If your ice maker is not working properly, the temperature could be the cause.
Many businesses rely heavily on their ice machine. As temperatures rise, you don’t want your ice supply to fall. Here are the most common ice maker problems you face during the summer and what you can do to solve them.
Lower Ice Production
When ice machine manufacturers test the amount of ice their machines can produce, it’s under optimal temperatures. These are within rooms that are 70 degrees Fahrenheit with 50-degree water running to the machine.
During the summer when it’s hotter, these temperatures are harder to keep in check. The higher the internal temperature of your ice maker, the more your ice production plummets. This is simply how ice machines work, which is why it’s important to do all you can to keep your ice machine cool.
Room Temperature Rising
If your ice machine is producing enough ice, you may assume it’s keeping a decent temperature. What you might not know is that the unit could be running hot, and now that summer is in full swing, the temperatures can be extreme. Newer machines may survive a few of these summers, but years of high temperatures will eventually take their toll.
Most technician calls report the ice maker not working as well as it used to, often because it’s overheated.
As the summer heat increases the room temperature, even a little, the machine runs the risk of overheating and your ice maker not working properly.
There are a few causes that can raise the internal temperature of your machine without your knowledge:
- The area around your machine isn’t properly ventilated
- It’s stored in a small room where heat gets trapped (e.g. closets, cubbies)
- The ice maker is in a hot room (e.g. Kitchens, warehouses without AC)
- Too much clutter around the ice machine blocking vents
- Not cleaning and maintaining your commercial ice machine properly
Make sure your ice maker is in a temperature-controlled room, preferably with a good, central air conditioner. Ideally, you want the temperature of the room to stay as close to 70 degrees as possible.
Proper ventilation is also important. You don’t want your ice machine in a small, enclosed room. Open doors or venting can help hot air to escape, provided air is moving throughout the space. A good way to get the air moving is by placing fans in the direction you want the heat to escape.
Water Temperature Rising
Another common ice machine problem is water temperature.As we stated before, commercial ice machines run on an optimal water temperature of 50 degrees.
Most water lines run underground, where they’re insulated against extreme summer temperatures. This is not always the case – sometimes water lines run through walls or even through the roof. When this happens, the water lines are more likely to be exposed to the outside heat. During particularly hot summers, these water lines can heat up, and push hot water to your ice machine. In these instances, Easy Ice has measured water temperatures as high as 140 degrees!
Commercial ice machine manufacturers install a safeguard in each ice machine that causes it to shut down when it’s overheating. This is to prevent the ice machine from getting too hot and causing irreparable damage to the unit. Although the intentions are well placed, shutoffs cause interruptions that can leave your business with very little ice if you don’t catch them early enough.
Increased Ice Demand
As if all these ice machine problems weren’t enough, increased demand is another challenge to consider. Many business owners don’t realize how much the demand for ice can increase during the summer. People are more dehydrated and require more ice-cold water to cool down.
If you run a business that has an outdoor patio, ice demand can also increase drastically during the summer. As heat beats down, customers drink more, and that means more ice.
Therefore, it’s important to get the right sized ice machine to account for the most demanding months.
If you’re already an Easy Ice customer, we have a Peak Ice Demand program that offers supplemental ice for a fee to customers in select areas. To see if your business is within our service area, and to learn more about our ice machine subscriptions, call 866-easyice.
Understanding the most common problems ice machines face in summer can give you a good framework to prepare for the summer season. Also, in the event your ice maker is not working, you’ll have the knowledge you can use to communicate with a technician.