When your ice maker isn’t working right, the rising temperature could be to blame.
Businesses depend on a reliable ice machine year-round, but as the seasons change your ice production can too. Avoid loss in production and prepare for the summer months by knowing common problems and easy solutions to keep ice clean and your machine running.
A Decrease in Ice Production
Commercial ice equipment manufacturers test the amount of ice their machines can produce under optimal temperatures. The surrounding air is at 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the incoming water at 50-degree Fahrenheit.
However, during the summer it can be very hard to maintain a 70-degree Fahrenheit environment. As the temperature rises, your ice production plummets. Unfortunately, this is just how ice machines work. This is why it’s important to do everything you can to keep your machine cool!
More Hot Air, Less Ice
You may assume your commercial ice machine is staying cool if it’s producing enough ice, but the unit could still be running too hot.
Just because the machine is running fine now doesn’t mean that a hot summer won’t take its toll on the ice machine over time. Even the best machines, including a Hoshizaki and Manitowoc ice maker, can’t withstand extreme temperatures.
Most summer service calls involve ice machines overheating. If your ice maker isn’t working, it’s most likely due to extreme temperatures.
Here are a few causes of temperature change:
- Improper ventilation
- Small storage space (e.g. closets, cubbies)
- Overheated storage space (e.g. Kitchens, warehouses without AC)
- Vent blockage
- Improper cleaning and maintenance (cleaning your ice bin)
Maintaining a clean machine and bin, whether it be a Hoshizaki ice bin or Manitowoc ice bin, helps to avoid potential problems. To avoid heat-related problems, make sure your ice maker is in a temperature-controlled room with a good, central air conditioner. Ideally, the temperature of the room should be as close to 70 degrees Fahrenheit as possible.
In order to keep the room the right temperature, proper ventilation is also important. Opening doors and using fans can direct hot air away from the machine so it can stay nice and cool.
Hotter Water Temperatures
Just as hotter air temperatures can cause issues, so can warm water temperatures. Like we said, ice machines run optimally off 50-degree Fahrenheit water.
Most water lines are underground which helps insulate the water from hot summer temperatures. However, sometimes water lines can run through the walls or even the roof, leaving the water exposed to the outside heat. In especially hot temperatures, these water lines can heat up to 140 degrees.
To prevent irreparable damage when very hot water is present, commercial ice machine manufacturers install a safeguard in each machine to shut it down when it’s overheating. Even though it’s good to let the ice machine cool down, when your ice maker isn’t working, it leaves your business without ice – which is a real hassle.
Ice Maker Isn’t Working – or an Increase in Ice Demand?
Sometimes what may seem like your ice maker is not working, but it’s really just business picking up.
Unfortunately, with the summer months slowing down ice production, there is a larger demand for ice at the same time. Demand for ice increases during the summer to keep drinks cooler and help keep people hydrated in the heat.
Businesses with outside seating may also see an increase in ice use over the summer as well. When the heat beats down on drinks outside, ice melts fast meaning you’ll need more ice to keep drinks cool.
The ice machine you choose should be large enough to keep up with your demand year-round, even when production slows and demand increases during the summer.
Getting a better understanding of the most common summer problems for ice machines can help you be prepared if your ice machine isn’t working. Just in case you ever need an ice machine repair, feel free to call our 24/7 customer service line so we can get the problem resolved quickly. Ice-Masters has been servicing industrial ice machines in the Kansas and Missouri area since 1950. There isn’t an ice machine problem we haven’t seen!