How Ice Machines Work and to Keep Them Working in Top Condition

ice machines

Understanding a machine’s functionality assists in getting the maximum output for the longest period possible without subjecting the machine to any level of neglect. The same is true for ice machines also. Here’s how you can do that.

Deconstructing an ice machine: how it delivers ice cubes

All have the 3 basic components: a water supply, a cooling system and a shaping unit. The compressor pushes a certain amount of refrigerant (chemical) in the coils circling the metal ice tray (shaping unit). The refrigerant goes through the process of condensing and expanding in a set of narrow and wider tubes. This planned movement of the refrigerant generates cooling at a dramatically high rate dropping the temperature of the metal tray substantially, during which time the water is supplied to the tray to be frozen layer by layer producing clear ice cubes. Last leg of the process involves providing a slight temperature upping to melt the ice cubes enough to leave their tray and fall in the collection bin place just below. This is achieved by triggering hot air from the compressor directly through the wider bypass tube which doesn’t allow it to lose temperature, hence loosening the ice cubes through slight temperature increase. The slanted position of the tray allows for the dropping and collection of the ice.

How to keep commercial ice machines in top condition

It’s nice to know that your ice machine is not going to breakdown suddenly, but you need to work in order to achieve that. Below are some tips to achieve that.        

Cleaning: Every month, give your ice bins a thorough cleaning. Store the unused cubes in a freezer and employ a warm mild detergent solution with a dash of bleach (half a cup maybe) to remove any traces of brown slime (which is nothing but a result of existing airborne yeast common to bars). Dry the bin after washing it religiously.

Changing filters: Generally it’s installed in the water purification system employed and changing it every 6 months allows only the purest water to freeze first. Install a water filter for your ice machines if you don’t already have. See if your filters need pre-activation to activate the charcoal in the cartridge by running it for some time. Not doing that can greatly decrease the efficiency of the filter.  (Or just install 3M water filter!)

Cleaning the evaporator: Another task that requires your attention every 6 months! The plate on which the ice is formed is the evaporator. It is susceptible to precipitate deposition which starts hampering the ice dropping on to the collection bin, leading to a drop in ice production as it has to work longer. So when you start to notice several pieces of ice are connected together, bridging is occurring and the evaporator needs cleaning. Some nickel safe cleaner and sanitizer would go a long way or just call the service agent.

Location of the ice machine: If your machine is kept in some corner where it is easily taking a hit from its own heat, it’s not going to work optimally. There would be a difference in ice production in summers and winters plainly because the water your ice machine is taking is 70F and 50F respectively. And your machine has to work harder accordingly.

Cleaning the condenser coils: Something that can get ignored easily are the condenser coils, just because they could be located on side or back of the machine. Since it removes heat, getting it clogged can severely impact ice production. A coil cleaner can easily help you with the job at hand.

You have the option to do everything on your own or just hiring a machine service agent to do that job. Either way, it’s essential to keep your investment in top working condition for optimal business output. Many online websites are selling great range of ice machines suitable to your individual needs. See what’s best for you and continue to reap profits from your ice machine by keeping it in great condition!

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