Ice in an ice machine

Getting the best out of your Ice Machine

In the hospitality industry, an ice-making machine is a significant investment.  Many operators prefer the convenience of an ice maker to buy in bags of ice, but this comes at a cost.  Ice making machines are complex, even the average machine will set you back several thousand dollars.

Once the investment in an ice machine has been made it needs to be looked after.  Here are a few tips on how to get the best performance out of your ice maker:

Location, location, location if you are considering buying a machine or relocating an existing one location is very important.  Ice making machines need good ventilation, cold mains water, power and a drain.

Like any commercial fridge, heat needs to be dispensed from the ice maker.  The system removes heat from the water to make ice and that heat is added to the air that passes through the machine.  The best location is in a well-ventilated room or outside undercover in a hygienic place.

The ice maker needs cold mains water, the colder the better.  A filter is a good addition to the water supply that will protect the machine against particles in the water supply.  Make sure the water supply to the machine is not picking up the heat on the way from the mains.  Kitchens and roof spaces can add significant heat to the water which the machine will have to remove before any ice is produced.  Some smart operators run the water supply pipe through a local cool room the pre-cool the incoming water.  Remember the cold room will need to have sufficient capacity to handle this extra load.

Most ice machines run from a standard single phase 10- or 15-Amp powerpoint.  Make sure the machine has a dedicated powerpoint, do not use a multi-box!

The drain for an ice machine is often neglected but very important.  Most machines have a flush cycle each time they harvest ice.  What this means is that large volumes of water are sent into the drain every cycle and the drain needs to be able to cope.  Remember, drains can block and leak so if the machine is located adjacent to water sensitive product or inside you will need to take extra care.

If you have any questions on how to get the best out of your ice making machine, make contact with the team at Thermo Tech.

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