If you need over 1000 lbs of ice a day to run your business, you’ll need a large ice maker to deliver that amount of ice. The requirements for installing a large ice machine differ from that of smaller models. Large models require more space, higher voltage, and increased water flow to operate effectively.
What are the Installation Requirements for a Large Ice Maker?
Since large ice makers produce more ice than small commercial ice machines, they have different installation requirements. Here are the most common:
1. How Much Space Do I Need?
Large air cooled ice machines require at least 1 foot of space on all sides, including above the machine, to expel hot air away from the unit. If you can free up more than 1 foot, even better!
When air cooled ice makers don’t have enough room for hot air to escape into the environment, that air tends to linger around the machine. The extra heat lowers your ice production rate and can damage the ice maker over time.
Very large ice makers that produce over 3000 lbs a day rarely come in air cooled models because they would demand so much space. These models come as either water cooled ice machine and remote cooled ice machine systems.
2. What are the Electrical Requirements?
A 110v outlet will supply enough power to a 115v ice machine (the most common type). Larger ice machines require more power to operate. These machines generally run on 220v connections and need the proper electrical outlet. You’ll commonly find 220v outlets in areas for large home appliances like washers, dryers, and dishwashers. If the room you plan on installing your large ice maker does not have the proper outlet, you’ll need to contact an electrician to install one.
3. What Are the Water Flow Requirements?
Depending on the size of your ice machine, you may have to increase the flow rate of your water supply to deliver the proper amount of water to produce a batch of ice.
In these instances, you may require a plumber to install the correct water line that works with your model ice maker.
What Kind of Ice Bin Do I Need?
Large ice machines require a large ice bin to store all of that ice. Large ice bins are a little different than your standard, top door ice bin.
Large commercial ice storage bins, like the Manitowoc F-1300 ice bin, are generally made of stainless steel, which makes them easy to clean and very durable. There is also a variety of large Hoshizaki ice bins.
You’ll also find that larger ice bins have their access door at the bottom of the unit instead of the top. This setup forces users to grab the older ice at the bottom of the bin first, so it doesn’t have time to melt and clump together. They also have a viewing window at the top of the bin, so users can inspect their ice supply to tell how much ice is in the bin.
Choosing Multiple Ice Machines
One other option you may have is purchasing multiple ice makers rather than one large one.
The biggest installation hurdle for multiple ice machines is space. While a large ice machine can certainly take up a lot of room, multiple ice machines generally take up more. You’ll likely need to install the ice machines in separate rooms. This is a good option for an area with many rooms to choose from, like campuses and resorts, but may not be the best option for a high-volume restaurant with less space available.
Also, Hoshizaki makes stackable ice makers, like the Hoshizaki KM-1301SAJ ice machine, that allow owners to install 2-3 units on top of one another. While stackable machines may seem like a great option, these setups tend to lower the overall lifespan of the lower units. You can read more about stackable ice machines in our article titled Stackable Units: The Best Ice Machine for Small Rooms?
Installing a Large Ice Maker Shouldn’t be a Huge Hassle
If you need a large amount of ice for your business a large ice maker is the best way to go! Knowing the proper installation requirements before you buy or rent an ice machine will save you a lot of trouble. If you’re looking for a top of the line large ice maker for your business, we have a huge selection to choose from. We also follow strict installation guidelines, so you can be sure your ice machine is running in the best conditions. Our Ice Machine Experts have extensive knowledge sizing and installing ice machines for all industries!