Choosing a used ice machine for sale can be a cost saving option for many businesses. When buying used equipment of any kind, buyer should always practice caution. Ice machines may look tough, but they are quite temperamental pieces of machinery.
We have a few tips to follow when looking for a used ice machine for sale for your Kansas or Missouri business.
1. Maintenance History
Ice machine maintenance is absolutely necessary if your planning to keep an ice machine running. An industrial ice machine is comprised of many vital parts that keep it running, If these parts don’t get proper maintenance, they can break down. Many ice machine parts are expensive to repair or replace. Some new parts are as expensive the used ice machine.
Manufacturers stress two preventive maintenance visits per year for their equipment. Especially if the machine was in a challenging environment.
2. Past Installation Environment
There are many work environments that can take a toll on a commercial ice machine. Even the best commercial ice maker will break down in challenging environmental conditions.
Here are some challenging work environments that can tax a commercial ice machine:
- Areas with no air conditioning or outdoors
- Low ventilation areas, like cubbies and closets
- Bakeries and breweries
- Warehouses, factories, and busy kitchens
- No Air Conditioning or Low Ventilation Areas
Ice machines work best in 70-degree air temperatures. As the temperature rises above 70 degrees, the machine must work harder to produce ice. This puts more of a toll of the ice machine’s internal components. It’s quite possible that a year-old ice machine in a challenging environment can have the same wear and tear as a 3-4-year-old ice machine.
Here are some of the most challenging environments.
Bakeries and Breweries
If you’re looking for a used ice machine for sale from a bakery or brewery, keep in mind that yeast in the air can increase the growth of mold and slime.
Check with the owner to see if the ice machine received regular cleanings to account for their environment. Ice machines that don’t receive more than two professional cleanings a year can develop significant mold growth.
If a health inspector finds excessive amounts of mold in your ice machine, they may write a violation.They will require a professional cleaning, which can end up costing you a few hundred dollars. The seller should not pass that rice on to you unless it’s agreed upon.
Warehouses, Factories, and Busy Kitchens
Industrial ice equipment from factories operate in environments with a lot of dust and dirt. Dirt particles can attach to ice machine components, like your condenser, and overwork the unit.
Make sure to ask the owner if the machine has been regularly cleaned by a professional. A dirty ice maker will overheat faster and cause more wear and tear over time, aging the machine faster.
3. Internal Corrosion
Over time, water can cause corrosion inside your ice machine.
When purchasing an ice machine, make sure to take a peek at the inside of the ice machine. Remove the front faceplate and examine the inside for any signs of rusting or corrosion. They could signify a leak that has not been addressed. If the corrosion is significant, you may have to replace the corroded areas.
4. Dirty Condensers
Condensers are one of the most vital ice machine components that keep the unit running.
Air cooled ice machines need to release heat from condenser coils to cool refrigerant down. Dirt and dust acts as an insulator and prevent the ice machine from releasing heat into the surrounding environment.
As we explained above, ice machines that cannot release heat properly will work twice as hard to produce ice. If the machine has not been properly maintained, it will likely result in expensive repair costs.
While looking inside of the ice maker, see if there is a thick coat of dust or grease on the ice machine’s condenser. If it is, the machine will need a professional cleaning.
5. Damaged Evaporators
Evaporators are where the ice forms. They are a vital ice machine component that’s susceptible to scale from hard water in the ice maker.
When scale sticks to evaporators, it insulates and creates a rough surface. Evaporators in these conditions have a harder time freezing ice.
That’s not all! The ice that does manage to form will have a difficult time releasing from the evaporator and into your ice bin. In this state, ice machine will produce less ice than designed.
When examining the evaporator, keep in mind the brand:
Used Hoshizaki Ice Machine Evaporators
Hoshizaki ice machines, especially KM-series ice machines, have evaporators that are enclosed. This design helps to produce ice cubes individually. They’re great for keeping cubes apart, but hard to check when inspecting a used ice machine for sale.
To see if a Hoshizaki ice machine evaporator is damaged, look at the plate from the top and bottom of the ice machine. You’ll have to remove the top of the ice maker to view the evaporator plate from above. Look for any dents, warping, or if the plates are cracked or bubbling.
Viewing the bottom of the evaporator plate can be done by removing the front cover.When inspecting, look below for any plate separation. You should also tap the plates to listen if you hear them bang together. The plates should be solid.
Used Manitowoc Ice Maker Evaporators
Manitowoc ice makers are a lot easier to inspect.
To check a used Manitowoc ice maker evaporator, swing open the front panel and pull up on the water curtain (the large plastic panel just behind the front panel).
The evaporator looks like a grid-shaped metal plate. Look for any bent or damaged metal, and make sure you don’t see any separation. The plate should be secure.
Also, run your fingernail across the metal. If your fingernail should skate across the metal, not stick. If your nail gets caught, that’s a good sign of scale damage.
Carefully Inspect Used Ice Machines Before Purchasing
A used ice machine for sale may seem shiny and new, but it could be a disaster waiting to happen. Make sure to purchase a used ice maker from a credible seller.
Better yet, why not try an ice equipment rental?
Ice machine rentals are a low-cost way of providing ice to your customers. Our full-service ice machine rentals include ice equipment, preventive maintenance, cleaning, and ice maker repairs for Kansas and Missouri businesses. We keep ice makers running in top shape! Contact us today!