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Old 01-15-2004, 07:01 AM
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Unhappy Frozen Salt Bags???

Anyone ever experience this? Hard as a Cinder block, 50 lb bags of Halite.....TOTALLY USELESS!

They've been sitting on a pallet in my truck bed since the 10th of December. I had them tarped so they stayed dry, and with them stacked on a pallet, they wouldn't be sitting in any standing water in the bed if it rained.....and it DID! That and the high 60 degree temps followed by our single digit temps as of the last few days.

We're not talking about a couple bags here, but ALL 35 or so of them!

Droping the bags on the ground does no good. The bags end up ripping.


This is the first and LAST time I'm ever storing my salt outside. I usually store it on half pallets along the wall in my garage.

The 25 that I had to buy today in an emergency were stored outside, and were totally fine!???


Any thoughts???

How to dispose? Ask for money back? Refund with free flowing ones?


This load WAS fine and free flowing on the Dec 9th storm.


UGGH!
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Old 01-15-2004, 07:07 AM
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Tommy I have had this happen more times than I want to think about. I think alot has to do with how wet the salt is when they fill the bags. You have had very cold temps and I have had some freeze up lately as well. I put them in my garage for a day or two and they thawed. Even if the batch was fine in early December, it probably was not as cold as it is now. They should thaw out.
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Old 01-15-2004, 07:15 AM
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I agree, they are just frozen. Bring them inside to thaw, the living room would be nice and warm!
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Old 01-15-2004, 07:19 AM
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You would think for the extra money bagged salt cost, they could at least use dry salt. Last year when salt was running low, every bag I had was frozen. I had to use a kerosene heater in my storage container. It was nice and toasty in there.
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Old 01-15-2004, 09:12 AM
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I hear ya's with the "Dry Salt" issues!!!

A pallet I had last year was like mortar mix, nothing bigger than 1/8" and WET. Wouldn't go through the spreader, it would just cake up and not flow down.

I'll have to wait until it gets above 17 degrees and try this frozen stuff.

I dropped a bag just a while ago from the truck down to the ground. Bag split open and there were 4 LARGE chunks, solid as a cinder block.

I ended up running those over with my truck tires, and shoveling the piles then.

I'm hoping it'll thaw out and dry up and become useable. THis stuff aint cheap anymore. These day's I'm only making $0.162 per pound on it.



Thanks for the help, I'll update when things warm up a bit.
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Old 01-15-2004, 04:06 PM
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Re: Frozen Salt Bags???

Quote:
Originally posted by TLS
Anyone ever experience this? Hard as a Cinder block, 50 lb bags of Halite.....TOTALLY USELESS!

They've been sitting on a pallet in my truck bed since the 10th of December. I had them tarped so they stayed dry, and with them stacked on a pallet, they wouldn't be sitting in any standing water in the bed if it rained.....and it DID! That and the high 60 degree temps followed by our single digit temps as of the last few days.

We're not talking about a couple bags here, but ALL 35 or so of them!

Droping the bags on the ground does no good. The bags end up ripping.


This is the first and LAST time I'm ever storing my salt outside. I usually store it on half pallets along the wall in my garage.

The 25 that I had to buy today in an emergency were stored outside, and were totally fine!???


Any thoughts???

How to dispose? Ask for money back? Refund with free flowing ones?


This load WAS fine and free flowing on the Dec 9th storm.


UGGH!
CAn you make that magic salt slurry from it?or a pre wetter? if it doesnt thaw out.
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Old 01-15-2004, 06:08 PM
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Re: Re: Frozen Salt Bags???

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Originally posted by ih82plow
CAn you make that magic salt slurry from it?or a pre wetter? if it doesnt thaw out.
Whats that? I'm not real well versed on the liquid apps.


Why was this moved? If I wanted very little exposure, I would have initially posted this in the "DE-ICING" section. I posted it in the "NORMAL" section for a reason.....So it would get read.


Oh well.


No biggie I guess.
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Old 01-16-2004, 07:09 AM
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If you leave bags outside condinsation will build up in bag when left in the sun and then it freezes.
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Old 01-16-2004, 08:46 AM
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Salt is hydroscopic,meaning it absorbs water.So your salt could be 100% dry,but will still absorb water while tarped or covered,which may freeze when it gets really cold.

I have had it happen a few times,as we keep the sidewalk salt on pallets in an old van.While it is fully sealed off from the elements,it still does freeze up sometimes.

I will sell off the frozen stuff cheap to someone who needs it,and buy new stuff.I find the salt is never quite as effective after is gotten wet,and been frozen.
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Old 01-16-2004, 08:51 AM
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Re: Re: Re: Frozen Salt Bags???

Quote:
Originally posted by TLS
Why was this moved? If I wanted very little exposure, I would have initially posted this in the "DE-ICING" section. I posted it in the "NORMAL" section for a reason.....So it would get read.

Oh well.

No biggie I guess.
While I didn't do the move,it should be posted in the proper forum.It is obviously getting pretty good exposure.Most people read the new threads by clicking the "get new posts" link,so it would be viewed by most no matter where it was posted.

