1. Clean and Sanitize Your Ice Machine Regularly
As with any major appliance, your ice machine will require regular care and cleaning. Ignoring this can cause irreparable damage to your unit, allowing slime, mold, and scale to build up inside the machine. Aside from the damage this can cause, it is also unsanitary for those consuming the ice produced by your machine. An ice machine that is not cleaned regularly may produce foul smelling ice that alters the taste of the beverages it cools. Some smaller, self-contained undercounter ice machines require you to simply push a button to initiate their cleaning cycle, while larger ice machine and bin combinations require slightly more complicated measures to provide a proper cleaning. While it may be a headache at times, cleaning and sanitizing your ice machine is something that should never be ignored.
2. Go with the Technological Flow
For those born in the United States in 1960, the average life expectancy is around 69 years. For those born in 2010, the average life expectancy is around 79 years. That means that today, American-born children can expect to live nearly 10 years longer than someone born 50 years ago. Medical and technological advancements are among the reasons that people are now living longer lives. With your ice machine, new technology is responsible for an improved design, and an increased life expectancy. Scotsman and Manitowoc ice machines have evolved to the point of near self-management. These ice machines have the ability to monitor their own operation, with the ability to visibly and audibly alert owners if the unit faces any problems. Data can also be transmitted remotely and viewed at a remote location. This way, a licensed professional can assist and fix the unit, should it ever run into any problems. All of these technological advancements help catch issues early before they become more serious, costly problems. In turn, they help keep your ice machine running strongly for longer periods of time.
3. Consider the Surrounding Environment
This aspect is often ignored by first time ice machine owners. They may order an ice machine with production rates listed around 500 pounds of ice per day, and then find that their ice machine makes 75% of what they expected because it operates in a cramped corner of a 100° kitchen. The way in which your ice machine’s condenser is cooled plays a great role in the consistency of your ice machine’s performance too. If your ice machine is going to be located in a warmer environment (the kitchen for example), you should consider a water cooled or remote air cooled condenser to provide more consistent ice production. An ice machine that is asked to regularly produce ice in extreme conditions, with little room for ventilation, will be under far more stress than one that operates with proper clearance, and in ideal temperature conditions (70 degree air, 50 degree water). Take great care to ensure a suitable operating environment for your ice machine, as this will improve the quality and consistency of the ice created, and increase the life expectancy of the unit.
4. Select a Suitable Water Filter and Replace It Regularly
Your ice machine does not necessarily require a water filter to operate and create ice. By the same token, you are not required to bathe or brush your teeth daily either, but it sure makes a difference that you do. Adding a water filter will greatly improve the quality of the water used by your ice machine. It will filter out dirt and sediment, and improve the quality of ice that is created with harder water. Unfiltered and untreated water also tends to cause more internal problems for your ice machine, and can lead to slime and scale buildup in your unit as well. Generally, your water filter should be replaced every six months, but those forced to make use of inferior water may be required to change their water filters more frequently. The size of your ice machine’s water filter usually depends on your ice machine’s daily ice output, as machines that produce more ice use a greater amount of water in the ice making process.
5. Consider the Ice Machine Warranty
To get a grasp on the life expectancy of any new product, one must simply check the warranty. If you were to purchase a new car that boasted an ‘amazing, limited, six month warranty’, you would expect that something was amiss with the situation. The standard warranty with most cube producing ice machines is as follows: 3 years parts and labor coverage on the entire ice machine, 5 years parts and labor on the evaporator plate, and 5 years parts on the compressor. Ice-O-Matic takes their warranty a step further, providing 7 years of coverage on the evaporator plate with the purchase of an approved water filter, and when you replace it every six months. This is currently the longest warranty available in the commercial ice machine industry, and it speaks volumes about the confidence of Ice-O-Matic in regard to their ice machines. It also shows the difference an appropriate water filter can make in the life expectancy of your ice machine.
If you’re going to be investing in a new ice machine, you should take measures to assure that you get the most out of it. Even though the latest and greatest technology may be just around the corner, it does not mean that your ice machine cannot live a long, fulfilling life. With these tips, you can ensure that your ice machine will continue to produce ice reliably for years on end.