Anyone else considering antifreeze in water table? Dumb idea?

Just wondering if the use of good ol’
antifreeze would be a cost effective way of keeping a water table from freezing up this winter? Any thoughts?

I will be using a few gallons of RV antifreeze, cheap and environmentally friendly.

There are a couple of threads on antifreeze options we discussed last year about this time. You can search for them to see the details but the short of it is that normal automotive antifreeze is a bad idea due to flammability issues. RV antifreeze actually come in two versions one of which won’t burn/explode and the other which might.

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I have a hand plasma table with a water table. I use water and borax. It’s only like 5 bucks a box at Target. I found the idea on YouTube. Going on two years now and no rust in my pan. Just fill with water and sprinkle in a little borax on top. Every day I use it I just add a little to the mix.


I would not use any antifreeze, it is not meant to be vaporized, and I have read that even the “safe” use anti freezes can be hazardous. The borax and water solution works great and keeps the water from freezing. Just be cautious if you have the aluminum variation of the water table as it may or may not cause some corrosion to the aluminum, though as far as I can tell any corrosion is slight.

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What was your mix ratio? My borax/water (2 cups borax/7 gals water) froze frequently over last winter. But I was only using it weekly so maybe heating it up by cutting daily might keep it from freezing.

What I ended up doing was attaching a pad heater to the underside of the water table. They’re sold for starting seedlings, reptile cages and RV gray/black water tank winterization. Just plug it in and it keeps the water above freezing.

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I ran the same mix ratio, but I would only see surface freezing, nothing too deep. I also ran my table at least every other day. Winters where I live are pretty cold and I did not have to large of an issue during the winter. Maybe I just got lucky last year lol.

I’m in CT and early winter wasn’t too bad so I didn’t have any issues through the end of the year (which was good because I got mine in Oct and was playing with it a lot every weekend :grin:).

But it got crap-ton cold (days & days of sub-zero temps) in Jan/Feb it would “warm up” for a couple of days and then go deep-freeze again. Reminded us why we want to move South when we retire.

The warming pad I got was waterproof so I didn’t worry about water that ran over the edge and it was pretty cheap on Amazon. I was thinking that maybe an engine block heater might work well too - drop it in when finished cutting.

Biggest issue was the water on the garage floor that would freeze up. I had to be sure to try to keep from leaving puddles.

RV plumbing antifreeze, Great idea. Just read that that stuff isn’t flammable. Gonna pick some up!

Some of it is. I dug out which RV antifreeze was and which wasn’t and posted the results here last year. I didn’t bother to go that way because I went with the $25 heating pad solution.

My ratio was about the same.

Did the RV plumbing fluid work out?