We have not used water de-icers. We go out multiple times a day and bust ice up.....ugggh!
SOOO I got to looking at de icers.....OMG!!! If the price isn't bad enough, the electricity consumption really puts the icing on the cake!
Now they make a marine product that you put under your boat in the winter so you can leave your boat in the water---even if it's icy. These will keep water open year round. All they are is a water mover, either air bubbles or a underwater fan.
Well,,,,I got to thinking, what if I modify a water barrel (what we use) and put an airstone from a fish tank in the bottom, and use an old aquarium air pump to make bubbles/water movement. 1/5watt verses 500 watts. Run the airline through a hole through the bottom, seal it off....voila!