Your Ultimate Guide to Hotel Ice Dispensers
The hospitality industry is all about taking care of guests, and providing them with clean, abundant ice around the clock is one way you do it. When choosing a hotel ice machine, there are several things you need to keep in mind. We’ve compiled this comprehensive guide to help you choose the right ice machine for your hotel, motel, or resort.
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Types of Hotel Ice Dispensing Machines
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 makers 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 Much Ice Do I Need for My Hotel?
There are many places in a hotel that require an ice machine. Each floor of a hotel needs a hotel ice dispenser to provide guests with ice to take back to their rooms. The hotel bar needs ice to serve drinks to guests. Hotel catering will also need ice for special events. Here are a few factors you need to consider when sizing your ice machine.
Daily Ice Usage
Allow 5 pounds of ice per guest per day. While this might sound alot, you need to take into consideration when guests fill their ice buckets as well as their coolers. Keep in mind, ice machines produce ice in small batches over 24 hours. It will take a 600 lb ice machine 24 hours to produce 600 lbs of ice. You’ll likely need an ice maker for each floor of the hotel.
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 Dispenser 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.
We’ve serviced over 10,000 ice machines across the country. No matter the challenge, we know exactly how to keep your hotel ice machine running smoothly. Our pre-installation checklist shows you what you need to provide to install an ice machine in your hotel. If you have a challenging environment, give us a call and we'll help you find a solution.
What Type of Hotel Ice Dispenser 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 Dispenser 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.
Disinfecting Your Ice Machine
More About Disinfecting
It's important to disinfect and sanitize your ice machine on a regular basis to keep your guests safe from harmful contaminants.
How Much Does a Hotel Ice Maker 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 dispenser 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.
Water filtration is necessary to reduce the amount of dirt, minerals, and sediment that enter your ice maker. An ice machine water filter price ranges between $15-$100 depending on the brand. They need regular replacement twice a year. When water filters clog, they can lead to smaller, malformed ice cubes. If you have an ice machine installed in a challenging environment, you might require additional water filtration in addition to a standard sediment filter.
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
Get a High-Quality Hotel Ice Dispenser without Breaking the Bank
Your guests need clean, crystal clear ice whenever they want it. Give it to them with an Easy Ice subscription.
Our all-inclusive ice equipment subscription provides hotel ice makers, hotel ice dispensers, and storage options from the best ice machine brands in the industry. We make sure your hotel ice machine stays in top condition with preventive maintenance and professional cleanings twice a year, and you never have to pay for this service out-of-pocket. We'll call you when your machine is due for its next service, so you don't have to keep track. Your monthly payment also covers all ice machine repairs, and we'll even supply you with free backup ice if your hotel ice maker breaks down.
The hospitality industry never sleeps, and neither do we! Our all-inclusive ice machine subscription offers 24/7 customer support to assist you at any time of day.
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