Baby, it’s cold outside! Most of our customers are surprised to learn that supplying very cold water to an ice machine can cause performance issues. Colder water extends the harvest time – the time when ice cubes are removed from the ice-forming surface. If the water is below 45 degrees F, the ice maker may have difficulty removing all the ice cubes from the ice-forming surface. If this happens, the ice machine may freeze up, which could result in a paid service call.
Frozen is a great family movie, but a frozen ice machine or frozen water lines are not cool! Avoid extra costs and hassles (brain-freeze!) by adhering to a few best practices during the cold winter months.
In order to keep the ice machine from freezing up, make sure your water lines are properly insulated. Not only will that ensure your ice machine performs as expected, but you’ll save a few bucks on your hot water heating bill.
In addition, don’t forget to keep up with the required weekly ice machine maintenance:
1) Remove and clean the air filters – Slide them out of the black plastic air intake covers and either spray them in the sink or run them through the dishwasher.
2) Wipe down the outside of the ice machine – Health inspectors look at equipment for signs of neglect. Keeping the exterior surfaces of the ice maker clean will help extend the life of the equipment and signal to your health inspector that your ice machine is being maintained and cleaned properly.
3) Clean the inside of your bin – Our technicians clean and sanitize Easy Ice storage bins during the bi-annual PM, but it is important for you to disinfect the surfaces that your staff may touch on a regular basis.
If you have any questions regarding your Easy Ice subscription, call our 24-hour Customer Service Line at:
For those of you that want to know the technical details behind cold water problems and ice machines, here’s a Tech Tip directly from Hoshizaki:
The major affect of cold incoming water (below 45°F) on KM (cuber) ice machines is long harvest cycles. The reason is the incoming water passes through the center of each evaporator plate to assist the machine in harvest. This incoming water transfers heat to assist the hot gas in removing the ice from the evaporator plate. The KM units use a temperature and time terminated harvest cycle. The temperature required to begin the defrost completion timer is 48°F. This is monitored by the thermistor located on the suction line.
In cold water situations, it will take longer for the evaporator temperature to reach 48°F. This gives the machine the ability to automatically adjust the length of harvest depending on the temperature of the incoming water. Therefore, there is no need to make seasonal adjustments to the machine as the weather changes. In situations where the machine has an incoming water temperature of 45°F or less it is not unusual for the harvest times to be extended. In some cases it could be as long as 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the position of the control board DIP switches. During long harvest the water valve only remains energized for a maximum of six minutes in the harvest cycle. This will allow the unit to fill with a sufficient amount of water, and allow the unit an opportunity to warm the evaporator up after the water valve has de-energized.