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Old 10-09-2020, 12:43 PM   #1
Eagle54
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Default Excessively Running Dock Circulators

There's been a lot of discussions about the need for people to control their dock circulators to not run excessively, opening up large areas of water in front of neighbors property. But I haven't seen anything about what to do when a neighbor refuses to control his circulator, which for three straight years has opened up water in front of our house and caused damage to our dock by creating open water for ice chunks to bang freely against our dock. This is a MA person that rarely comes to the lake during the winter and is too cheap to pay someone to manage/adjust his circulator. Any ideas on how to get someone to enforce control of a circulator?
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Old 10-09-2020, 12:47 PM   #2
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There's been a lot of discussions about the need for people to control their dock circulators to not run excessively, opening up large areas of water in front of neighbors property. But I haven't seen anything about what to do when a neighbor refuses to control his circulator, which for three straight years has opened up water in front of our house and caused damage to our dock by creating open water for ice chunks to bang freely against our dock. This is a MA person that rarely comes to the lake during the winter and is too cheap to pay someone to manage/adjust his circulator. Any ideas on how to get someone to enforce control of a circulator?
Pull the plug when he's not there ?......just kidding.....maybe.....not
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Old 10-09-2020, 01:16 PM   #3
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Default Des

DES runs the permitting for these machines. Write to them--they should have contact info on the permit application. If you write now based on past years' experience, they can give you guidance for 2020-21 so the water isn't open and has a chance to freeze or re-freeze.
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Old 10-09-2020, 01:56 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Eagle54 View Post
There's been a lot of discussions about the need for people to control their dock circulators to not run excessively, opening up large areas of water in front of neighbors property. But I haven't seen anything about what to do when a neighbor refuses to control his circulator, which for three straight years has opened up water in front of our house and caused damage to our dock by creating open water for ice chunks to bang freely against our dock. This is a MA person that rarely comes to the lake during the winter and is too cheap to pay someone to manage/adjust his circulator. Any ideas on how to get someone to enforce control of a circulator?
You have probably already done this....but why not suggest that he reset the timer on it....or better yet, have someone check on it from time to time.
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Old 10-09-2020, 03:29 PM   #5
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NH RSA270:33 Heating, Agitating, or Other Devices in Public Waters; Safety Hazard. No person shall put, place, operate, or cause to be put, placed, or operated in the waters of this state any so-called heating, agitating, or other device which inhibits or prevents the natural freezing of water, or forming of ice, and thereby impedes either the ingress or egress to or from the ice from any property other than that of the owner of the device.
He is breaking at least this RSA
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Old 10-09-2020, 03:41 PM   #6
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Cool RSA-Breaker...

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Pull the plug when he's not there ?......just kidding.....maybe.....not
Why would one do this?

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NH RSA270:33 Heating, Agitating, or Other Devices in Public Waters; Safety Hazard. No person shall put, place, operate, or cause to be put, placed, or operated in the waters of this state any so-called heating, agitating, or other device which inhibits or prevents the natural freezing of water, or forming of ice, and thereby impedes either the ingress or egress to or from the ice from any property other than that of the owner of the device.

He is breaking at least this RSA
OK...Save your neighbor from being a scofflaw.
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Old 10-09-2020, 04:21 PM   #7
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NH RSA270:33 Heating, Agitating, or Other Devices in Public Waters; Safety Hazard. No person shall put, place, operate, or cause to be put, placed, or operated in the waters of this state any so-called heating, agitating, or other device which inhibits or prevents the natural freezing of water, or forming of ice, and thereby impedes either the ingress or egress to or from the ice from any property other than that of the owner of the device.
He is breaking at least this RSA
I don't like circulators and have never run one, but it's hard for me to understand how it's possible to run a circulator without interfering with your neighbor's access to ice (unless you have hundreds of feet of frontage).
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Old 10-09-2020, 04:57 PM   #8
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You could save your neighbor some cash by suggesting he gets one of these:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I saved about $150 in electricity last season using this. Opens up less water too, so was easier for me to get out onto the ice when I wanted.
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Old 10-10-2020, 07:38 AM   #9
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You could save your neighbor some cash by suggesting he gets one of these:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I saved about $150 in electricity last season using this. Opens up less water too, so was easier for me to get out onto the ice when I wanted.
I also run a thermostat, along with a timer!
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Old 10-10-2020, 10:47 AM   #10
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I would think that having circulator ON time controlled solely by air temperature would at times lead to too much use. Once a circulator has opened up a small area around the dock, there is no point in having it stay running, even if the air is cold. Sure, a thin skim layer of ice will form after a while during an OFF interval (with a programmable timer), but it has no particular strength, and the next ON interval melts it out easily. But the key to minimizing circulator power use and extent of ice-free area is regular adjustment of programmed ON intervals. That requires regular attention over the winter.

