A Guide to Hotel Ice Machines
The hospitality industry is all about taking care of your guests and providing them with a hotel ice machine keeps them happy during their stay. When choosing an ice machine for your hotel, there are several things you need to keep in mind. We’ve compiled this helpful guide to help you choose the right ice machine for your hotel, motel, or resort.
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Types of Hotel Ice Makers
Hotel ice dispensers are popular in the hospitality industry because they allow guests access to ice without the need of staff. Hotel bars, restaurants, and kitchens also need an ice machine for drinks and food prep.
Hotel Ice Dispensers
A hotel ice dispenser is the best way to deliver ice to guests without the risk of contamination. Hotel ice dispensers are large enough so guests can fill buckets of ice for their room. These are also ADA ice makers to accommodate guests with disabilities. Most hotel ice dispensers require a modular ice machine on top of the dispenser to produce the ice.
Modular Ice Machines
Modular ice machines only produce ice. They do not come with storage, so you’ll need to install a hotel ice dispenser or bin to hold your ice supply. Modular ice machines offer the greatest range of sizes for businesses. We have sizes of modular ice machines that produce between 500 – 1900 lbs of ice a day.
Undercounter Ice Machines
Undercounter ice makers are a great addition to the hotel bar. Almost all undercounter ice machines are self-contained, meaning they have their ice storage bin built right into the machine. These ice makers give bartenders access to ice without taking up space behind the bar.
Countertop Ice Makers
Countertop ice makers are designed to fit on top of a counter for self-serve use. Countertop ice makers are great additions for hotels that offer Continental Breakfasts because these ice makers allow guests to walk up and grab their own ice.
How Do I Select the Right Type of Ice Cube?
Whether it’s for your hotel ice dispenser or bar, choosing the right type of ice is more than a matter of aesthetics. There are cubes best suited for room service or to help elevate the look of your bar’s cocktails.
Hotel Ice Maker Installation Requirements
You want to make sure that your hotel ice dispenser is easily accessible to guests, but not in the way. Most hotels install an ice dispenser in a small room. You want to make sure that wherever you install your hotel ice maker, you provide the installation requirements needed to keep the ice machine safe and efficient.
Ice machines push out a lot of heat, and a small cubby or room often doesn’t provide the ventilation requirements hotel ice machines need to stay cool. If a hotel ice machine overheats, it will produce less ice and break down faster than a machine in 70-degree temperatures. Make sure your ice maker has at least 1 foot of space on all sides of the unit.
Ice melts and the leftover needs a place to go. Hotel ice dispensers need proper drainage to flush water away for the ice machine. A floor drain is one option, but hotels need to consider other drainage options for ice dispensers on multiple floors. You may need a plumber to find the best option for your business.
Small commercial ice machines that produce under 800 lbs. of ice a day require a standard 110v outlet to provide power. You can find these types of outlets in most households. Large ice makers that produce more than 800 lbs. require a 220v outlet, which is commonly used on washer and dryer units. You may need an electrician to install a 220v outlet if you choose a large hotel ice machine.
One thing is for sure, you can’t make ice without water! Ice machines require a flow rate between 3-5 gallons a minute, depending on the model. If your water line doesn’t provide the proper flow rate for your ice machine, you’ll need to hire a plumber to install one.
What Type of Hotel Ice Machine Condenser Do I Need?
Your hotel ice maker 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.
Hotel Ice Machine Cleaning and Sanitizing
Cleaning Your Ice Bin
Mold and slime can grow in your hotel ice machines storage or in your bar's ice bin. This can lead to health code violations from an inspector.
Ice Machine Sanitization
Hotel ice machines should receive two professional sanitization visits per year. Sanitization helps to eliminate harmful biofilms that can make guests sick.
Ice Machine Cleaning Schedule
Even hotel ice dispensers are susceptible to accidental contamination. A routine cleaning schedule can help to keep guests safe.
How Much Does an Ice Machine Cost?
A commercial ice machine can cost anywhere from $1,500 for a 50 to 80 lb. ice machine to well over $10,000 for a high-volume ice machine with a high-capacity bin. Modular and stackable machines will also require an ice storage bin or dispenser to store the ice. There are a couple of hidden costs involved with properly caring for an ice machine as well. Here are the most common:
Hotel ice machine preventive maintenance costs around $300 per visit.
Manufacturers recommend two maintenance visits per year. During a preventive maintenance visit, ice machine technicians will work to optimize your machine, so it runs smoothly and continues to produce the maximum amount of ice. Preventive maintenance also alerts owners to potential problems that can lead to machine breakdowns and expensive repairs.
Depending on the problem, ice machine repairs can cost anywhere between a few hundred dollars to a few thousands. Here are some examples of some common ice machine repairs and their estimated costs:
- Hot Gas Valve Replacement - $600
- Expansion Valve - $600
- Compressor Repair - $1500
- Evaporator Repair - $2500
All-Inclusive Hotel Ice Machine Program
Our all-inclusive ice equipment program provides hotel ice makers, hotel ice dispensers, and storage options from the best ice machine brands in the industry.
Your guests need clean, crystal clear ice whenever they want it. We make sure your hotel ice machine stays in top condition with preventative maintenance, cleaning and repairs. We’ll call you when your machine is due for its next service and we’ll even supply your backup ice if your hotel ice maker is ever down for repairs.
There’s a lot to take into consideration when choosing a hotel ice machine, and we are here to help! Our Ice Machine Experts are happy to help you determine your ice needs for your hotel, motel, or resort.
Contact our team!