Your Ultimate Guide to Office Ice Machines
Water and ice dispensers help keep employees hydrated and refreshed throughout their busy work week. Your office ice machine needs to be accessible to your staff and provide plenty of clean, cold ice when lunchtime rolls around.
We created a helpful guide you can use to choose the best office ice machine for your business.
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Types of Office Ice Machines
There are many types of ice makers that meet the needs of offices. There are office ice machine models designed for office breakrooms, cafeterias, or front office waiting rooms. Ice makers come in many sizes to meet your daily ice needs. Find the best type of types of ice maker for your office below!
Modular Ice Machines
Modular style ice machines only produce ice. They do not come with their own ice storage, so they require that you also purchase a bin or dispenser to hold ice until it’s ready to use. Modular ice makers have the largest range of ice production sizes for an office. We have modular ice machine models that range between 500 to 1900 lbs of ice a day.
Commercial ice dispensersCommercial ice dispensers are the most popular models for many break rooms and waiting rooms. They allow customers and staff to grab ice without having to bother a staff member. Ice dispensers are the most hygienic way for people to retrieve ice. Commercial ice dispensers produce between 500-800 lbs. of ice a day. Some dispensers also dispense water as well.
Countertop Ice Makers
Countertop ice makers are for countertop use, which saves space in small areas. Best yet, all these models are dispensers, so users can grab ice without the risk of accidentally contaminating the ice supply. Some countertop models come with an ice maker built-in. If you need more sizing options, many countertop models can be equipped with a modular ice maker.
Types of Ice for the Office
Office break rooms, cafeterias, and waiting rooms can all benefit from a commercial ice machine. The right type of ice can help refresh staff or keep customers and patients hydrated while they wait for service. For staff, you want a slow-melting cube that can keep drinks cold throughout the day. Below are some of the most popular ice types used in office settings.
How Much Ice Do I Need for My Office?
If you’re looking for an office ice maker for your break room, the amount of ice you need will be proportionate to the size of your workforce. Sizing an ice machine for a waiting room will be dependent on how many visitors you see in a day. We’ve made it easy for you to estimate the amount of ice you’ll need with our handy Ice Machine Estimator. Here are some of the things you’ll need to consider when sizing the best water and ice dispenser for your office.
How Many Employees
Do You Have?
Do You Have?
If you’re sizing an ice machine for an office lunchroom or breakroom, the size of the unit depends on your employee count. If you run a corporate campus with a cafeteria, you’ll have to determine how many employees use visits in a day. Office break rooms typically don’t have a serving staff, so you’ll want a dispenser that is convenient and hygienic. Cafeterias generally have larger ice needs and are better suited for a modular ice maker and bin.
How Many Visitors
Do You See?
Do You See?
Waiting rooms in offices or medical clinics use less ice on average than most other industries. They generally require a smaller ice maker that’s out of the way. Water and ice dispensers are great for these areas since they provide everything visitors need to stay hydrated. The amount of ice you need depends on how many visitors see you in a day. Also, if your staff uses the ice maker, you’ll need to account for those employees as well.
What About Break
Office ice makers will get the most traffic during lunch and break time hours. Keep in mind, commercial ice makers produce ice in small batches throughout the day. A 300-lb ice maker will produce 300 lbs of ice over 24 hours. If you see an influx of employees during lunchtime, make sure your ice machine produces enough ice to accommodate staff. You don’t want to run out of ice during lunch. Staff will have to wait until the ice machine produces more ice.
What Are the Installation Requirements for An Office Ice Maker?
Whether you need a small office ice maker for a break room or a large office ice machine for a cafeteria, you'll need to meet each model's installation requirements.
As ice melts, the leftover water needs somewhere to go. There are a few drainage options that ice machines commonly use. A floor drain is the most common type for ice machines with a bin. If you plan on installing a countertop ice machine, you may want to use a wall drain. Whatever setup you choose, you will need to provide an air gap or water can flow back up the waterline and into your ice supply. Make sure to check your city’s drainage requirements.
Office ice machines generally use two voltage types 115v and 220v. Small commercial ice machines that produce under 700 lbs of ice a day typically use a 115v outlet. Large ice makers that produce over 700 lbs generally require a 220v outlet. Models also have different amperage needs. It's smart to check with an electrician to make sure your ice machine is compatible with your business's wiring. If your business doesn't have a 220v outlet for larger ice makers, an electrician will likely have to install one for you.
