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Choosing the Right Brine Maker: A Comprehensive Guide for Snow and Ice Control

Choosing the Right Brine Maker: A Comprehensive Guide for Snow and Ice Control

Justin Rollin

Winter weather can be unpredictable and often leads to dangerous and slippery conditions on roads, sidewalks, and parking lots. The use of de-icing products is a common practice for managing snow and ice. This is where brine makers come in handy. Brine makers produce a saltwater solution that can be used for making liquid de-icers, anti-icing, and dust control. In this blog post, we'll explore the different types of brine makers available, the factors we consider the most important when choosing one, and the Ninja De-Icer-approved de-icing products that can be used with them.

Understanding the Importance of Brine Making for Snow Removal and Ice Control

Brine makers are important for municipal and commercial snow removal operations because they provide an efficient and cost-effective way to manage ice and snow. Brine can be applied before, during, or after a snow event to prevent ice from forming, reduce the amount of snow that accumulates, and accelerate the melting process.

Types of Brine Makers

brine maker

There are three main types of brine makers — batch mixers, in-line mixers, and pre-packaged brine systems:

  • Batch mixers are the most common and can produce large volumes of brine quickly, but they require manual mixing and are less precise than other types.
  • In-line mixers are more automated and offer more precise control over the brine mix, but they are generally more expensive.
  • Pre-packaged brine systems are the easiest to use and require the least amount of maintenance, but they are the most expensive.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Brine Maker

When choosing the right brine maker for snow and ice removal operations, there are several factors our experts at Ninja De-Icer deem important to consider. These include capacity and output, durability and maintenance, budget and cost, customization and flexibility, and safety considerations.

1. Capacity and Output: How Much Brine Do You Need to Produce?

The amount of brine you need to produce depends on the size of your operation and the area you need to cover. You should consider the number of vehicles you have to apply the product, the length of sidewalks and parking lots that need to be serviced, and the frequency of snow and ice events in your region. This will help you determine the required brine production and storage capacity.

2. Durability and Maintenance: Choosing a Brine Maker That Will Last

Brine makers can be a significant financial investment, so it's important to choose one that is built to last. Look for models made from high-quality materials that can withstand heavy use and harsh weather conditions. You should also consider the maintenance requirements and ensure that the model you choose is reasonable to maintain and repair.

3. Budget and Cost: Evaluating the Financial Impact of Brine Making

salt brine maker

Brine makers can provide long-term cost savings by reducing the need for purchasing expensive pre-made liquid de-icing products. However, the initial investment can be significant, so it's important to evaluate the financial impact of making your own brine versus buying pre-made products. If you don’t use enough volume, it might not be financially worthwhile for you to purchase your own brine maker.

4. Safety Considerations: Making Sure Your Brine Maker Is Safe to Use

Brine makers involve the handling of salt and other potentially hazardous materials, so safety is of utmost importance. Look for models with safety features such as automatic shut-off systems and emergency stop buttons. Be sure that employees who operate the brine maker unit are trained in proper safety procedures beforehand.

What De-icing Products Can Be Used with a Brine Maker

Salt brine is a popular solution for de-icing and anti-icing purposes. Regardless of the quantity, all you need to make a salt brine is water and rock salt, with a 23.3% concentration of salt. Adding different additives to salt brine can enhance its effectiveness for a variety of applications, such as de-icing, anti-icing, prewetting, and dust control. Here are some of the most commonly used additives and their benefits:

  • Calcium chloride: An effective additive at low temperatures, commonly used in commercial applications.
  • Magnesium chloride: A less corrosive alternative to calcium chloride, also effective at low temperatures.
  • Potassium acetate: A more environmentally friendly option, often used in sensitive areas such as airports.
  • Calcium magnesium acetate: A blend of calcium and magnesium, this additive is effective at low temperatures and is also environmentally friendly.
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How to Mix Additives into Brine Using a Brine Maker

brine maker system

  • Mix salt and water in a brine maker to ensure complete salt dissolution.
  • Use a hydrometer to test the solidity of the mixture and ensure it is at a consistent salinity of 23.3%. Most brine maker models test the solidity for you.
  • Add the desired additives, such as calcium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, or calcium magnesium acetate, in the appropriate ratios.

By incorporating these additives into your brine, you can create a customized solution that meets your de-icing and anti-icing needs, while also being environmentally friendly.

What's the Best Brine Maker Choice for Your Needs?

Choosing the right brine maker for your operation's needs depends on several factors, including the size of your operation, the volume of brine you need to produce, and the level of automation and customization you require. Consider all of these factors carefully, and consult with a knowledgeable vendor or supplier like Ninja De-Icer to ensure you make the best possible decision.

Batch mixers are a good choice for operations that need to produce large volumes of brine quickly, while in-line mixers are a better option for those who require more precise control over the brine mix. Pre-packaged brine systems are the easiest to use and require the least amount of maintenance but also cost the most.

Brine Makers: Final Thoughts

Choosing the right brine maker is a crucial decision for commercial snow removal businesses and municipalities dealing with snow and ice control. When selecting a brine maker, consider the various factors we’ve discussed above that need to be taken into account. By understanding these factors, you can make an informed decision that will provide you with a cost-effective and efficient solution to snow and ice management.

Once you've chosen the right brine maker, get the best de-icing products from Ninja De-Icer. Contact us today to get a quote and learn more about how we can help you with your snow and ice removal needs.