Last month we shared with you our Performance Director, PJ Neslter’s home icebath set up. If you missed it, you can view it HERE. At XPT, we have some set guidelines for how cold the ice/water should be and how long we recommend you stay in it, but when it comes to icebath setups, we’re all for any option that efficiently and safely allows you to participate in our XPT Ice methods.
In this article and video below, XPT Technical Advisor and Certified Coach, Chuck Glynn, shares with you another alternative to PJ’s home set up. Take it away Chuck!
By Chuck Glynn
For those looking to build a home ice bath system that uses water instead of ice, here is an option that might be a good fit for you.
I purchased a chest freezer (Whirlpool) that is perfect for 1 person no more than 6’5” up to 350lbs.
Reasons for choosing this freezer over others include:
Dimensions of freezer are: 14.8 cubic feet –
Tricks for buying freezer from Lowes:
You can buy a 10% off coupon from eBay for 99 cents and you can also buy used gift cards online for less then the amount left on the card. For example you can buy a gift card with $50 left on it for $40 and its guaranteed by eBay and other sites that offer used gift cards. I did this and ended up paying about half price for the freezer.
Other items I purchased:
Base: I propped my freezer up on 2×4’s to get the freezer up off the ground away from water. It’s important to keep the electrical controls, which are usually on the base of the freezers, away from pooling water. This will also allow other moisture to dry if some water should get under the freezer while in use. This will all help with rust and corrosion later on.
Sealing the Freezer Chest: I sealed the seams with 3M food grade silicone adhesive to prevent leaks and rusting. I chose a food grade sealant as some sealants have chemicals that can leach over time and I didn’t want to have a chemical bath.
Drainage: My freezer comes with 2 plugs. One plug is inside and the other external. Both seemed to be water tight, and the external plug comes with a hose adapter for easy hook up.
Electrical Hook up:
This how to plug these components in together in the correct order for the desired effect
Starting from the wall outlet.
1st is the GFCI plug. Some outlets have this built in, but not all of them do. This will prevent you from getting shocked or having your freezer short out while you are not around. If it senses a surge of power it shuts down the current to the device. Being that this is a water and electricity game it’s best to play it safe.
2nd the WIFI timer plugs into the GFCI plug. This will allow me to control my freezer chest from an app on my phone. If I am away from my home for an extended period of time, I can shut down the whole system remotely, and I can start it up at any time in preparation for an ice bath when I get home.
3rd plug the temperature controller into the WIFI plug. This temp controller comes with both a heating a cooling temperature control. It has a built in temp probe on a 5’ cord that goes into the water. You
Filling in the Water: Ensure you have placed the freezer chest where you want it before filling it with water. Fill the chest about 1/2-3/4 full of water (you can get in and out of the tub as you fill it to find the desired water level.)
I added 1 cup of Epsom salt and 16oz. of food grade hydrogen peroxide to help keep the water clean.
I helped jump start my freezer with 40-50 lbs of ice to help the freezer not over heat while cooling the chest of water.
Note: These freezers are designed to cool air and other frozen products, and it takes a lot of work for these systems to cool the water. By adding $5 worth of ice it not only speeds up the time until the chest is ready but it also cuts the running time by around 75% to get the water down to temperature.
I have two ways I keep an eye on my water temperature.
1st is the temperature controller.
2nd you double check the water with a point and shoot temperature gun.
I empty out my freezer chest every two-three weeks. I replace with fresh water, and add the Epsom salts and hydrogen peroxide again.
A pool skimmer works well to take out any miscellaneous floaters on top.
For dirt and heavier debris, I also have an electric bilge pump I use as a water vacuum.
Converting a freezer chest is a relatively safe method as long as you follow some easy safety precautions:
If equipped with a locking door, remember to lock the door while not using the chest. If your freezer chest does not have a locking door it’s very simple to add one after the fact to the lid. Remember, this is a body of water that is a potential drowning hazard. Children and animals may crawl into the freezer and the door would just close behind them possible trapping them in a cold bath.