3 Mistakes With Ice Machine Maintenance

Technicians point to three surprising mistakes operators make with the equipment.

Beverages demand the cleanest, safest ice possible. It starts with correctly installing your ice machine.

Manufacturers design ice machines to be as safe and simple to clean as possible, but nearly all is lost if operators don’t correctly install them. Here are some of the lesser-known errors technicians see operators make, straight from the FER archives.

  1. Not hiring a qualified technician to do the install.
    One technician shares the story of a service call that started with a puddle of water next to an ice machine. After some diagnostic work, the technician found the ice machine’s compressor was hot and so, he isolated it electrically. He was surprised to find the machine still running; turns out it was hooked up to two compressors. The technician fixed the error, and the water on the floor ended up being just some condensation.
  2. Using a one-size-fits-all water filtration system.
    Do a local water analysis, and then choose a water filtration system based on the ice machine’s needs. Too many operators use a broad-brush approach and use a water filtration system with a carbon component, for example, which may not be needed, says one technician. This filter also takes the chlorine out of the water, which leads to yeast spore growth, slime and mold inside the ice machine.
  3. Ignoring the facility’s infrastructure.
    One technician answered a call about an ice machine that repeatedly went into lockout mode. Some detective work proved that employees weren’t turning off the valves on a prerinse unit at the end of the day. Because the prerinse unit didn’t have a backflow preventer, hot water migrated to the cold water in the pipes, which were the same pipes feeding water to a new ice machine. Water entering the machine registered 135°F, sending it into lockout mode. The operator taught employees to turn off the valves on the prerinse unit and installed a backflow preventer.

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