Winter can do terrible damage to docks. Heavy ice and snow can put a strain on the docks and be dangerous for maintenance. Deicers prevent ice damage by moving the water and drawing heat up from the bottom of the lake. This keeps the water clear and prevents ice damage while simultaneously protecting the environment.

You need an aerator that can adapt as the seasons change. Our deicers are made for cold weather. That seems like a given, but we wanted you to hear it from two of our major distributors and one of our customers, to show you their many applications no matter where you are–whether that’s rural Missouri or Canada. 

Bowling Electric – Camdenton, Missouri. 

Bowling Electric is located in Camdenton, Missouri, home to Lake of the Ozarks, a lake that has the longest shoreline in the US, which means there are thousands of docks. 

“Every year we sign a contract to sell 50 deicers,” manager Colt Wiles said, “but we seldom sell under 100.” The Air-O-Lator “Ice-Away” Deicer is the only submersible brand of Deicer that Bowling Electric sells. 

“The other big dogs want me to carry their de-icers,” Wiles said, “but theirs is an inferior product, and the price point is not near what Roy’s (Air-O-Lator’s) is. The biggest sales point is the motor that he’s using—it’s the same motor you’d see in a residential well. They hold up and run 20 to 30 years with no maintenance problems or worries.” 

Other brands use the same kind of motors that are encapsulated in oil or air, Wiles said. When an engine is coated in oil, the motor goes through a range of temperatures and that, combined with the pressures that create, plus the wear and tear on the seals, results in a failing motor. Air-O-Lator’s Franklin Electric Motors are water-cooled and lubricated, so it cools itself, Wiles said. “So there’s nothing to fail or go wrong. For $40 extra dollars, you’re getting ten times the deicer that you would with any other deicer.”

Made for the Lake 

At Bowling Electric, many customers come in looking for deicers because they are one of the best preventative solutions for dock damage caused in the winter. Often, the surface of the water freezes, which poses a threat to the property sitting on the water. Insurance companies seldom cover ice damage, so deicers are preemptively installed to help keep the dock clear. 

“When it freezes, the dock becomes encapsulated with ice,” Wiles said. “Officials then have to release the dam to create more electricity, and this causes sheets of ice to break from the shoreline and often takes the dock with it as it tries to slide back into the lake. I’ve seen docks completely freeze and break free and literally float down to the dam. We have docks down here with millions of dollars of property sitting on them, and having a deicer installed protects that property.”

During years when owners don’t need a deicer, the Air-O-Lator deicers are still a customer’s best bet, Wiles said. “They can sit in a garage and store perfectly. Nothing rots. With other deicers, parts rot and break even when they’re not being used.” 

“In 2010,” Wiles recalled. “There was a big freeze that caused a consistent 10-inches of ice along the main channel of the lake. I have photos of me standing under bridges in the middle of the lake. That particular winter, I installed 10 to 30 deicers. I had to break docks free with a pick and chainsaw. It was undeniable who had deicers and who didn’t. Officials estimated that there were over 1 billion dollars of dock damage due to a lack of deicers. I saved about 20 to 30 docks by cutting them out. I had to cut and chisel a hole in the ice to get Roy’s (Air-O-Lator) deicer in the water. I’d drop his unit in, and in about 15 to 20 hours of run time, it would eat that ice away. I saved a few docks because of that, but just in the nick of time. And that’s because those customers finally decided to buy a deicer.”

O’Rourke Electric – Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada. 

When customers come to O’Rourke Electric, often, it’s after they’ve experienced or heard of extreme and catastrophic property damage, Mr. Les Purcell said. 

“Our winters get to minus 50 or 60 degrees,” Purcell said. “The ice will go down 47 to 50 inches. It will lift entire houses sup. By the time the customer returns in the spring, the house will be in the water. Our deicer sales are popular. Most people are coming in because they’ve experienced previous damage, or they saw their neighbor’s damage.” 

“Every deicer I’ve ever sold, I’ve gotten a phone call or text message from the customer, and they’re so happy,” Purcell said. “They get back in the springtime, and there’s the unit, humming away with no ice around.” 

Like any application, customers still need to make sure they’re installing it in the right spot and monitor and pay attention to it. 

“I did have a customer who wanted to keep his 38-foot yacht in the water through the winter,” Purcell said. “So, he put the deicer underneath the yacht in an attempt to keep ice away from the bottom of the boat. It did. But then the snow piled up on top and sank the boat. He had to get another deicer to free his boat. When he freed his boat and pulled up the first deicer, it was still working. It survived a 50,000-pound boat sitting on top of it. That’s a durable product!” 

Not only are Air-O-Lator’s aerators durable, but they’re also one of the few ones on the market that are environmentally responsible and don’t bleed oil—because there’s no oil to drain. “That’s its easiest selling feature,” Purcell said. “And the engineering of the unit.” 

A Clear Cove at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri.

Winter can do terrible damage to docks. Heavy ice and snow can put a strain on the docks and be dangerous for maintenance. Deicers prevent ice damage by moving the water and drawing heat up from the bottom of the lake. This keeps the water clear and prevents ice damage while simultaneously protecting the environment.

Three of our clients own docks located on the beautiful Lake of the Ozarks and have been our customers for over 30 years. Each dock has a ½ horsepower “Ice-Away” Deicer installed under the dock slip. This photo was taken during one of the coldest winters. The lake froze over and many people that had dock damage that year. 

“We have dealt with several companies to try to find an aerator that can help isolate the dock in the winter,” dock owner Roger Hall said. “Air-O-Lator is the best unit on the market that I have found to keep the ice from forming under the dock. It’s kept the ice away every winter that we’ve had it, and we’ve had no damage to our docks because of it.” 

Many docks and boats suffer damage in the winter because of ice. Lake of the Ozarks is home to thousands of boats and docks. “I’ve seen many docks that have had damage done because of ice forming around them,” Roger said. “The ice freezes around them, then the water drops to lake level and ice forms, rocking the dock and causing damage.” 

Roger and his dock neighbors each have had an Air-O-Lator Deicer “Ice Away” for over 20 years. “We’re all in a little cove here at the lake, and the deicers keep our cove open all winter,” he said. 

Roger doesn’t even take a chance with the weather. As soon as it starts to get cold, he turns the Ice-Away on. “It works fantastically, and I leave it in all year,” he said. Roger will take the deicer out of the water at the beginning of winter to clean it. Then he puts it back in the lake. 

“It does a great job, and we love it!” Roger said. “We’ve never had any problems with it. When the ice starts forming on the lake, we go ahead and turn it on, so we rarely ever have ice form on the lake. I’ve seen people put the deicers in the water by sawing a hole in the ice, and within a week it will clear 40-50 feet. You can put it in the water even after it freezes.” 

At Air-O-Lator, we’re honored that you use our products. As we called each of these distributors and customers, we asked how they like their deicer and if it’s helpful. We manufacture products to help you solve problems, prevent damage, and keep water healthy. If you have a testimonial you’d love to share, send it our way!