All machines, ice machines or otherwise, will age out over time. So, when do you know it’s time for a new ice maker?
Here at Easy Ice, we guarantee the performance of all our ice makers. With over 20,000 ice machines serviced, our Ice Machine Experts are factory-trained and have the experience to identify which ice machine repairs are worth the price – or when it’s time for a new ice maker.
We want to pass that knowledge on to you, so you won’t spend extra money on repairs that outweigh a new machine’s cost.
How Long Do Ice Machines Last?
It’s tough to say how long an ice machine can last. The longevity of your new ice maker depends on several factors.
Some ice machine manufacturers produce better equipment than others. For example, Easy Ice carries a full lineup of commercial ice makers from Hoshizaki and Manitowoc. In our experience, these brands are the cream of the crop! We’ve seen Hoshizaki and Manitowoc models last up to 10-15 years – provided they receive routine maintenance and cleaning.
Overall, no matter what brand of ice machine you buy, an ice maker is only as good as the service it receives.
We recognize this, which is why we include a minimum of two preventive maintenance and professional cleaning visits in our all-inclusive ice machine lease.
However, an ice machine will eventually age out. Below are some of the issues that can “total” an ice machine.
Damage to Major Ice Machine Components
There are many important ice machine components, but core refrigeration components tend to be the most expensive to repair. Condensers and compressors are two components that can cause your new ice maker to breakdown entirely.
Depending on the severity of the problem, compressors or condensers can cost thousands of dollars to replace. Many times, buying a new ice machine is your best course of action.
Of course, you should always check with your ice machine technician to see if buying a new ice machine is the best course of action. Honest ice machine service companies always have the customer’s business interests in mind. They can best tell you whether to repair a compressor or condenser or buy a new unit.
Evaporator Plate Separation
The evaporator is where ice is formed. Evaporators come in many shapes and sizes. Many Manitowoc evaporators are vertical metal grids that freeze ice into cube shapes. On the other hand, Hoshizaki KM-series ice machines are completely self-contained, so they can form their signature crescent-shaped ice.
Evaporator plate separation is a costly issue we see in Hoshizaki ice machines that are poorly maintained. The evaporator in these machines should be solid and not move around when tapped.
Manitowoc evaporator plates can see the grids of the plate separate from the back of the plate. You can check for this easily by opening the unit’s front and checking behind the water curtain. If you notice the evaporator is not in one piece, you should contact an ice machine technician right away.
Replacing an evaporator is not cheap, so you may want to consider buying a new unit if the damage is extensive.
Evaporator Plating is Worn Off
Many ice machine brands, including Manitowoc, Scotsman, and Ice-O-Matic, have nickel-plated evaporators that require special care.
These types of evaporators require a nickel-safe ice machine cleaner that keeps the plating intact. However, this plating can still wear down over time.
If the nickel-plating on these evaporators begins to wear off, ice will have a much harder time releasing from the plate and into your ice storage bin.
Again, this type of issue will require an evaporator plate replacement, which can be very pricey.
Side note: Hoshizaki ice machines have stainless-steel evaporator plates that do not require a nickel-safe cleaner.
Severe Rust or Corrosion
If you notice your ice machine’s base is corroded or covered in rust, it’s definitely time to consider buying a new ice maker.
This is often a sign of an internal leak within the unit. Water collects at the bottom of the machine and begins to eat away at the machine’s base.
It is a costly repair and often not worth the cost and effort to replace the ice machine housing.
Problems like this are another reason why preventive maintenance is so essential in ice machines. A small leak (often an easy repair) can turn into a big problem if it persists.
If you happen to notice water leaking down the side of the machine or pooling on the ground, you should call an ice machine technician ASAP.
Condenser Fin Corrosion
Air cooled ice machines use air to cool the internal components within the unit. Condensers are houses behind a series of fins that allow air to pass through uninhibited.
If these fins bend, rust, or begin to corrode, it can be a very costly repair.
These fins are not always easy to find, and depending on the ice machine model, it may require some close inspection to identify any damage.
Again, this is why preventive maintenance is so important. A qualified ice machine technician can identify these issues before they become major problems.
In the Market for a New Ice Maker? You Don’t Have to Break the Bank!
If you need a new ice machine for your business, there is no reason you have to spend a bunch of money. We’ll install a new ice maker in your business for little to no capital upfront under our all-inclusive ice machine lease.
We also guarantee our commercial ice equipment’s performance by including two preventive maintenance and cleaning visits per year. If there is an issue with our equipment, we repair it for no additional cost. If the repairs are too extensive, you’re not on the hook for a new machine. We’ll replace the machine for free.
You get your new ice maker, service, repairs, and more for a low monthly cost! Contact our team of Ice Machine Experts today!