Reasons Why A Hoshizaki Ice Machine May Produce Smaller Ice Cubes

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Are your ice cubes shrinking? Have you noticed smaller cubes coming out of your Hoshizaki ice maker? Let’s walk through why you’re experiencing shrinkage.

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Possible reasons your Hoshizaki ice machine is producing smaller than normal ice cubes:

1) Not enough water flowing to your ice machine.
2) There is enough water at the start, but the water is leaving the machine in some way other than as an ice cube.
3) The measurement device (the float switch) is adjusted to the wrong setting.

The mechanism that tells a Hoshizaki ice machine to stop freezing the water is the water level. Whether you have a large ice cube maker or a small ice machine, during ice harvest, the reservoir should fill to overflowing. If it does, there is plenty of water in the reservoir for a full batch of normal sized Hoshizaki KM cubes. If it doesn’t fill to overflowing, check the incoming water supply. A plugged external filter or inlet water valve screen is likely the problem. Low water pressure or an improper inlet water line size is also a possibility.

If the reservoir filled properly during harvest, the water had to go somewhere, right? In this case check for leak by at the pump-out check valve. Leaks can be caused by dirt, scale, or a weak spring. Also look for a missing displacement cap or o-ring for the drain stand pipe. A water trail caused by shipping tape, an out of position ice chute guide, or algae can cause water to splash or run into the bin. There is also the remote possibility of a leaking reservoir. Search until you find the missing water culprit and correct it, and your ice cube size should return to normal.

Finally, when looking at the float switch, you will see that it can be adjusted. The higher you adjust the switch, the smaller the cubes will become because the switch will tell the machine to stop freezing sooner. If you move the switch lower, the cubes will be larger because the switch will tell it to stop freezing later. Be careful playing with this adjustment because if you make the cubes too large, they may bridge (i.e. start freezing to one another) which will give you all kinds of trouble with harvesting, freeze-ups, etc. There are some folks who say if the cubes get too small, they won’t be heavy enough to fall off the evaporator during harvest.

It’s a little like Goldilocks and the Three Bears…sometimes you have to try a few things to get it just right!

By having a qualified Hoshizaki technician perform regular preventive maintenance, potential issues can be found before they become problems. Ice machine subscriptions include 2 preventive maintenance visits every year. Identifying issues with your ice machine before they become actual problems saves you time, money and reduces stress.

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2 Comments on “Reasons Why A Hoshizaki Ice Machine May Produce Smaller Ice Cubes”

  1. Avatar

    Our small Hoshizaki ice machine in our office is making sheets of ice instead of individual pieces. We have had the machine for 3 years now and I’m sure it needs to be serviced.

    1. Mike Sallustio

      Hi Becky,

      Typically you should have your ice machine serviced at least 2 times per year, so if it’s been longer than six months since your last service, I would consider setting an appointment soon.

      Hoshizaki ice machines are not known to produce sheets of ice and the severity of your problem will be dependent on the model type. Feel free to call us at 866-easyice and provide your machine details to one of our representatives. They will gladly help you get to the bottom of your problem.

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