If you’re buying a modular ice machine, the type that don’t have their own storage, you’ll need an ice bin to store all the ice it produces. A used ice bin can be a cost-effective way to store ice for a new or used ice machine. Still there are some things you should look out for when purchasing a used ice storage bin.
Many of these rules also apply to buying a used ice dispenser, which commonly comes with its own ice storage as well.
Choosing the Right Sized Ice Bin
If you already have an ice machine you need to make sure you have the right size ice storage bin to accommodate it. Ice bins can hold all types of ice, but ideally, you want them to be able to hold 100% of your ice machine’s daily output or you might be shorting yourself.
Ice machines come with an ice machine bin control, often either mechanical or thermostatic, that shuts the machine down when ice reaches them. If you place a 600-lb machine on a 300-lb used ice bin, you ice machine will shut down as soon as the ice reaches close to 300 lbs (it’ll actually be less than 300 lbs unless you level the ice out).
Note that bins designed for small commercial ice machine and large ice maker models differ somewhat. Really large bins that hold over 1300 lbs of ice have two sets of doors, one toward the bottom of the bin where users grab ice and another slide door to view your ice supply.
Bin and Machine Compatibility
Ice machines come in a lot of sizes. 22”, 30”, 44”, 48” are the most common sizes for commercial ice machines. Ice bins come in a range of sizes as well, but just because the ice machine and the bin aren’t the same size, doesn’t mean they are not compatible.
Adapter kits help create a seal between you ice machine and bin. The ice machine is able to stay secure on top of the bin and your ice supply stays cool and safe.
The easiest way to make sure a used ice bin and machine is compatible is to stick to the same brand. If you have a Hoshizaki ice machine, choose a used Hoshizaki ice bin. Manufacturers sell adapters in all sizes.
It is much harder to find a bin and machine from different brands that are compatible.
The first, and easiest to spot, problems to look for are any exterior damage to the used ice bin. Any used ice equipment is bound to have a few dents here and there due to normal wear and tear, but excessive exterior damage can affect how well a used ice bin can keep ice cold.
Things to look for are:
- Large, deep dents that could hinder the effectiveness of the insulation
- Holes that might let moisture enter between the bin lining
- Rust or corrosion which signifies a leak
- Broken or stiff hinges on bin doors
- Sweating around bin doors and exterior panels if ice is present
- Damage to drain fitting threads
You’ll need to look inside the bin for damage as well. The inside of an ice bin has a plastic liner with foamed-in-place insulation behind it.
Make sure to check the integrity of the liner. Here are some of the things you’re looking for:
- Holes or cracks in the liner, which can leak moisture into the insulation
- Liner separation or bubbling. If you can depress the liner, or the liner pulls away from the insulation.
- Water behind the liner
If you notice any of these issues, it’s best to move on and look for a different used ice bin.
Be Smart When Buying Used Ice Equipment
If you’re in the market for a used ice bin or a used commercial ice maker for sale, it’s important to get the best condition ice equipment for your money. Commercial ice equipment can be temperamental. Buying used means you could end up paying for the past owner’s mistakes. By knowing the signs of a good piece of ice equipment, you can make an educated choice in purchasing the best used ice machine equipment for your business.
If you’re looking for a dependable ice machine for your business and don’t want to risk looking for a used ice machine and bin, contact us. Our ice machine subscriptions include a top-of-the-line ice machine with maintenance and cleaning included for an affordable charge.