Commercial Ice Machine Guide
There’s a lot to take into consideration when choosing the right commercial ice machine. You will need to consider how much ice your Kansas or Missouri business will need each day, as well as the shape of the ice cubes, and the machine type. Also, keep in mind that the true cost of an ice machine includes more than just the ticket price. Commercial ice machines need proper care which includes preventative maintenance, cleanings and repairs. We want to help you choose the right commercial ice machine for your business. Check out our guide below!
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Finding the Right Type of Commercial Ice Maker for Your Business
Many Kansas or Missouri businesses can benefit from a reliable commercial ice machine. With a variety of sizes and styles, commercial ice machines are great for a wide range of companies across the Midwest. They’re perfect for restaurants, hotels, hospitals and even offices that are looking for a dependable daily ice supply. Here are a few popular types of ice makers for different business needs:
Modular Ice Machines
Modular commercial ice machines require a bin that needs to be purchased separately. Since the bin and the machine are separate, it allows more customization for your business’ needs. These machines make all types of ice and come in many different sizes, ranging from 50 – 1800 lbs. of ice a day.
Stackable Ice Machines
If your business is tight on space, stackable commercial ice machines provide a solution. You can stack 2-3 of these units on top of each other, effectively doubling or tripling your daily ice supply. Like a modular unit, these machines also require additional ice storage to be purchased. Whether you pick an ice bin or dispenser, keep in mind that you need enough storage for all of the stacked units. Due to the configuration, these machines can often be harder to service so be prepared for extra maintenance costs.
Undercounter Ice Machines
Measuring under 40” tall, these smaller ice machines fit perfectly under countertops which makes them great for cafes and bars. Undercounter commercial ice machines only produce between 50-350 lbs. of ice per day, making them better suited for businesses that need easy access to ice rather than a large supply. These machines are self-contained, meaning they come with an attached ice bin, so no need to purchase extra ice storage. With their short height, many undercounter ice makers are also ADA compliant ADA compliant which is great for both staff and customers.
Countertop Ice Makers
For businesses that have modest ice needs, countertop ice machines keep ice easily accessible. These units can produce their own ice but sometimes they need an additional modular unit installed on top. Producing between 500 – 800 lbs. of ice a day, these machines are also top choices for waiting rooms and breakrooms. They keep your ice supply safe with the sanitary dispenser while saving you space.
What Type of Ice Do I Need?
The shape of an ice cube is not just aesthetic. Choosing the right type of ice can help to elevate your drinks, treat ailments, or even save you money. Each ice shape provides different uses for all business across the Kansas City-area.
What’s the Best Type of Ice Machine Condenser?
An ice machine condenser plays a crucial role in keeping internal components cool. Each type of condenser works best for different needs, but they all work by moving heat away from the machine for consistent ice production.There are three main types of ice machine condensers.
Water Filters for Commercial Ice Makers
A water filter in an ice machine helps to catch any contaminants, sediment or mineral deposits that could damage the machine. In challenging environments, filters work harder to purify the water, which means they need to be replaced more often. We recommend three common types of ice maker filters:
Standard Sediment Filters
In order to trap harmful particles that are carried in through the water, you’ll need a sediment filter. Sediment filters are great for all water but work especially well in hard water conditions. Most filters will need to be replaced every few months. When filters become clogged, it will prevent water from flowing to vital components. This results in smaller, malformed ice cubes.
Phosphate filters are used in addition to a standard sediment filter. These filters prevent minerals from forming into scale by satisfying the ionic binds between calcium and magnesium deposits. Phosphate filters technically treat the water. They won’t plug up like standard sediment filters, but they still need replacement every few months before the phosphate in them runs out.
These are often used in nugget and flake ice machines and some countertop ice machine models. Carbon filters trap harmful particles that can damage your ice machine. These filters also trap chlorine, which affects the taste and odor of ice. Carbon filters are often used in place of phosphate filters in ice machines that use an auger system where phosphate isn’t effectively flushed out of the ice supply. Carbon filters also need replacing every few months.
Ice Machine Cleaning and Sanitization
To reduce the growth of mold, slime and scale in your ice maker, routine ice machine cleaning is a must. 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. Since they like dark, moist areas your ice machine and bin are the perfect places for them to grow. Health inspectors look for excessive mold and slime growth during inspections.
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.
How Much Does an Commercial Ice Machine Cost?
A commercial ice machine can cost anywhere from $1,500 for a 50 to 80-lb ice machine to well over $10,000 for a high volume ice machine with a high-capacity bin. Modular and stackable machines will also require an ice storage bin or dispenser to store the ice. Here are a couple more hidden costs that aren’t including the initial price:
Each preventative maintenance visit for your ice machine will cost you around $300. With two recommended visits per year, it’s smart to budget at least $600 a year for maintenance. During visits, an ice machine technician will check your machine for any problems and make sure it’s running in top condition. Preventative maintenance allows a technician to catch potential problems early, saving you time and money on repairs.
Ice machine repairs can cost thousands of dollars, depending on how bad the damage is and what component is affected. Here are a few examples of common ice machine repairs and how much it might cost:
- Hot Gas Valve Replacement - $600
- Expansion Valve - $600
- Compressor Repair - $1500
- Evaporator Repair - $2500
Our All-Inclusive Commercial Ice Maker Program is the Way To Go
Ice-Masters commercial ice equipment rental program goes beyond a traditional ice machine lease. Our program provides you with the best ice machine for your Kansas City business, twice-yearly preventative maintenance, cleanings and repairs – all at one low monthly cost. We also offer our 24-hour customer support. line because we know ice machine issue can come up at any time. To make service even easier, we keep track of your ice machine service for you so that you can put your focus back on your business. All repairs, including parts and labor, are a part of our program. We will even provide you with backup ice if your machine is down for repairs.
Our job is to make sure your ice production stays at the manufacturer’s specifications – whether that’s today or 10 years from now. With an Ice Masters Subscription, you don’t even have to think about your ice machine, just the benefit of a guaranteed supply of ice.
Our team of Ice Machine Experts are ready to help you size the perfect commercial ice machine for your Kansas or Missouri business. We have experience providing ice machines for virtually every industry.