I would suggest to the OP that he approach the offending owner and get his OK to make those regular adjustments. Over recent years, I have done this for an abutter. I can see much of what I need to see from my window, and I'm outside often enough to see all of it. During cold snaps I add short ON intervals and lengthen them as needed, then trim ON time when the weather moderates. Everyone using a circulator needs to understand that when the wind moves the ice sheet, no amount of circulator action will stop it.
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Old 10-14-2020, 02:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Sue Doe-Nym View Post
You have probably already done this....but why not suggest that he reset the timer on it....or better yet, have someone check on it from time to time.
Yes, many times I have offered to adjust his circulator when we have a warm or very cold spell, and I've suggested to him that if he doesn't want me to do that he should hire someone to adjust it when it's running too long. He insists he knows how to handle it, and he's too cheap to pay someone to come and adjust it.
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Old 10-14-2020, 02:45 PM   #12
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I don't like circulators and have never run one, but it's hard for me to understand how it's possible to run a circulator without interfering with your neighbor's access to ice (unless you have hundreds of feet of frontage).
Actually I only have 100' of frontage and it's very manageable to keep approx 10-15' of open water around my dock. If we have a warm spell I turn it down to a couple hours/night if that; and if we have an extremely cold spell I turn it up to 8-10 hours/night. But otherwise it can be left at an average 5-6 hours/night and even if a skim of ice forms, that breaks up next time it comes on.
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Old 10-14-2020, 02:49 PM   #13
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I would think that having circulator ON time controlled solely by air temperature would at times lead to too much use. Once a circulator has opened up a small area around the dock, there is no point in having it stay running, even if the air is cold. Sure, a thin skim layer of ice will form after a while during an OFF interval (with a programmable timer), but it has no particular strength, and the next ON interval melts it out easily. But the key to minimizing circulator power use and extent of ice-free area is regular adjustment of programmed ON intervals. That requires regular attention over the winter.

I would suggest to the OP that he approach the offending owner and get his OK to make those regular adjustments. Over recent years, I have done this for an abutter. I can see much of what I need to see from my window, and I'm outside often enough to see all of it. During cold snaps I add short ON intervals and lengthen them as needed, then trim ON time when the weather moderates. Everyone using a circulator needs to understand that when the wind moves the ice sheet, no amount of circulator action will stop it.
I completely agree about controlling ON times, not just setting and ignoring. Many times I have offered to adjust his circulator when we have a warm or very cold spell, and I've suggested to him that if he doesn't want me to do that he should hire someone to adjust it when it's running too long. He insists he knows how to handle it, and he's too cheap to pay someone to come and adjust it.
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Old 10-14-2020, 03:04 PM   #14
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Default Another Option

We have/pay for wifi year round so what we do is have a wifi camera pointed at the dock so we can view it remotely. With that we have one of these that can be controlled remotely at any time via an app on my phone. As well as it has timers that you can set remotely that can run on/off even multiple times a day if need be. Completely controllable.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It can run up to 15A/1800W and is waterproof if it needs to be outside.

The app is free, easy to use and we have it with other devices like lights and outlets as they sell other type nodes.

Works great for us as I agree, during the winter a one size fits all for the timer is usually not optimal in either power use or results... Again if you have Wifi year round.
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Old 10-14-2020, 09:12 PM   #15
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Default A tarp with noodles and a chain

After years of frustration about my neighbor's bubbler, I started using a tarp curtain to contain the warm water to their property. The top of the tarp is wrapped around swim noodles, using tie-wraps to hold them in place. Along the bottom, a chain is wrapped with the tarp and again, tie-wraps are used to keep it there. Some years, I deploy the tarp before the ice sets in, but other years, I've use a chain saw to cut a slot in the ice. That helps install with precision. It works best if the tarp is curved, to direct the moving water back towards their dock. It gives me a week or more longer access to the lake on both sides of the season.
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Old 10-15-2020, 06:31 AM   #16
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DES runs the permitting for these machines. Write to them--they should have contact info on the permit application. If you write now based on past years' experience, they can give you guidance for 2020-21 so the water isn't open and has a chance to freeze or re-freeze.
I dont think this correct. The only permitting I know of is with the town they are used in. There is a permit for the town and the fee is fifty cents per aquatherm unit.
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Old 10-15-2020, 09:40 AM   #17
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Default Oops.

