In this article we will discuss some of the most common problems with commercial ice machines. There are many problems with these commercial ice makers due to the fact that they are a closed system, unlike refrigerators that only use electricity to power them or a grill that may be fueled by a non-corrosive power source. The only commercial appliance that functions similar to an ice machine is a commercial dishwasher that has an ongoing supply of water connection that is very far from pure. And this is where most of the ice machine repair problems start, with the water supply.
Here are some of the typical ice machine repair service issues:
Insufficient flow of water to the ice machine – normally this will be because you either have a clogged water filter or there is something wrong with the water supply line. Either one of these problems can cause the ice cubes to not be shaped properly or they are smaller than normal and it can also stop the production of ice as the evaporator may freeze up.
Evidence of water leaking into the ice machine – This would mean that your inlet water valve is leaking. You can tell that you have this problem because you will see oversized ice cubes being produced. The problem with oversized ice cubes is that they can get stuck in the evaporator because they are too big and cause the evaporator to freeze up.
Warm room temperature – If you have a higher water and air temperature, then your equipment will produce less ice. The only reason you should have higher than normal air temperature is because the unit is taking longer than normal to produce a batch of ice. This is not necessarily a repair problem; it could just be how the machine produces ice. If your equipment reaches 95 degrees the ice production will stop altogether.
Water temperature is too high – If the water that is going into the unit is hotter than 90 degrees, then it will trip the timer for the freeze cycle because the water will take longer than normal to freeze and as a result the ice maker will shut down as a protective measure. If you have a dishwasher or another commercial appliance sharing the same water line, then it could be that the dishwasher is pumping hot water that it uses to perform its task into the shared cold water line.
While these are common ice machine service issues they all can be avoided and repaired. Our ice machine repair technicians will help you to identify these and other potential ice maker repair problems during one of our on-site survey inspections so that you can reduce and eliminate any disruption in your business that could be associated with any of your commercial appliances and restaurant equipment.
Ice machine repair tips that you should do before making a service call
The reason we wanted to include this section in the article is because about 10 percent of the service calls we get are not actually because the ice machine needed repairs. Many restaurant and food service owners make the mistake of thinking that if the ice maker is not able to keep up with the demand of their business, such as not making enough ice, it is because it is not working as it should, for example:
Ice maker production is not keeping up with the demands of my business – remember you have to allow the water time to freeze so that it can form into ice, so the filling of the storage bins will take some time. So if you just emptied the storage bins an hour ago, it is normal that it doesn’t have ice right now. Also, some business owners will unplug the ice maker to save on energy cost, not realizing that this practice will reduce the production of ice.
Reduced production– If the surrounding air as well as the incoming water is warm, then it’s normal for your equipment to produce less ice. So if you can reduce the temperature of the air and water, then you have solved that problem.
Increased consumption – sometimes it is a case that the unit is working fine, it’s just that the staff and customers are using more ice on that particular day. If this continues to happen you may want to consider purchasing a bigger capacity ice machine or an additional ice machine so that you can keep up with the increase demands.
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