What would be the sense of having proper forums if no one posts in the correct one ?
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Last edited by wyldman; 01-16-2004 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 01-16-2004, 09:38 AM
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I store my bag salt out side and not covered. I've had only one bag that was hard. I've gone through six pallets so far. I need to find a place to get bulk salt. I can make more money that way.

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Old 01-16-2004, 01:25 PM
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I moved the thread to the proper forum. I'm sorry if you feel that was out of line and in hindsight I should have sent a note explaining my action.
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Old 01-16-2004, 06:13 PM
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Alan,

Not a real problem.

I was not aware of the show new threads or whatever it is.

I check the main fourm, and on days the main fourm is slow, or I have spare time, I'll check the Meyer and Boss fourms, but hardly ever check this De-Icing. While I may be wrong, I feel I'm not alone in this practice. Just too many fourms to visit, and such little time.

My intent was to gather as much exposure by placing it on the "MAIN" fourm page, and while you did move it, it still kinda hangs in there with the (relocated) after it.


Thanks everyone, looks like tomorrow might tip over above freezing, I'll have to check them and see if they thaw out a bit.
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Old 01-17-2004, 04:36 PM
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TLS,
That's your loss if you do not have time, or choose to ignore the valuble info that hangs out in the other forums. Some of the forums "seem" slow as there are no specific questions being brought up, but when a question does come up, there seems to be plenty of valuble info posted in them. So I don't believe Chuck will be changing the way the site operates for your particular situation and participation style, and you'll just have to get used to having your threads put into the proper forum should they get moved. Happens to many members & many times a day. And members won't be receiving any notifications from me when that happens, because if I spent all of that time I wouldn't have time to get to hang out & enjoy the site with the amount of threads that get moved.

On to the salt issue. Like River Hill said, I have lost count of the amount of times this has happened over the years. Just part of being in this biz. Just have to wait til temps get back above freezing to drop them a few times to get them loose again, and hope they don't go back to cynder blocks before the next time they get used LOL. What I have done if I had a bunch that went bad at one time is head to one of the lots, drop all the bad bags. Cut them open and use a 10" x 10" hand tamper to crush them, or if a loader was available at the time we'd use that too. Last weekend we spent about 4 or 5 man hours picking, chopping, sledgehammering and then tamping about .75 - 1 ton of bulk that was in the bed of the truck from before Christmas and became concrete with the cold snap LOL. Like I said, part of being in the salting biz and it will happen again.
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Old 01-17-2004, 05:48 PM
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On the subject of "frozen" salt in general. I posted this in a thread on the subject over on the "Brand X" site. Decided I might as well add it here.

>>>OK,, I'm going to start a little argument here. I really doubt that a pile of salt can "freeze" in the sense that water freezes. Any moisture that is in the pile will dissolve a minute amount of the surface of the salt crystals. That will make a brine which would be a saturated solution, the moisture would "melt" as much salt as could be suspended in solution. The resulting brine would be very concentrated and not apt to "freeze" at any temperature we are apt to see, short of the polar regions, maybe.

But, let's assume a set of conditions are met. First we need a salt pile that is either wet by exposure to free water, (rain or snow) or has absorbed water from the atmosphere. The salt particles will be coated with a thin film of saturated brine at this point.

Second condition is cold air. Cold air will hold less moisture in the form of vapor than warm air will. So cold air will have less moisture per volume than warm air will.

Surround our damp salt pile with cold air and the moisture that is holding salt in a brine will now want to pass into the drier air surrounding the pile. As the moisture leaves the brine the brine becomes super saturated and precipitates out in the form of tiny salt crystals. These crystals act as cement to bond the salt granules in the pile into a solid mass.

The effect is a solid pile, whether it has "frozen" or glued itself together.

Magic will help prevent this, not by preventing thermal freezing but by keeping the tiny crystals from attaching as tightly to the piles' granules. I try to keep a stockpile of Magic treated salt on hand. Right now I'm just about out and am having to use plain salt.

I just went through an epsiode with solid pile of about a ton and a half. The material was damp when I treated and stockpiled it. Two days ago it was solid! So solid that I could not poke a shovel into it. Yesterday it had softened and was usable again and I expect that tomorrow will find it virtually a rock.

Three days ago we were well down in the -10 range. Yesterday it was back up in the 20s. The subzero air was very dry, yesterday the humidity was up again. I had deliberately left the doors open on my bin so the air could circulate.

The next time I get some damp salt I think I'll try an experiment. I'll bring a bucket of it indoors and see what happens when damp salt is exposed to warm, dry air. If it turns into a brick that should support my theory.

As a thought, maybe the Halite didn't bind up because it is usually fairly large, uniform particles. These would have less area where surfaces of adjacent particles touch and could be glued together, whereas bulk salt has enough finer particles to fill the voids and provide a better bonding surface.<<<
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Old 01-17-2004, 05:57 PM
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I am going along the lines of;

The salt has bonded it's self, that's why it's soild.

Wet frozen salt will break up.

