There are few ice maker problems as frustrating as an ice machine not producing ice at a rate that meets your business needs. Running low on ice means unhappy customers (who wants a lukewarm soda?) and spending hundreds of dollars to buy replacement ice.
One of the most common service calls we get is from owners who walk into their business and notice their ice machine is not producing ice as efficiently. Most of the time, it’s not the ice machine that isn’t working, but environmental factors at play. The other common cause is a dirty ice machine. Ice machines that don’t produce due to a machine issue will require a qualified ice machine technician to come on-site.
Ice Machines Not Producing Ice Due to Environmental Issues
Negative environmental issues can severely affect your ice machine’s performance. A lot of times, this is due to a bad installation. Not providing enough water, electricity, or placing the machine in an overly hot environment will take a toll on a commercial ice machine. In fact, negative environmental issues are such a common cause for low ice production we perform a detailed site survey before we ever install an ice machine.
“Most of the time, it’s not the ice machine that isn’t working, but environmental factors at play.”
If you notice your ice machine is not producing ice the way it used to, check for these common environmental issues:
- Ice Machine Electrical Requirements: Is there power to the machine or is it unplugged? Any power outages, breaker issues within the last 48 hours?
- Ice Maker Water Line: Is the water on or has it been shut off within the last 48 hours? Have there been any noticeable water flow issues that limit the amount of water going to the machine?
- Temperatures: Has the room where the equipment is installed recently become extremely hot (above 95) or cold (below 40F)? Extreme temperatures can lead to an ice maker not making ice altogether.
- Airflow: Is the airflow to vents blocked by boxes or containers? Is there enough ventilation for the ice machine?
- Demand: Are you using more ice than normal because of higher than usual demand from customers or employees?
Ice Machines Not Producing Ice Due to Cleanliness
Dirty ice makers produce far less ice than a clean ice machine. In fact, a dirty ice machine can become so overworked that it can break down completely, leaving you with expensive ice machine repairs.
Ice machines in certain work environments can pull in more contaminants than others. For instance, grease from a busy kitchen can easily float in the air and get sucked up into an automatic ice maker machine. That grease will adhere to ice machine components and hinder its ability to freeze a batch of ice.
Cleaning your air filter every two weeks is one way to limit the amount of dust, dirt, or grease that enters your ice machine.
Including professional cleaning from an experienced ice machine technician can get your ice machine running like new. Technicians will open the machine and clean individual ice machine components. A good technician should include professional cleaning in their preventive maintenance routine.
At Easy Ice, we make sure our ice making machines receive at least two professional cleanings per year – alongside preventive maintenance. We found that two professional cleanings keep ice machines in standard environments in peak performance year-after-year. Ice machines in trouble areas like busy kitchens, dusty warehouses, and bakeries require more than two cleanings a year.
Ice Makers Not Producing Ice Due to Technical Problems
There are literally hundreds of potential issues that can lead to an ice machine not producing ice as efficiently.
Even something as small as a frayed wire can cause the ice machine to not produce ice (which is why preventive maintenance is so important.)
If you know that your ice machine isn’t producing due to environmental or cleanliness issues, you should call a qualified ice machine service right away. Every day that your ice machine is down is a day you have to buy ice from a store or delivery service. Purchasing ice can really add up over a couple of days. The average price of a 10-lb bag of ice is between $2-$3. A mid-sized restaurant requires more than 500 lbs. a day on average. If you have a 500 lb. ice machine that breaks down, you’re looking to spend at least $100 in ice for every day that machine doesn’t run.
For this reason, you also want a reliable ice machine service that will come to fix the problem quickly. Make sure the technician you call specializes in fixing commercial ice machines. The longer it takes for the technician to diagnose the problem, the longer your machine will stay down.
We’ve developed guides for troubleshooting technical issues in a couple popular brands of ice machines:
Quality Ice Machine Service Will Keep Ice Machines in Peak Performance
An industrial ice maker that’s not producing ice can hurt your business. That’s why we designed our ice machine subscriptions to guarantee there’s ice in your bin. We provide routine preventive maintenance and cleaning for all our ice machines. If there’s ever a problem with one of our machines, call our customer service team. Our U.S.-based call center is open 24/7 to serve you, 365 days a year.
If you notice ice cube production hasn’t been up to standard when you’re closing, call us then. The moment that you detect a problem, we are ready to assist you. One of our friendly customer service reps will help to diagnose the problem and get help to you as soon as possible. If the machine requires extensive repairs, we’ll even pick up the tab for bagged ice.
We work hard maintaining the ice machines to minimize the need for repair service. We’ve partnered with Hoshizaki and Manitowoc because they make the most reliable, durable, and energy-efficient ice machines on the market.
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