Commercial Ice Machine Maintenance

Commercial ice machine repair in Phoenix. Service, repair or maintenance is your answer! A Commercial Ice Machine is usually one of the hardest working pieces of equipment in your bar or restaurant. There are a few simple care and maintenance procedures you can do to get the most out of your commercial ice machine and protect your investment.

The Importance of Properly Maintaining your Ice Maker

Here in Arizona, our air conditioners and our ice makers are our best friends. They keep us cool and hydrated, and very happy on a hot day! In this tech tip, we will be focusing on the importance of preventative maintenance of your ice maker machine, keeping it running properly for many cool years to come!

There are a variety of different types of ice makers, but the basic breakdown is between fixed refrigerator-based models and stand-alone commercial types. There are additional divisions based on the type of ice desired: cubes, chips, flakes, crushed ice, or nuggets, and these classifications are further divided by the clarity of the ice.

What all ice machines have in common, however, is their need for proper upkeep to avoid potential problems in the function of the ice machine, taste and clarity of the ice, or deviation from the intended size and shape of the ice.

TPH Mechanical in the Metro Phoenix Area can help!

Here are a few solutions to common problems you may encounter with your residential or commercial ice machine:

  •  Bad Taste/Smell of Ice Cubes:

Impurities in the water supply could be tainting your ice, even if it is technically considered safe to drink. Consider installing a carbon filter on the incoming water inlet line, and change the filter twice a year.
Another source of foul odor or less-than-desirable taste in ice cubes could be from other foods in a freezer with a pre-installed ice maker. Odors from foods can be absorbed easily by ice cubes, as well as the plastic in the bin holding the ice. Keep foods covered, and replace your bin every 2-3 years—whenever it seems to be retaining odors and passing them on to your ice. Keep an open box of baking soda or try a product like Frigidaire’s Fridge Aid Deodorizer in your refrigerator to keep food odors from being passed on to your ice . Fridge Aid Deodorizer contains extra absorbent activated charcoal to absorb even the strongest food odors for up to 6 months.

  • Replace the water filter every 6 months:

Empty old ice cubes and wash the bin every 2 to 3 months. You can also apply a cleaning solution to the reservoir for extra cleaning power! Most ice machine manufacturers make, or can, recommend a good solution to clean your ice reservoir.

  • Ice Cubes Too Small:

If the size of your ice cubes has been gradually dwindling, check your water-supply valve to see if it is clogged. If the cubes are still small when you know your water supply is good, it may be time to replace your filter.

  • Malfunctioning Ice Machine:

Installing a water filter on your incoming water-supply line will not only improve the taste and quality of your ice, but will also filter out sediment and hi-scale buildup which can lead to a malfunctioning ice machine. It also filters out parasites, lead and other harmful chemicals, and controls calcium, which can cause white specks to appear in your ice.

An estimated 60% of ice maker service calls are a direct result of poor water quality, so it is easy to understand why changing your ice machine’s water filter is as important as changing the oil in your car!

Check the water pressure of the water coming into your ice machine. Water pressure for ice makers should be between 40 psi and 120 psi for proper operation


STEPS To Take –
1) Replace water filters every six months.
Water filters are extremely important to extending the life of your machine. A water filter will remove or reduce the amount of sediment and minerals from the water, keeping the ice clean and clear, it will remove odor and bad taste, and it will slow scale build up which reduces ice production. Some companies, such as Ice-O-Matic offer extended warranties at no extra charge when customers replace the filter in their ice machines every six months.
2) Invest in antimicrobial protection.
Some commercial ice machine manufacturers like Hoshozaki have begun making machines that have cleanable removable antimicrobial protection filters built-in to protect the components from dust, lint, grease or flour. Scotsman has a patented water purging system called Water Sense to reduce scale build up in the machine. These filters and designs help to inhibit the growth of slime and mold for the life of the machine.
3) Sanitize your machine regularly.
If you change your water filter regularly and invest in some kind of anti-microbial agent you are well on your way to extending the life and performance of your ice machine. Your ice machine should be emptied and thoroughly cleaned every six months. You can clean your ice machine with a nickel-safe scale remover and an ice machine sanitizer.
By taking the time every six months to maintain your machine and change water filters and antimicrobial devices, you can greatly increase the life and performance and power usage of your commercial ice machine.

These preventative measures will not only enhance the experience of your patrons, but regular maintenance will also guarantee the terms of your warranty in the unlikely chance something happens.