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I dont think this correct. The only permitting I know of is with the town they are used in. There is a permit for the town and the fee is fifty cents per aquatherm unit.
It appears ANY law enforcement agency can enforced this law

Section 270:33
270:33 Heating, Agitating, or Other Devices in Public Waters; Safety Hazard. Ė No person shall put, place, operate, or cause to be put, placed, or operated in the waters of this state any so-called heating, agitating, or other device which inhibits or prevents the natural freezing of water, or forming of ice, and thereby impedes either the ingress or egress to or from the ice from any property other than that of the owner of the device. The person or persons responsible for the placement of the device shall ensure that warning signs are posted to warn of its location. Said signs shall read DANGER, THIN ICE and shall be of sufficient size to be readable at a distance of not less than 150 feet, and shall be visible from all directions and shall be equipped with reflectors and color-coded in a pattern unique for this purpose only. The department of safety is hereby authorized to establish said unique design and coloring and any homemade copies shall follow this design and coloring. The provisions of this section shall be enforced by any law enforcement agency under the direction of the department of safety pursuant to RSA 106-A:14 and the department of fish and game pursuant to RSA 206:26.
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Old 10-15-2020, 02:23 PM   #18
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Correct. This however does not address permitting.
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Old 10-15-2020, 02:45 PM   #19
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If you read the RSA carefully you will see it only applies if the neighbor is unable to access the ice.

Causing open water in one part of your property is not a violation if you can access the ice from another part.
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Old 10-15-2020, 05:21 PM   #20
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Default ...... perfect landing every time!

With just 60' of waterfront and living next to my neighbor's ice eater device that is only about 15' from our property line as it extends out; here's my NEW HAMPSHIRE good neighbor solution ....... ayuh! ........ I use a pole vault and wear ice skates so's I can get a good running start, place the 20' pole into the open water within the shoreline ice and into the sandy lake bottom, then pole vault across like a sling-shot, and move forward onto the outer lake ice using the ice skates ........ no problem! ...... just like Bobby Orr! .....


There's no such thing as bad lake ice,

There's only bad lake ice equipment .................................
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Old 10-16-2020, 07:45 AM   #21
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Default What kind of access?

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If you read the RSA carefully you will see it only applies if the neighbor is unable to access the ice.

Causing open water in one part of your property is not a violation if you can access the ice from another part.
Wondering if the law has been tested. Is access defined? If I can access by foot but not by snowmobile, is it a violation? I hope so.
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Old 10-16-2020, 08:15 AM   #22
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If you read the RSA carefully you will see it only applies if the neighbor is unable to access the ice.

Causing open water in one part of your property is not a violation if you can access the ice from another part.
Not picking on Bear Islander, this is a common misstatement... The open water one creates is not part of their property. It is public water over which there are rights of public passage.

Please consider that the issue here is not whether or not there is open water but rather whether the device impedes the "natural freezing of water, or forming of ice." This includes creating areas of thin ice around the open water that may extend quite a distance in a particular direction depending on the angle at which the device is installed and the way the current it creates deflects off structures and objects in the water around it. Legal requirements aside, if you need to use an aquatherm, please be thoughtful about the way it is operated so it does not pose unnecessary risks to those out working or playing on the lakes in the winter months.
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Old 10-19-2020, 05:02 PM   #23
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After years of frustration about my neighbor's bubbler, I started using a tarp curtain to contain the warm water to their property. The top of the tarp is wrapped around swim noodles, using tie-wraps to hold them in place. Along the bottom, a chain is wrapped with the tarp and again, tie-wraps are used to keep it there. Some years, I deploy the tarp before the ice sets in, but other years, I've use a chain saw to cut a slot in the ice. That helps install with precision. It works best if the tarp is curved, to direct the moving water back towards their dock. It gives me a week or more longer access to the lake on both sides of the season.

very clever!

