Introduction: Forever and Ever Ice Pack

Picture of Forever and Ever Ice Pack

This easy ice pack will last forever....and ever.
Okay- not forever, but 10+ hours for sure with no protection from the elements.

Sure, you can use them in a cooler for easy cooling without costly bags of ice that only last for a few hours with a few easy steps and a couple of bucks.
We use it for transporting meat and to cool meat rabbits and farm animals during the summer months.

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

Picture of Gather Your Supplies

We used:
* 3" PVC but any size will do depending on your cooking needs. I got a 12' piece though I only needed to make 7 of them. Too bad I forgot to take a picture before I cut them into 10" pieces.
* 2 end caps (of corresponding pipe size for each ice pack
* PVC glue
*This saw
* Good 'ol H20.

Step 2: Just Kidding

Picture of Just Kidding

This is the saw I really used.

Step 3: Make Sticky

Picture of Make Sticky

We used an "all purpose" PVC glue, though there are many options. Slather the inside of the cap and slide that bad boy in there.

You might wanna do this outside. It's pretty stinky.

Step 4: Wait...

Picture of Wait...

We let it dry for about an hour even though it seems to dry with superpower speed.

Step 5: Fill 'er Up.

Picture of Fill 'er Up.

Fill 80% with water (because it will expand when it freezes and you don't wanna ruin all that hard work.
We also added a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar (you could use bleach) just for good measure so the water doesn't get too yucky inside.
We know... If its water tight we will never know how gross it is, but we didn't want to take any chances. This part is not necessary:)

Step 6: Lather, Rinse, Repeat Steps 3 and 4

Picture of Lather, Rinse, Repeat Steps 3 and 4

Slather up the other cap and let sit for about an hour before going in the freezer. The moisture in the freezer (as well as the temp) will cause a poor seal of frozen before dried.

Step 7: FREEZE!

Picture of FREEZE!

Ours go in the deep freezer overnight, but whatever freezer you use make sure it is frozen solid. If you hear any sloshing around in there. It is NOT frozen and will not cool to full potential.

Step 8: Place Where Needed.

Whether the cooler, a chicken coop, a rabbit hutch or the bottom of a sleeping bag on a hot summer camping trip-let this release some of the stress, cost and mess of keeping yourself or your goodies chilled.

Comments

fakum12 (author)2014-06-25

You could also add salt to the water. That will lower the freezing point, increaseing the cooling capacity of the unit. :-)

Darrone (author)fakum122016-09-25

This is not correct. Salt water has a lower freezing point, but will require less energy to warm up, thus adding salt would do the opposite of what you are recommending.

cal3thousand (author)Darrone2017-08-04

Not exactly. The salt water take on additional cold due to a couple factors, BUT will melt faster and provide usable cold for less time, which is not practical for food storage.

Here's a great and full explanation I found elsewhere:

The heat absorbed will be equal to the latent heat of fusion plus the specific heat capacity of the water (or ice) multiplied by the mass multiplied by the change in temperature.


In the case of the salt ice, the specific heat capacity of water would be the one to use, whereas the fresh water ice will undergo its temperature change in the frozen state. The specific heat capacity of ice is about half that of water, so it would seem there may be a slight advantage to your scheme. Slight, because most of the heat absorbed will be in the form of latent heat of fusion.
Heat capacity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

However there are also practical considerations. If you are using your ice pack to keep food and beverages cold in a cooler, the salt ice is a bad idea. It will probably freeze your food and drinks, then after it has melted, it won't do much good and the food will quickly warm up. Whereas the fresh water ice will keep the food and drinks at 0C (32F) for long periods of time, which is ideal. Also, since the interior of the salt ice cooler will be at 0F for a long period of time, the cooler will absorb more heat due to the greater delta-T across the insulated walls of the cooler.

If you are using the ice to keep ice cream frozen, then the salt ice would probably be a good idea.

IamGutter (author)2015-02-08

Great Instructable!! Can you please tell me where you got the flat end caps? I like the look of them and they seem to fit a cooler better than the rounded caps, which is all I can seem to find. Thanks!

Master Wasi 47 (author)2014-11-12

kinda confusing what do you think

Emperor Towhid (author)2014-11-12

Thank you very much for this nice instructables

SparkySolar (author)2014-10-19

This is so nice,-

Thank you;

Rima

kreator (author)2014-06-22

Just wondering, but would it be any different if you just froze some water bottles

ned103 (author)kreator2014-06-25

I think the main difference is that, when the PVC packs thaw, you don't have a cool refreshing clear drink. LoL I've used water bottles for years as freezer packs in my cooler. I've actually had them stay mostly frozen even after 3 days. But that all depends on how often you open the cooler. I've also frozen Gatorade and other flavored, non-carbonated, drinks. I'm going to make some of these PVC ones though, and use a combination of both the water bottles and these.

jnunnamaker (author)2014-06-22

Thank you Annie!

AnnieMcD (author)2014-06-22

Ingenious! I actually liked your first saw, reminded me of my granddads farm. Sounds like a good idea for hot sleepless Australian summer nights. Think I'll be making a few for the family.

About This Instructable

12,440views

138favorites

License:

Bio: We are a 25 acre farm about an hour south of St. Louis run by a couple who are gaining experience as we go. With ... More »
More by chopping block farm:Forever And Ever Ice PackCleaning Antique Glass Jars (Mason Jars)EASY Eco-friendly Garden Pots for free! Recycled, green, newspaper seed planting pots for spring!
Add instructable to: