To make ice, you need water. And that means there’s always the possibility of a leak in your ice maker. When it comes to ice machines, there are a few common places leaks can occur—and most don’t even originate from the unit.
Routine preventive maintenance is the best way to identify potential leaks so they don’t result in expensive repairs. That’s why Easy Ice performs two preventive maintenance visits each year on every icemaker we install. Our qualified technicians can quickly identify dripping valves or faulty parts before they cause significant damage.
In this article, we’ll identify the common reasons leaks happen and what should you do if your ice maker is leaking.
Ice Maker Leaking Water? Here Are the First Steps to Follow
When you notice water around your commercial ice maker, the first thing to do is figure out whether the leak is coming from the inside or the outside of the machine.
Carefully inspect the area around your unit to identify the location of the leak. Stay out of any pools of water in case an electrical hazard is present.
Depending on where the water is coming from, you’ll either call a plumber or an ice machine technician. If the water is coming from outside the unit, it might be a plumbing issue, such as water coming from behind the shutoff valve. Anything stemming from inside the unit will require a technician with experience that’s specific to commercial ice machines.
Unplug the unit and then turn off the water. Be sure to do so in that order, as you can cause damage to the unit if you turn off the water before you unplug the device.
In some cases, shutting the ice maker down might not be an option, especially if you need ice for customers. Although we strongly advise shutting both the unit and the water off, the next best course of action is to contain the leak. Placing a container, like a pot or bucket, to catch the water is vital to protecting the surrounding area.
What to Do When Leaks Originate Outside the Ice Maker
Many of the ice machine service calls we receive are due to units that are suspected to be leaking, but the truth is most leaks originate from outside of the ice maker and typically involve the water line. A leaky line could occur when there is a crack or break in the line. Water can also accumulate if the water line is not secured to the ice maker.
If you notice that your water line is leaking, you’ll need to call a plumber to resolve the issue.
If you’re an Easy Ice customer, we’ll cover any water line leaks that originate beyond the shutoff valve.
A clogged drain can also cause problems. Although this is less of a “leak” and more of a drainage issue, the symptoms are similar, which can leads you to believe your ice maker is leaking.
Ice machines typically require an air gap, which is a space between your ice machine drain line and the floor drain. If there is build-up underneath the drain, water won’t flush properly and will overflow, making it appear as though water is coming from underneath your ice maker.
If your unit appears to be leaking from the bottom, check to make sure nothing is plugging up your floor drain. Pulling any objects out from under the ice machine drain should reestablish the flow between the unit’s condensation drain and floor drain.
What to Do When Your Ice Maker Is Leaking
Water originating from inside the unit can come from a lot of places, as liquid flows through many different components. Some common ice maker problems that can cause moisture issues are:
- Faulty or incorrectly installed water pumps
- A fill tube that has come loose or has worn out
- Stuck ice cubes that melt out from the dispenser
- A water inlet valve (fill valve) that has not been sealed properly
- A blocked water filter
- An incomplete defrost cycle
- Condensation drains that are leaking water
Usually, these leaks are due to components not being installed correctly or from worn out parts in older units. A good ice machine technician will be able to diagnose exactly where the moisture is coming from and either fix or replace the component in question.
If you’re an Easy Ice customer, you can give our helpful customer service team a call, and we’ll send a technician out to your location. If your ice machine is leaking water due to machine failure or improper installation, we’ll fix it and cover your replacement ice supply free of charge while your machine is down.
The Long-Term Effects of Ice Makers Leaking
If your ice maker is leaking water, it’s not something you want to ignore.
If the leak is coming from outside of the machine, the potential damage can be extensive. Water can damage:
- Surrounding appliances, including your refrigerator, freezer, or dishwasher
- Food products, especially if you have food stored in cardboard boxes
Water can also lead to mold growth in walls and underneath floors if it’s left to sit for too long.
There are also potential liability issues you could face if you ignore a leak and create an unsafe work environment in which employees can slip and fall.
Don’t ignore water that flows from inside the machine, either. If an ice maker is leaking, it means water is not reaching vital components. You may notice smaller ice cubes or less ice production when a leak is present. For example, if the ice maker is leaking water into the bin, ice cubes can clump together, making it very difficult to dispense into a glass or a cup.
The most severe issues that a leak can cause in the machine include corrosion and freeze-ups. If you ignore an internal leak for too long, it can cause damage to the bottom of a machine. You may notice scale build-up and rust corroding the unit’s frame.
Freeze-ups happen when ice isn’t released from the evaporator plate. If water makes its way to evaporator plates, the ice debris can consolidate into a large mass that will expand and crack the evaporator plate. Broken evaporators require expensive ice machine repairs that can halt your ice production until the machine is fixed.
How to Prevent Your a Water Supply Line or Ice Maker Leaking Water
Make sure to pay close attention to your ice maker if you see a leak. Identifying where a leak is coming from will help you decide how to contain it and call the appropriate experts to fix the problem.
Qualified ice machine technicians (like an Easy Ice technician) can identify when parts have the potential to leak and replace them before they fail. Having a technician come out to service the machine every six months will help catch potential leaks from occurring.
Calling a plumber to routinely check water lines and drainage is also a good idea. A plumber can clear floor drains and make sure water lines are properly sealed so you don’t walk into a flooded room.
Waiting until the ice machine springs a leak can lead to structural damage. If you’re concerned about your ice maker leaking, give us a call. One of our helpful Ice Machine Experts can find a reliable ice machine for your business for little to no capital upfront.
Maintaining a Steady Supply of Fresh Ice Cubes
If you’re in the market for a new ice machine, simply call Easy Ice! With our managed rental program, you’ll get a team of ice machine experts that will pair you with the perfect ice equipment to meet your needs. We guarantee performance by including biannual preventive maintenance and professional cleanings—all for a low, monthly cost.
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