I have timer AND thermostats on my ice eaters. And I direct the flow so my dock cribs have water flowing across them, but the direction of flow is on shore. Keeps from creating massive open water in front of my dock.
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Old 11-04-2020, 09:01 AM   #24
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I dont think this correct. The only permitting I know of is with the town they are used in. There is a permit for the town and the fee is fifty cents per aquatherm unit.
As an update, I pursued this with DES and they directed me to the NH Dept of Safety. The towns issue permits, but the Dept of Safety, Marine Patrol division is responsible for addressing issues like this as a safety issue when someone's circulator interferes with a property owners egress/ingress to the lake. I received a quick and helpful response from the Marine Patrol, who are going to address this with the owner.
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Old 11-05-2020, 04:25 AM   #25
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As an update, I pursued this with DES and they directed me to the NH Dept of Safety. The towns issue permits, but the Dept of Safety, Marine Patrol division is responsible for addressing issues like this as a safety issue when someone's circulator interferes with a property owners egress/ingress to the lake. I received a quick and helpful response from the Marine Patrol, who are going to address this with the owner.
Correct. Iíve also spoken with Marine Patrol. Very helpful folks. The issue for us is do we want a seemingly good neighbor or do we want rough waters ahead....
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Old 11-05-2020, 05:45 AM   #26
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The very last line in the famous Robert Frost poem titled "Mending Wall' -1914, goes "Good fences make good neighbors."

So, extending a fence out across the shoreline and onto the lake open water could quiet this situation.

Some very smart fence maker needs to create a "one-way fence" so's a waterfront homey can clearly see outward, straight through this fence, while it blocks the incoming view of that neighbor. ....so we can see out the big view, and they cannot see in ... !
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Old 11-05-2020, 07:35 AM   #27
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Correct. Iíve also spoken with Marine Patrol. Very helpful folks. The issue for us is do we want a seemingly good neighbor or do we want rough waters ahead....
Usually LE is pretty discreet when it comes to this sort of thing and not dropping the names of who brought it to their attention unless some sort of complaint has to be filed in writing. I'm sure that annually the MP goes around and "checks up" on permitted circulators to ensure they are abiding by the law. Wink wink.... right? They actually SHOULD do this as these ice eaters are over used by many.
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Old 11-05-2020, 09:58 AM   #28
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So, extending a fence out across the shoreline and onto the lake open water could quiet this situation.
If by quiet the situation you mean prompt someone to file a complaint with NHDES about a new illegal fence extending into public waters, then yes that should work.

Last edited by Onshore; 11-05-2020 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 11-05-2020, 01:09 PM   #29
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Correct. Iíve also spoken with Marine Patrol. Very helpful folks. The issue for us is do we want a seemingly good neighbor or do we want rough waters ahead....
I would prefer good neighbors, but when they've done this for several years causing damage to our dock and preventing us from accessing the lake; and have ignored all requests to do something about it, including ignoring my offer to adjust their circulator for them when they are not here, then they have removed themselves from the 'good neighbor' category.
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Old 11-09-2020, 07:08 AM   #30
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Default ...... 3 small 1/6-hp pumps vs one large 1/2 or 3/4-hp motor propeller?

Typically here on Lake Winnipesaukee, a permanent dock gets ice protected by a single 1/2 or 3/4-hp motorized propeller that agitates the water, making small to medium ripples or waves, enough to keep the water around the dock from freezing up.

There is another way to get it done. Instead of using a single 1/2 or 3/4-hp motorized propeller, a series of 2-3-4 smaller 1/6-hp or 1/4-hp utility pumps with impellers can be hung from below the dock close to each set of vertical support legs. This changes the dynamics of the water agitation, keeps it centered under the dock, and keeps it from encroaching on the neighbor's lake ice.

Is best to get the heavy 1/6-hp pump sold at Lowe's because it has a heavy cast iron design, sucks up the water from down below, shoots it straight up, and has a handle on top for easy line attachment. Price; about $80-1/6-hp utility pump at Lowe's. The relative heavy weight of the cast iron helps a lot because it keeps the pump in one spot without moving around, as it is suspended by a line from under the dock. And, this 1/6-hp pump can run for months and months, cycling on and off depending on the air temperature/time setting.
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Old 11-09-2020, 08:56 AM   #31
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Default Bubblers already running

Took a lap around the Island yesterday - Glorious Day I have to say - I saw at least half a dozen bubblers already running which tells me they're not on t-stats . That's gotta be expensive on the electric bill, you would think it'd be cheaper to contract someone to turn them on in early December and off early April.
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Old 11-09-2020, 09:13 AM   #32
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Default

Don't worry too much about the 'good neighbors' nonsense. Open water can be a hazard to the general public, lives as well as property.

LE does not need a 'complainant' to file charges when there is something they can see for themselves from a public place. As the entire lake is public domain, all that is necessary is for someone to bring to their attention, what they have not yet seen themselves.
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