Ice machines need an appropriate amount of water flow to produce a batch of ice. If ice machines don’t receive the proper water flow, they will produce smaller, malformed ice cubes. Commercial ice machines require between 3-5 gallons of water a minute. The exact amount your machine needs will depend on the model. If you don’t have the proper water line to accommodate your model, you’ll need a plumber to install one for you.
Air cooled ice machines (the most common type) need plenty of space to run. As these models produce ice, they generate heat, which is forced out of the unit by a fan. From there, the heat disperses into the surrounding environment. If an office ice machine isn’t given enough space for hot air to escape, it will recirculate throughout the ice machine. When there is hot air in your ice machine, it will produce less ice and will likely encounter problems in the future.
We’ve serviced over 10,000 ice machines across the country. No matter the challenge, we know exactly how to keep your ice machine running smoothly. Our pre-installation checklist shows you what you need to provide to install an ice machine in your business. If you have a challenging environment, give us a call, and we'll help you find a solution.
What Type of Ice Machine Condenser Do I Need?
Your ice machine condenser helps to cool refrigerant and emit heat away from the ice machine so it can run smoothly. There are three main types of ice machine condensers.
How Do I Keep My Office Ice Maker Clean and Sanitary?
In order to provide a clean ice supply to your staff, your water and ice dispenser for the office must be cleaned every week. The machine will also require professional cleanings to eliminate dust, dirt, or scale buildup from internal components. A clean ice machine is not only safer for your staff, but it will run better as well.
Routine Ice Machine Cleaning
Ice machines require routine cleaning from staff to reduce to avoid accidental contamination. This includes cleaning the exterior surfaces of the ice machine with diluted bleach weekly and cleaning the ice maker air filter monthly. Our ice machine cleaning schedule is a great resource to follow.
Preventing Mold and Slime
Mold and slime love to grow in dark, damp areas – like an ice machine. Mold and slime are not dangerous to people, but they are gross, especially if they fall into the ice supply. Regular cleaning from staff can reduce mold and slime buildup.
Don't Forget About Ice Bin Cleaning
If you choose an ice machine with a bin, you need to make sure the bin is clean as well. Your ice bin is dark, wet, and attracts microorganisms that can harm staff and make them sick. Cleaning your ice bin is just as important as cleaning the machine itself.
How Much Does an Office Ice Machine Cost?
The price of an ice machine generally depends on its size. A small ice machine can cost as low as $1,500. A large ice maker can be as high as $10,000. Even after you pay the retail price, you still have to consider the hidden costs associated with an office ice maker:
Ice machines require preventive maintenance if you want them to maintain their efficiency and avoid expensive repairs. An experienced technician will optimize your ice machine to run in top condition. They can also identify potential problems that can lead to large repair bills. Ice machine manufacturers suggest 2 preventive maintenance visits a year. They also suggest 2 cleanings per year, which run around $250 per visit.
Particles and sediment in the water can damage your office ice machine. Water filters help to eliminate these particles in your water supply, so ice machines continue to run efficiently. Depending on the rating of the filter, they will require replacing every six months or so. A clogged water filter will restrict water flow, causing your machine to produce smaller, malformed ice cubes. Ice machine water filter prices range between $15-$100 depending on the brand. If your ice machine is in a hard water environment, you may require additional water filtration methods.
Depending on how severe the damage is, an office ice maker repair can cost as low as a few hundred dollars or as high as a few thousand. Here are some examples of common ice machine repairs and their estimated costs:
- Hot Gas Valve Replacement - $600
- Expansion Valve - $600
- Compressor Repair - $1500
- Evaporator Repair - $2500
A broken ice machine means you’ll likely have to supply extra ice for staff. A twenty-pound bag of ice will cost around $4.50.
Want a Super Affordable, Stress-Free Way to Get an Office Ice Machine?
A hard-working staff deserves clean, crystal clear ice to stay refreshed throughout the workday. Our all-inclusive ice machine subscription is your opportunity to get a top-quality office ice machine from one of the best ice machine brands in the industry without spending thousands of dollars upfront.
Our ice machine subscription includes preventive maintenance, cleaning, and repairs to keep your office ice maker running reliably. You'll never have to pay for ice machine service out of pocket, and office managers won’t have to keep track of cleaning and maintenance. We do it for you! We'll call you when your water and ice dispenser is due for its next service. We'll even supply you with backup ice if your machine goes down for repairs.
If you ever have an issue with your office ice machine, we offer 24/7 customer support to assist you at any time of day.
Need help choosing the right office ice machine? Have questions about our monthly ice machine subscription? Our friendly team of ice experts are ready to chat with you!