I get a couple of guys who give us their soild bags of salt, we just toss them by a pile, drive over with loader and scooop it up.
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Old 01-17-2004, 10:49 PM
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Salt does freeze. I have had bags of salt that are a solid brick. I put them in front of the turbo heater for a while, give them a shake and they are loose again. Heat seems to be the only way for me to get the salt loose in the bag again.
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Old 01-18-2004, 04:18 AM
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Forgot about that thread. I will sometimes spray the frozen blocks of salt with a little water to help speed up the process of breaking them up into usable condition again. If I can easily get the water, and if I really need that salt ASAP and have no other available. Otherwise I just wait until the temps go back up & use it then. If I have time & the inclination and the energy, I have also done what Micah said. Except its just a regular kerosene heater in the garage, so it takes longer than the type of heater he's using. I try to avoid moving salt twice though, for my muscle's sake.
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Old 01-18-2004, 04:48 AM
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Alan a very interesting therory.I would be interested to see how your exsperament comes out
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Old 01-18-2004, 06:09 AM
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Full route just plowed and salted. In and out in 4 hrs flat!!!

Problematic bags were thawed. I simply just flop them over and over against the bed floor and they break up. Any clumps that are in them are real loose and you cant even reach in the hopper to grab them because they just crumble in your glove.

I'm once again a happy camper!

Thanks for the info everyone!

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Old 01-18-2004, 07:18 AM
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OK,, my crude test came up inconclusive.

Assuming that if a chunk of salt was thermally "frozen" it would be unable to melt further snow this is what I did.

I took two "frozen" chunks from the pile. I set one on the floor of the bin and put a shovelfull of fine, granular snow on top of it. I then crushed another chunk and put that material on top of the snow that had fallen around the first chunk.

Not quite four hours later I checked the results.

The snow on top of the chunk had not melted to any appreciable amount.

The snow under the formerly frozen salt was completely gone and the salt itself was now totally loose with all granules seperated.

I think that the snow on top of the hard chunk was not heavy enough to keep it in contact with the salt to a degree sufficient to allow melting to take place. Further, since the salt I had placed on top of the snow DID melt the snow and since it was at the same temperature as the (still) chunk stuff I think this furthers the premise that the salt is not "frozen" in the thermal sense but glued together as I proposed in my first post.

Definitely would like to hear some opposing arguments.

An interesting observation was made Friday afternoon while it was still below zero here.

I had part of a load of treated salt in my SnowEx hopper. This had been sitting in the hopper since 1/11 and had been exposed to temperatures as low as -20░. The material was slightly caked except for the extreme lower end of the hopper. The hopper lid fits quite tightly, not air tight but enough to prevent free exchange of air and humidity. At the lower end there is the feed auger and dump door which can permit air/humidity exchange. Salt was caked hard to about an inch above the dump door. The rest of the material flowed freely, although somewhat slowly, once the vobrator was turned on.

If this was thermal "freezing" I would think that the entire mass should have been solid, due to the extreme cold it had been exposed to.

I wish I had a way to seperate air temperture and humidity so I could explore variables in each as individuals. Naturally occuring conditions tend to change temp./humidity together, making any observations more than a little inconclusive.
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Old 01-18-2004, 11:38 AM
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OK to the first part, adding water to the "frozen" salt helps break it up (the snow that melted). So I think your scientific explanation is the real truth as to what happens, vs thermal freezing of the existing moisture in the salt. At times we will remove the tarp close to the end of a snowfall to allow a little moisture to settle in before a hard freeze, and we find we are able to work the salt next AM without problems. If it is wet, keep it wet is my theory, and I think that has been a result of this discussion when we originally had it years ago LOL. I may lose a little of the salt to diluting to work on that moisture, but my pile remains workable.

I finished plowing touchups\cleanups on the second night of the the last storm at around 11:30PM. I was beat, but dressed for the weather & decided I would probably be better able to talk my body into loading the hopper then, then at 3:00 AM when it was going to be even colder. So I put 7 bags of salt that had been in the garage for weeks, and mixed in a bag of calcium flakes to the load. Salt was all loose & nice, no more precip just temps around zero with WC around -25. I thought for sure I'd be OK doing that and getting a meal & a nap & spreading it within 3 or so hours. When I got back up & tried to spread it, it was "frozen", but not completely solid at least. I had to plow some drifted snow & luckily that "vibrated" it loose enough to start spreading a little later. OK Dr Alan, analyze that please. What happened?
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Old 01-18-2004, 01:27 PM
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OK,, I'll throw a WAG (Wild A$$ Guess) at it. Calcium Chloride is far more hygroscopic than Sodium Chloride is. If you leave it in the open in milder weather it will absord moisture enough to melt. That affinity for moisture is what makes it a prime choice for dust control use as it will keep whatever it is mixed with damp.

I think that mixing the cacium in with the salt was the mistake. I'd bet that the calcium was able to draw moisture away from salt and the result was the same as drying it out.
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Old 01-18-2004, 07:01 PM
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WOW,

You guys sure are into your salt!

I now know that salt can freeze SOLID below 10 degrees, and I also know that when the temps come up over 30, it magically thaws and returns to normal.

My supply is totally gone as of 10PM tonite (second plow/salt run of the day) .

Will wait till Wednesday to stock back up.


Continue on with Salt Science Theater 2004!!!

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