Commercial Ice Machine Guide
Choosing a commercial ice machine is not as easy as it looks. The size of the machine, ice type, and daily production are just some of the factors to consider. When choosing an ice machine, you also need to factor in the care. Commercial ice machines require preventive maintenance, cleaning, and repairs to keep them performing in top shape. Our commercial ice machine guide is here to help!
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How Do I Select the Right Type of Ice Cube?
The shape of an ice cube is not just aesthetic. Each ice shape provides a different business need. Choosing the right type of ice can help to elevate your drinks, treat ailments, or even save you money.
What Type of Ice Machine Condenser Do I Need?
Your ice machine condenser helps to cool refrigerant and emit heat away from the ice machine so it can run smoothly. There are three main types of ice machine condensers.
Commercial Ice Maker Water Filters
Ice maker water filters help to trap contaminants, sediment, and mineral deposits that can hinder the effectiveness of your ice machine. Without regular water filter replacements, ice machines breakdown due to several issues. We install water filters on every commercial ice machine we service. There are three main types of ice maker filters we recommend:
Standard Sediment Filters
Sediment filters trap particles that can harm your ice maker while allowing water molecules to pass through unhindered. These are great for all water conditions, but particularly necessary in hard water conditions. Standard water filters need replacement every few months. If filters are used past their replacement date, dirt and sediment can plug up your filter and restrict water flow to your ice machine. This results in smaller, malformed ice cubes.
Phosphate filters are used in addition to a standard sediment filter. These filters prevent minerals from forming into scale by satisfying the ionic binds between calcium and magnesium deposits. Phosphate filters technically treat the water. They won’t plug up like standard sediment filters, but they still need replacement every few months before the phosphate in them runs out.
Carbon filters also work to trap harmful particles and minerals (like calcium and magnesium) that can enter your ice machine and cause damage. These filters also trap chlorine, which affects the taste and odor of ice. Carbon filters are a popular choice for cubelet and flake ice machine models. Carbon filters also need replacing every few months or else they can clog and reduce water flow to the machine.
Ice Machine Cleaning and Sanitization
Ice machine cleaning and sanitizing are necessary to prevent mold and slime growth in your ice maker. A professional ice machine cleaning can also remove scale from vital ice machine parts. Mold and slime can lead to a damaging health violation, while scale buildup can damage your ice maker, requiring expensive repairs.
Commercial ice machines should receive professional cleaning at least every six months. Technicians make sure to disinfect and sanitize individual components within your machine. If your ice machine is in a challenging environment, like a bakery and brewery, you'll likely require more cleanings.
Mold and Slime
Mold and slime feed off particles in the air that enter your commercial ice maker. They congregate in moist, dark areas in your ice machine and bin. Health inspectors look for excessive mold and slime growth during inspections.
Don't Forget About Ice Bin Cleaning
Your ice bin is one of the most popular places for mold, slime, and scale to form. Its dark, wet, and open to the environment when many employees scoop ice. Cleaning your ice bin is just as important as cleaning the machine itself.
How Much Does Commercial Ice Machine Service Cost?
Commercial ice machines require preventive maintenance, professional cleaning, and water filter replacements. Neglecting these service needs will result in problems in the future - which will require expensive repairs to fix. Here are some of the costs associated with proper ice machine care:
Ice machine preventive maintenance costs around $300 per visit.
Hoshizaki recommends two maintenance visits per year for their ice machines. During a preventive maintenance visit, technicians will work to optimize the machine and clean the machine inside and out. Preventive maintenance also alerts owners to potential problems that can lead to machine breakdowns and expensive repairs.
Depending on the problem, ice machine repairs can cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars to a few thousands. Here are some examples of some common ice machine repairs and their estimated costs:
- Hot Gas Valve Replacement - $600
- Expansion Valve - $600
- Compressor Repair - $1500
- Evaporator Repair - $2500
Our All-Inclusive Commercial Ice Maker Program is the Way To Go
Our commercial ice equipment program is more than just an ice machine lease. We include maintenance, cleaning, and repairs into one low monthly payment. We know that ice machine issues happen at any time of day and that’s why we include 24-hour customer support. No need to keep track of your next ice machine service or cleaning. We do it for you! We'll call you when your machine is due for its next service! We'll even supply your backup ice if your machine is down for repairs.
Our job is to make sure your ice production stays at the manufacturer’s specifications – whether that’s today or 10 years from now. With an Ice Makers by the Month subscription, you don’t even have to think about your ice machine, just the benefit of a guaranteed supply of ice.
Our team of Ice Machine Experts is ready to help you size the perfect commercial ice machine for your business. We have experience providing ice machines for virtually every industry.