Installing Your Ice Machine

December 20, 2012
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4 Important Points For A Successful Install

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One of the most important things you can do after you’ve bought a commercial ice machine is to make sure it is properly installed. Installation can directly effect the performance of your unit, so it’s critical that your salesman and whoever is installing it takes time to go over routine site inspection check points with you. Doing this ensures that your set-up has everything needed for optimal performance, including adequate utilities. 

Now generally speaking, there are 4 core components that are absolutely necessary for your ice machine’s install: Power, Water, Space and Drainage. Here you will find details on each that will help you in the process:

1. POWER Before you power up your ice machine, you’ll need to know what kind of voltage and amperage requirements the unit has. The electrical specs vary from machine to machine, so for some smaller units, a simple wall-plug connection may be sufficient while other times a separate disconnect will be needed. If the latter is the case, a visit from an electrician is advised so that the circuit breaker and wiring is administered properly. Remember that commercial ice machines require their own dedicated circuit so be sure to take note of what your unit needs before proceeding.

2. WATER Commercial ice machines need access to a water connection with adequate water flow to ensure it stays in operation. It is highly recommended to purchase a water filtration system along with your machine as doing so will improve the quality of your beverages, the taste of your ice, and the longevity of your unit. Without an inline water filter, the build-up of scale, sediment, lime and minerals from the water will corrode the interior of the machine, diminishing the life span of the unit while degrading the quality of the ice. Remember that ICE IS FOOD and dirty ice has the potential to sicken your patrons or yourself.

Travis Water Filters, available on MissionRS.com

3. SPACE Whenever installing a new ice machine, clearance is incredibly important to the placement of the unit. Ice makers work hard throughout the day (and often through the night) to keep up with your establishment’s ice demand, and naturally, they can get overheated easily if they aren’t given room to “breathe” during peak hours of operation. The ice machine has to ventilate  and have enough clearance to cool off and circulate air, particularly in climates where the ambient temperature is high for a large portion of the year. Make sure that you know the dimensions and specifications of both the machine and the designated place for it in your home or business to ensure that it will fit beneath any counters or in between any walls with adequate room to spare. Space also plays a large role when thinking about maintenance and serviceability down the line. Having easy access to all sides of the unit will help speed up the repair process. {For self-contained air cooled ice machines, it’s generally advisable to have 6” of clearance at the rear, the top and on the sides.}

4. DRAINAGE Another important feature when thinking about install is Drainage.  With every ice production cycle, there is excess water that needs to be purged out as well as melted ice/water that needs to be drained from the bin. The ice maker (and the storage bin) will either need a floor drain and/or a drain pump for the water that was not frozen into ice during the freeze cycle. (This water, which is often called the purge water, didn’t freeze onto the evaporator plate because it  contained impurities and minerals that kept it from freezing more quickly than the clean, pure water. Purging this “impure” water out is critical to the ice making process and keeps those impurities from settling into your ice machine.) Furthermore, self-contained ice makers and modular ice makers with an attached ice bin, have to rid their bins of ice that’s melted and has been sitting in the system for a period of time. For restaurants and other institutions that have time to plan, integrating a floor drain into the facility is a good option, while those that don’t have the floor drain will need a designated drain pump to rid the unit of excess water. Ask our team of sales representatives about drain pumps and accessories when buying an ice maker from our site- you can reach us at 800-319-0690! Even if it’s not online, we’d be happy to help you find what you need from a local parts dealer!

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