezing faster than non-boiled water. Hot water has more energy than cold water so if the rate of heat loss is the same (and it is) the cold water will freeze faster. BTW, nothing about phase change would explain your erroneous idea.
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This AM, the temp was -8. This is quite remarkable, we get to -3 sometime,s but seldom colder than that.
We have only a trace of snow on the ground.
This AM is my congregation's turn to man the Bishops Storehouse. I'd rather be asleep, but I'm going to get cleaned up and go out into the bitter cold. See if the truck will start,a nd then drive slowly to the Storehouse. See if I can get enough heat in the truck to defrost the window, good luck......
I'm hoping I've got enough antifreeze in the radiator that it isn't frozen solid by now. I had a can of pop freeze and rupture a night or two ago in my truck. Didn't do much damage, just leaked and froze in my cooler. I've had cans of pop explode and spray. Glad this one didn't do that.
I feel quite blessed. I had two service calls yesterday, and have a little more work for today.
I'm a bit worried here, though. It has been far too mild, and I'm expecting the rebound, when the weather gets even with us. Of course, the minus 8 is doing it. One of the temple presidency is from SLC, and he says that SLC does below zero now and again, but the low humidity there doesn't feel as cold. So, we really get hurt badly with this bitter cold.
The Bishops Storehouse went well. As always, we had a great crew, and did a lot of good. I did a bunch of stacking totes, and putting on stickers. Not prestige job, but it needed done.
The heater blower on the van didn't work, and I came home bitter cold. I stopped to gas up the van,a nd the van wouldn't restart. I sprayed some ether, and changed the ballast resistor. Another driver stopped to give me a jump, and that helped a lot.
Ah, well. Must be something good about to happen tomorrow, usually when I get dumped on Saturday cause something good doing on Sunday.
I'm not going to take the van that doesn't start right, and has no fan! Going to load some tools into the other car, and take that.
The cold hasn't bothered me all that much,e ven the -8 we had th is AM. But on the way out of the leadership meet, I was shiverring right to the core. Glad to get home. I did stop and gas up the truck, though. I hate that cold shivers. Makes me wonder what's going wrong. Well, I was out in the cold a lot today, and didn't have any formal dinner. Had a microwave single serving pizza before I went. Bet t hat's what went wrong. If I'd had a burger or somethign more to eat before the meet, I likely woulda been OK.
You likely learned in school that a "calorie" is the ammount of heat needed to raise one gram of water one degree. So, when you're cold.... it's cause your body is losing calories (heat). If you're cold.... eat. And eat high calorie stuff.
And that's the news from the frozen tundra here.
Christopher A. Young Jesus: The Reason for the Season www.lds.org www.mormons.com
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Whiner...
Wow..you mean we got more than you?

Wait..you claim to be in HVAC and you cant deal with a little MVAC?

GOd...I just dont know what to say...

Hack...the day it snowed here, we had 7 by 6am..

Yawn..
You worry me...no heat, yet you work in hvac..so you claim, and you drive a Dodge van and dont keep a spare ballast....oh my...

Huh?
The Pinto with the ladder rack right?

Man..you really DONT have a life if you think we are actually sheding a tear..

Actually, make sure that someone that knows what in hell he is doing has worked on your heat system this year, and NOT Chris Young.

Puss..
offensive tag line snipped.
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Here's a good discussion about the apparent quicker freezing of hot water from the site of Prof. Martin Chaplin, London South Bank Univ.
RB
A number of explanations have been put forward but the most likely scenario (described in [158]) is that the degree of supercooling is greater in initially-cold water than initially-hot water. The initially-hot water appears to freeze at a higher temperature (less supercooling) but less of the apparently frozen ice is solid and a considerable amount is trapped liquid water. Initially-cold water freezes at a lower temperature to a more completely solid ice with less included liquid water; the lower temperature causing intensive nucleation and a faster crystal growth rate. If the freezing temperature is kept about -6C then the initially-hot water is most likely to (apparently) freeze first. If freezing is continued, initially-cold water always completely freezes before initially-hot water. Why initially-cold water supercools more is explained in terms of the clustering of water. Icosahedral clusters do not readily allow the necessary arrangement of water molecules to enable hexagonal ice crystal initiation;
Dave wrote:

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Warm water contains more energy than an equivalent mass of cold water. Therefore, it does NOT freeze quicker unless its energy can be removed faster. How could that happen, other things being equal? --Phil
wayne wrote:

--
Phil Munro Dept of Electrical & Computer Engin
mailto: snipped-for-privacy@cc.ysu.edu Youngstown State University
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Mpemba effect: <http://www.physics.adelaide.edu.au/~dkoks/Faq/General/hot_water.html
Mike
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Hair dryer. Blow hot air on the ice.
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This won't be much help. Two years ago we had a January thaw and rain then a cold snap. My garage floor flooded then froze. It became a lovely indoor skating rink. Problem is my snowblower, my Miata and various other things became imbedded in 3-4 inches of ice. I tried everything...salt...heat in several forms...brute force, also in several forms...ice chipper... No luck with anything. All I accomplished was damaging the snowblower. I don't drive the Miata in the winter, so that wasn't a big problem. Fortunately our main car was out of the garage and the garage door was up so it didn't get frozen shut. I got through the rest of the winter borrowing my neighbour's snowblower and waiting for spring. The experience gave me new respect for ice as a construction material! Concrete couldn't have been tougher.
As far as your stairs go, salt and/or an ice chipper should break it up. Something I was going to try with my problem (but never did) was to rig up a garden hose to a hot water supply to melt the ice. Eventually that would only create more ice but it probably would loosen up things enough to free them before it refroze.. But it seemed like more trouble than it was worth.
Good luck.
ds

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On Wed, 7 Jan 2004 18:34:27 -0800, "Ron Hubbard"

Happened here once. I just stayed inside until it melted, about two days. I thought it was a wise decision--lots of car accidents and people dying in the blizzard. Amazing how panic kills people. A hair dryer is often used to melt small areas and frozen water pipes.
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