How to Clean an Ice Maker Water Filter to Maintain Ice Production

Reading Time: 4 minutes Ice Machines 101

Water treatments facilities located throughout the US ensure that our tap water is generally safe to drink. These facilities filter out harmful organisms before the water reaches our faucets. Tap water we receive is safe to drink, but that doesn’t mean it’s free of particles. Don’t worry, they’re not harmful to people, but they can cause problems for your ice machine. Luckily, your unit has filters that catch these particles, which is why it’s important to know how to clean an ice maker water filter. Water filters can clog up, and proper cleaning is necessary to keep your ice production up.  

Let’s discuss the types of particles that can clog your water filter and what you should do to keep it clean.  

Your Water Filter Protects Your Ice Maker 

The scientific community sometimes refers to water as the universal solvent. That’s because water dissolves more solids than any other liquid. As water dissolves solids, it breaks them down into smaller particles which it carries wherever it flows. When you install your ice maker to the municipal water supply, any particles that water carries with it ends up in the water line. Some of the most common particles found in tap water are:  

  • Calcium 
  • Magnesium 
  • Sodium 
  • Iron 
  • Chlorides 

How do you keep these particles out of your ice maker? You guessed it, a water filter!  

The Harms of a Dirty Water Filter 

Your water filter does a great job keeping harmful particles out of your ice maker, but over time it can clog up.  

Water filters need regular cleaning to make sure they don’t clog up to the point where water can’t get through it. No water means no ice.  

Most ice makers will shut down into a safe mode when there’s no water getting to the unit. Safe modes prevent any further damage from occurring, but it also means ice production shuts down completely.  

How do I Prevent My Ice Maker Water Filter From Clogging? 

To keep your ice maker running, it’s important to know how to clean an ice maker water filter. The type of water filter you have will determine the cleaning process.  

Pre-filters are made of a mesh-like material that filters out larger particles that cause major problems for your ice machine. Cleaning these types of filters is easy, rinse them with warm water until they’re clear of debris.  

Over time, you’ll need to replace your pre-filter. Pre-filters have a lifespan that you can find on the filter’s packaging.  

Treated filters use chemicals like phosphate to break down particles, so they don’t get caught up in your ice machine and cause buildup. Treated filters are only good if the chemical treatment is still in place. Eventually, treated filters run out of the chemical it uses to break down particles. In these cases, you’ll need to replace the treated filter with a new one.  

Finally, a reverse osmosis system can do wonders when trying to eliminate the number of particles entering your ice maker. Rather than using a mesh filter, reverse osmosis systems use a thin membrane with tiny pores that only allow water particles to pass through. These systems also require that you replace this membrane every few months.  

Know Your Water Condition 

Manufacturers label the lifespan of their filters in parts-per-million (PPM). PPM refers to the particle-to-water ratio a filter can handle before you need to replace it. The only problem is, different areas around the world have different levels of particles in their water.  

Luckily, here in Chicago, we have great, clear water with very few particles. That means we generally don’t have to clean or replace our water filters as much as say, Phoenix, which has notoriously high levels of particulate in their water.  

Still, it’s good to know your water condition to determine when you should clean or replace your current water filter. That’s where the professionals come in…  

The Benefits of a Professional Water Filter Cleaning 

Professional ice machine technicians know exactly how to clean an ice maker water filter to keep them free of harmful debris. On top of that, professional cleanings come complete with other benefits like testing for your area’s:  

  • Flow Rate 
  • Ph Level  
  • Water Temperature 

These are important factors when trying to determine proper cleaning schedules and techniques.  

Ice-Masters has been in the ice business for 60 years, meaning we have the most experienced technicians in the Chicago area. Our ice maker leases come with a thorough site survey that includes water testing and routine water filter cleanings to keep your ice supply steady and reliable.  

Sick of the hassle of owning an ice maker? Let us take care of all your ice needs with one of our top-of-the-line ice maker leases!  

Contact us or give us a call at (773) 975-2005 for a quote! 

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