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Winnipeg family repurposes washing machine to resurface outdoor rink

Wednesday, January 27th 2021, 1:54 pm - Ron Theriault used his trade skills to gut an old washing machine, install plumbing to resurface rink

A machine built to wash clothes is now resurfacing a Winnipeg family's backyard rink.

The Theriaults built a rink in their backyard by pumping river water onto the ice and smoothing it out themselves, but the family wanted a more efficient a way to resurface the rink.

Ron Theriault owns a small appliance repair shop in Winnipeg. He used his trade skills to gut an old washing machine, attach skis to the bottom and install the necessary plumbing to repurpose the machine into an ice resurfacer.

"It's a good alternative to actually having to get pails of water, because if you had to haul that amount of water down, you'd be tired," Theriault said.

"It works very well, and the plumbing's removable so it won't freeze."

CBC: Washing machine Zamboni Ron Theriault, right, and son Anthony Theriault resurface their outdoor rink with what used to be a washing machine. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

SEE ALSO: Winnipeg experienced its driest year on record in 2020

With the exception of clothes washing instructions on the side of the machine, one could mistake it for a miniature Zamboni used at Bell MTS Place.

The ice resurfacer, which carries between 30 to 40 gallons of water, sports a Zamboni logo sticker, the Winnipeg Jets logo, as well as various advertisements. The machine also has a shovel blade attachment on the front to help clear snow off the ice surface, should the need arise.

A video of the machine was uploaded to Reddit, and passersby have been intrigued, said Theriault's son, Anthony.

Online, the family has also been receiving compliments for the handiwork and creativity, Anthony Theriault said.

"Is it a fridge? Is it a dryer?" he recalled people asking. "It's a washer."

CBC: The ice resurfacer, which carries between 30 to 40 gallons of water, sports a Zamboni logo sticker, the Winnipeg Jets logo and various advertisements. The machine has a shovel blade attachment on the front to help clear snow off the ice surface, should the need arise. Skis were installed on the bottom for easier transportation. (Walther Bernal/CBC) The ice resurfacer, which carries between 30 to 40 gallons of water, sports a Zamboni logo sticker, the Winnipeg Jets logo and various advertisements. The machine has a shovel blade attachment on the front to help clear snow off the ice surface, should the need arise. Skis were installed on the bottom for easier transportation. (Walther Bernal/CBC)

This article was originally published for CBC News. Contains files from Walther Bernal.

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