What Ice Maker Problems Cause the Hoshizaki 3-Beep Alarm?

Reading Time: 6 minutes Hoshizaki, Troubleshooting

Hoshizaki 3 Beeps Easy Ice

Believe it or not, Hoshizaki ice makers have their own language. Beep codes help provide hints when ice machines are not running as they should. When this happens, the unit shuts off to prevent damage and alerts the user with a beep code. Many issues can cause Hoshizaki ice maker beeps to occur, but what exactly causes the three-beep code?

We’re familiar with all of the Hoshizaki ice machine codes—from common issues like the two-beep alarm to the less common ones like four or five beep-alarms. The way these warnings work is that the control board alarm rapidly beeps a set number of times every three seconds, with the number of beeps indicating what’s wrong.

These codes can serve as a high-temperature warning, alert you a long harvest cycle and malfunctioning thermostatic expansion valves, bring your attention to low voltage, or notify you of an open circuit—just to name a few. Some problems are much easier to identify, like hot water migration or water pump malfunctions, which often cause the one-beep, high temperature alarm.

As you might’ve guessed, we’re no strangers to Hoshizaki 3-beep signals. We’ve serviced over 30,000 commercial ice machines and counting. The vast majority of the time, Hoshizaki 3-beep alarms are completely avoidable. If you want to keep your Hoshizaki ice machine running properly and enjoy cool ice water, you’ll find what you need to know here.

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In this article, we’ll tell you the core reason for Hoshizaki ice machine 3 beeps and what you should do to get your system functioning properly if you ever encounter this alarm code.

What Causes the Hoshizaki Ice Machine 3-Beep Alarm?

Simply put, when a Hoshizaki ice machine has 3-beeps, it means your ice maker has had two elongated freeze cycles in a row. Before we talk about “elongated” freeze cycles, let us first explain what a freeze cycle is.

The freeze cycle is the stage in a Hoshizaki ice machine production cycle where water begins to flow over a cold evaporator plate. As this happens, the water freezes and becomes ice. The length of the freeze cycle depends on air and water temperatures, but the amount of water in your ice machine’s reservoir also plays a large part. As water cascades over the ice machine’s evaporator plate, ice forms and the water level in the reservoir drops.

Your automatic ice machine’s float switch monitors when the water level reaches a designated low point. When the water reaches that limit, the float switch signals the end of the freeze cycle and starts the harvest cycle, where ice is collected.

An “elongated” freeze cycle is what happens when an issue prevents the above conditions from occurring, keeping the ice machine in its freeze cycle for too long. To prevent freeze cycles from running indefinitely, a Hoshizaki ice maker has a factory-set timer (the time differs between models) that counts down the length of the freeze cycle. If the freeze cycle exceeds the limit of the timer, the circuit board inside the unit forces the ice maker to harvest the ice.

When two consecutive forced harvests occur, it means an issue, either mechanical, environmental, or a combination of both, is causing the freeze cycle to run too long. At this point, the Hoshizaki ice machine sounds the 3-beep alarm, then shuts down to prevent damage.

Troubleshooting a 3-Beep Alarm in a Hoshizaki Ice Machine

The 3-beep alarm of the Hoshizaki ice machine is one of the hardest error codes to diagnose. It may be a single problem or combination of issues that cause an extended freeze cycle. Some examples include mechanical issues, refrigeration problems, water valve and water line problems, and various types of poor care.

Mechanical Problems

The mechanical problems that can cause a three-beep alarm include a clogged check valve, a leaky water inlet valve, and various ice bin issues. A mechanical bin control issue is typically a four-beep alarm problem, but a mechanical ice bin sensor issue can trigger three beeps instead.

Refrigeration Problems

A 3-beep alarms related to refrigeration usually comes from one of the two following issues:

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  • A hot gas valve is stuck open
  • A low amount of refrigerant is in the system

Improper Care

Regular use will push a great deal of water flow through the water pump. This carries along impurities and debris from your water system, which can clog your filter. In addition to your water filter, you can also experience issues with the condensers and air filters collecting dirt. Any of these forms of neglect can result in a three-beep signal.

Poor Conditions

Going beyond just the three-beep code of Hoshizaki machines, the following two issues are something we see causing issues in ice machines from every manufacturer:

  • Overly hot temperatures
  • Lack of ventilation

The list goes on, but the good news is you can prevent some of these situations from occurring.

Making sure your ice machine is running under proper temperature conditions is your first line of defense. That means keeping the surrounding air as close to 70 °F as you possibly can. As far as water is concerned, ideally you want the temperature close to 50 °F. Water temperature is much harder to control than air temperature, but there are some things you can do if the water is too hot or too cold.

How to Prevent Hoshizaki Ice Machine Alarms

Preventive maintenance is your next course of action which includes regular cleaning of air filters and condensers. Regularly maintaining and cleaning your Hoshizaki ice machine can be daunting, so you may want to hire a professional. Our Hoshizaki ice machine cleaning guide can help you create an ice machine cleaning schedule to follow.

Preventive maintenance is so important to commercial ice machines, we include it in all of our ice machine subscriptions. We’ve found that providing at least two preventive maintenance and cleanings per year greatly increases the lifespan of commercial ice equipment and can prevent issues that lead to Hoshizaki 3-beep codes.

What to Do if You Encounter Hoshizaki Ice Maker 3 Beeps

If your Hoshizaki ice maker 3-beeps a code, you can be sure something is wrong. Hoshizaki 3 beeps don’t go off in error.

Diagnosing them without professional help is difficult, but there are some common causes to look for.

If you have an air-cooled system, check to see if dirt is clogging your air filter. If so, rinse the filter with soap and water and reset your ice maker. However, if your air filter is dirty then there’s a good chance your condenser is dirty as well, which will lead to underlying problems that can harm your industrial ice maker if it’s not cleaned soon. In this case, it’s a good idea to get a professional cleaning.

Try checking your room temperature, as well. If your ice machine is in a room over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, this could be the cause. Try lowering the thermostat on your air-conditioning unit. Ideally, you want the temperature around your ice machine to always stay around 70 degrees.

Finally, make sure your ice machine is getting proper ventilation. If it’s in an enclosed room, try opening the door and use a fan to blow the hot air out of the room, while keeping the cold air from your AC inside.

Prevent Hoshizaki 3 Beeps with Quality Ice Machine Service

If none of these tips prevent your machine from shutting down, you should call a professional. It could be an issue with your plumbing or the ice maker itself.

At Easy Ice, we maintain and clean Hoshizaki ice machines so they perform in the best possible conditions. Waiting until an ice machine breaks down or has an an error code leads to higher ice machine service costs including expensive ice machine repairs and purchasing backup ice.

Our all-inclusive managed rental program also includes all repairs and maintenance, so you never have to pay expensive repair costs to get your ice machine up and running again. We’ll even pay for your backup ice if your ice machine breaks down due to mechanical failure.

If you’re an Easy Ice customer, you can contact us and one of our helpful Ice Machine Experts will assist you in choosing the best ice maker for your business.

We have a wide variety of Hoshizaki commercial ice makers and Hoshizaki countertop ice makers available in our affordable commercial ice machine managed rental program.

Our team is available to help you get started today!