Flooding in Kansas and Missouri has caused millions of dollars in property damage over the years – but your ice machine doesn’t have to be a casualty. High waters can cause an ice maker to flood, which can do significant damage to the unit. Lightning from storms can also cause an electric surge that can harm the machine’s internal components.
If you know a storm is approaching, protecting your ice machine is probably not your number one priority. However, there are some quick steps you can take to protect your investment during a serious storm.
Contamination from an Ice Maker Flood
If there is a flood warning in your Kansas or Missouri area, there are some things to look out for when it comes to your ice machine. Major flooding can lead to a contaminated water supply. As ice machines run, they draw in water to produce a batch of ice. If that water is contaminated, it will lead to a dirty ice machine that can spread germs in your ice supply. Contaminated ice machines will need a deep cleaning from an ice machine technician to comply with state and federal ice safety guidelines.
If you’re an Ice-Master’s customer, one of our experienced ice machine technicians will clean and repair the unit if there is any ice maker flood damage. Our technicians will deep clean the machine to ensure it continues to produce clean, safe ice for your customers and employees. If the machine has extensive damage due to flooding, we’ll replace the machine so you can get back to business.
Water can also damage the outside of the ice machine. While unsightly, exterior damage to the ice machine shouldn’t affect your ice production.
To protect your ice machine from flood damage, turn off the ice maker. You’ll also want to shut off water to the machine. Many water lines have a shut-off valve that can close off the water supply. You should also disconnect your ice machine from the water line after you shut it off to be safe.
Cleaning Your Bin
Many ice machines sit on top of a bin, which is a good thing. Since a bin raises the machine around 3-4 feet off the ground, it will protect it from lower floodwaters. However, your ice bin holds all your ice, so you don’t want it to take in dirty floodwater. If the bin does take in water, you’ll need to clean interior and exterior surfaces with dish soap and warm water.
Below are some steps to follow if your bin takes in flood water:
- Use an EPA-approved disinfectant to wipe down the outside and inside of the bin. Make sure to follow the directions on the label.
- Rinse the disinfectant off the surfaces.
- To sanitize, mix your EPA-approved disinfectant according to the instructions listed for “sanitizing.” Spray the exterior and interior of the ice bin.
- Let the mixture drain/air dry for 5 minutes. DO NOT RINSE OR WIPE
Smaller commercial ice machines, like undercounter ice makers, are susceptible to low floodwaters. If you have a smaller machine and you anticipate flooding in your area, you may want to try and call a professional to uninstall the machine and move it to higher ground if you have time.
Electrical Damages from an Ice Maker Surge
An ice maker flood isn’t your only concern if a storm is approaching. Electrical surges are also possible. Luckily, there are ways to protect your ice machine from electrical damage as well.
Commercial ice equipment includes an electrical board and other components that burn out of they encounter a surge. If an ice machine’s board or fuse is damaged, it will need to be replaced – which will halt your ice production.
If you know a storm is on the horizon, you should power down the unit before the storm hits. You may also want to shut off the main breaker to protect your industrial ice maker and other appliances. If shutting off your ice machine is not an option, you should at least shut your machine down and unplug the unit.
Protecting an Outdoor Ice Machine
Installing an ice machine outdoors means it’s less protected from the elements. Wind and rain from a storm can damage the exterior and interior of the ice machine. If you own an air cooled ice machine, rain can enter through the venting and damage internal components.
Make sure to cover your ice machine with a waterproof material, such as a heavy-duty trash bag. If you expect especially strong winds, you may want to use a heavy waterproof tarp.
Restoring a Dirty Ice Maker After the Storm
If you notice ice maker flood damage or your commercial ice bin has been contaminated by water, you’ll need to clean the unit out before turning it back on. We’ve included instructions on cleaning your ice bin and how to disinfect and sanitize your ice machine.
Once you’ve cleaned the unit, you can turn on the water and reestablish power to the machine. Once the machine is running, let it go through its harvest and freeze cycle, which should take around 15-30 min depending on the type of machine you own.
Protecting your ice machine is important – but it’s not as important as your safety. Preparing your ice machine for a storm should only be done if you have a safe amount of time to do so.
If you’re a Kansas or Missouri-based business with ice maker flood damage, contact Ice-Masters and we’ll work to get your ice machine up and running so you can get back to serving your customers.
If your ice maker is damaged beyond repair, our Ice Machine Experts are here to help! We have a huge selection of the best commercial ice machines for sale. Our full-service ice machine rentals include ice machine service for a low, monthly cost. We also provide maintenance, cleaning, and ice machine repairs for businesses in Kansas and Missouri.