Ice machines are a staple in every commercial kitchen. A good ice machine is the difference between foggy cubes and a crisp, refreshing drink. Sadly, with every piece of equipment comes a lifespan. With proper cleaning, a quality ice machine will last around 4 to 5 years on average, sometimes even longer. So how do you know when it’s time to replace your ice machine?
The first thing you need to do is locate the problem. When your ice machine is on the fritz, there are two main reasons: either your ice machine has been overworked, or the filter has. A filter is less expensive and easier to replace, so let’s start there!
You want your customers to have the purest ice, right? The first step toward pure ice is a good filter. Ice filtration systems are simply water filters in your machine that filter the water before freezing. Your unit may require between one to three filters, depending on the size of your ice machine.
These filters should be replaced every 6 months to reduce wear and tear on the machine, ensuring your unit is working as intended.
The act of replacing your filter is so important that Ice-O-Matic even offers an extended warranty for doing so! If you purchase a 3-in-1 water filter with a new Ice-O-Matic machine and replace the filter every 6 months, the warranty on the evaporator is extended from 5 years to 7 years!
Know the Signs
Without routine filter replacements, you may run into issues more unappetizing than a worn down machine. Does your ice have a bad taste or odor? Is it cloudy or off-color? Knowing the signs your filter needs a little TLC will help you catch any problems and take preventative steps in the future.
Mineral Deposits: Municipal water companies only remove contaminants that are harmful to human health. Many dissolved minerals are not harmful, therefore are not removed. Mineral laden water results in ice that appears cloudy and can make a drink smell and taste unappealing.
Slime Build-Up: Slime build-up can result from a poorly maintained ice machine. Ice made from a slimy machine will appear cloudy with a slight yellow, green or red tint and can cause illness, especially in those with weakened immune systems.
Chlorination: Chlorination is the process of adding chlorine to water in order to treat it and kill harmful germs. Residual chlorine remains in the water supply giving the water an unappealing taste.Cloudy to Clear: Filtered Water Makes The Best Ice
Mineral deposits from hard water don’t only collect in your filter and cause mineral laden water, this build up of scale is harmful to your ice machine as a whole. This brings us to our next stop in your ice machine journey!
We already mentioned that the average lifespan for a commercial ice machine is around 4-5 years. However, your ice machine works hard day and night and sometimes it gets a little worn out. We can definitely relate. There are multiple reasons your machine may not be quite as efficient anymore.
- Heat. The enemy of ice. If your kitchen is consistently hot, it’s very likely your ice production has dropped. When the ambient temperature heats up, so does your water, forcing your ice machine to work even harder to produce your ice supply.
- Dirty Condensers. A dirty condenser coil is one of the main reason for service calls. A condenser coil that is dirty, slimy, or grimy will prevent warm air from filtering out of your machine. What did we say heat was again?
- Scale. Build up of mineral deposits, or scale, is a big cause of ice machine failure. Make sure to clean the machine consistently, as well as replacing your filter every 6 months.
All of these obstacles can wear down your ice machine and cause that average lifespan to start declining. A good rule of thumb is if you’ve noticed an uptick in your service calls, it’s probably time for a new ice machine.
Is it time to replace your ice machine? If so, the next step is picking out the right machine for your business! There are endless options between brands, air or water cooled, ice shape, machine size, and so much more. Let us help you find the perfect fit! Email us at email@example.com, call us directly at 800-828-8564, or browse our online collection of commercial Ice Machines, Ice Bins, and Accessories!