A Guide to Hospital Ice Chip Makers in Kansas and Missouri
Treating patients and keeping them healthy is the top priority for healthcare facilities throughout Kansas and Missouri. Healthcare facilities need ice for emergency care and treatment, but they also need it in cafeterias and waiting rooms to help make guests feel more comfortable. Hospital ice chip makers allow patients, guests and staff to serve themselves with a variety of machine styles to choose from. We've put together this helpful guide to help you choose the best hospital ice chip maker for your needs.
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What Type of Hospital Ice Chip Maker Do I Need?
No matter what your needs are, there’s a hospital ice machine that’s just right for you. With many different options for accessible ice, including ice dispensers, you can make it easier for your staff to help patients. These are a few popular types of ice makers used in hospitals and healthcare facilities across Kansas and Missouri:
Modular Ice Machines
A modular ice machine only comes with the ice making components, meaning you’ll need to purchase an ice bin for safe storage. When the bin is attached, a modular ice maker dispenses ice into it so that staff can easily scoop it out. These machines are great in facilities that use a large amount of ice a day, like cafeterias or breakrooms. Depending on size, modular ice machines produce anywhere between 50-3000 lbs. of ice per day.
Stackable Ice Machines
Stackable ice machines allow you to install 2-3 units on top of one another, to double or triple your daily ice production. These machines still require you to purchase an additional ice storage bin or dispenser to store the ice. Stackable units can be great option for high-volume businesses that don’t have a lot of extra room to fit two ice makers. Keep in mind, multiple stackable ice makers are much harder to service than a single large ice maker.
Countertop Ice Makers
Countertop ice machines are self-contained units with an attached dispenser. This makes them a safe, sanitary option that lets people serve themselves without risking accidental contamination. With just a press of a button, these machines dispense ice directly, so a scoop isn’t needed. These smaller units also help you to save on space.
Undercounter Ice Machines
For hospital coffee shops and smaller cafeterias, undercounter ice makers are a great choice. Measuring under 40”, these machines can be conveniently installed under bar tops or counters. Many of these machines are ADA compliant measuring only 33” tall.
What’s the Best Type of Ice for Hospitals?
Flake ice and nugget ice are popular in healthcare facilities in the Kansas City area. These types of ice are known as hospital ice chips as they were purposely designed with healthcare in mind. These soft, chewable ices are great for patients who can’t handle liquids easily as it won’t hurt their teeth. It’s also easy to mold flake and nugget ice in plastic bags to relieve inflammation and help patients feel better.
What’s the Best Type of Ice Machine Condenser?
Ice machines can only run well when they are kept cool. Condensers help carry heat away from internal components so that your machine doesn’t have to work harder to freeze a batch of ice. Here are three common types of ice machine condensers:
How Much Does a Hospital Ice Chip Maker Cost?
Most patients in Kansas City hospitals will require 10 lbs. of ice a day on average. Hospitals will often choose smaller ice machines to install on each floor for easier access in every unit. They tend to install larger ice machines in cafeterias, depending on how many visitors and staff they need to serve in a day. Small ice machines start around $1,500, but larger machines can cost up to $10,000. Modular units also require additional ice bins to be purchased, so keep that in mind. There are often hidden costs that aren’t taken into consideration sometimes, so here are a few things you should budget for:
Maintenance and Cleaning
Especially in healthcare facilities, it’s crucial that your machine is producing clean, safe ice. Through routine maintenance and cleaning, you can get rid of mold and slime or other microorganisms that can contaminate your ice supply. Manufacturers recommend that you get your ice machine professionally service twice a year to check for any potential problems. This also helps to keep your machine in top shape, providing more consistent ice production. Each maintenance visit costs around $300. With two visits per year, you’ll need to at least budget $600 a year for maintenance.
Repair costs depend on how severe the damage is, and which component may need replacing. Generally, repairs cost between a few hundred dollars or a few thousand. Here are some examples of common ice machine repairs and their estimated costs:
- Hot Gas Valve Replacement - $600
- Expansion Valve - $600
- Compressor Repair - $1500
- Evaporator Repair - $2500
When repairs take more time than you intended, you’ll need to buy replacement ice until it’s finished. On average, a 20-lb bag of ice will cost you around $4.50.
Hospital Ice Chip Maker Cleaning and Sanitation
Routine ice machine cleaning is a must, especially in a hospital setting. Not only should you clean your ice machine weekly, but you should also schedule professional cleanings with an ice machine technician. They can clean parts of the unit that you can’t reach, including vital internal components. If mold and slime grow in your ice maker, you could have a health violation, on your hands. Especially in areas like Kansas City with harder water, scale buildup can leave you with expensive repairs.
Manufacturers recommend that commercial ice machines are professionally cleaned twice a year. In difficult locations like breweries or bakeries, extra cleanings may be needed.
Mold and Slime
As particles move through the air, mold and slime feed off them and start growing faster. This can cause problems for patients, especially those with compromised immune systems.
Don't Forget About Ice Bin Cleaning
Since your ice bin is dark and moist, mold and slime will grow quickly. It’s important that you don’t forget to clean the ice bin when cleaning your machine or you could be risking contamination. When employees scoop ice out of the bin, your supply can become exposed to more airborne particles. It’s good practice to always clean your ice bin along with your machine.
All-Inclusive Hospital Ice Chip Maker Program
Making sure hospital ice machines run efficiently and are kept clean is what we do best. The healthcare industry has highly regulated standards, so we take extra care when thoroughly cleaning and sanitizing our ice machines. We know that keeping an ice machine well-maintained saves hospitals and clinics from inconvenient repairs.
Ice Masters provides you with quality ice machine equipment from the best ice machine brands in the industry. Our commercial ice equipment program is more than just an ice machine lease. We include maintenance, cleaning, and repairs into one low monthly payment. We know that hospital ice machine issues happen at any time of day and that’s why we include 24-hour customer support. No need to keep track of your next ice machine service or cleaning. We do it for you! We'll call you when your machine is due for its next service and find the best time that works for you! We'll even supply your backup ice if your machine is down for repairs.