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Planning to buy commercial ice makers for your shop or business? Having a commercial ice maker at your shop or business makes your job of tackling the demand for ice by customers easier, especially in summer.
Well, refrigerators do have freezers, but they are not much convenient for shops or business as they take too much time to make ice. Ice makers help you to make ice in a few minutes, so if you have an ice maker, you never run out of ice and can always keep the products cool at your Shop, Restaurant, Bar, Coffee Shop, etc. Commercial ice makers are capable of producing a large amount of ice in a short time with exciting shapes of ice.
Below we present you three best commercial ice makers of 2019 so that you can choose the one which fits your needs and budget.
Want to learn more?
Check out the detailed reviews of each commerial ice maker:
How does a commercial ice maker work?
Let us check how the mechanism of commercial ice makers. Water is pumped into the ice maker through a channel or pump, which is placed at the back of the machine. The water then travels to an ice mold which is also known as the evaporator. The evaporator is connected to copper heat exchanging pipes which remain coiled. When this happens, the compressor, which is the basic and important unit of any machine, forces refrigerant through the coiled copper piping which not only heats up but also cools the ice in the machine.
When the machine is turned on, the compressor constantly increases the pressure of the refrigerant, which in turn affects the temperature. When the gas passes through the marrow tubes, it loses heat gradually, which results in its condensation. This fluid then moves through an expansion valve where it starts evaporating and converts into a gas. Because of this phenomenon, energy is created as heat from the copper pipes, and if any air is present in the surrounding, that is also drawn from the evaporator. Right at that point, the flowing water starts freezing.
When ice cubes are formed, the sensor present in the evaporator triggers a valve which signals the compressor to restrict inducing the heated gas inside the condenser and instead bypass it to another valve. The hot gas then cycles off from the evaporator without cooling off, and it allows to heat up quickly, and this loosens the ice from the trays without really melting it. From the trays, the ice is collected into an ice basket from where the ice is received by the user manually or automatically. Once this entire process is completed, it starts all over again. Thus, this is how the commercial ice makers work.
How long do commercial ice machines last?
Generally, a commercial ice machine has a longevity of 4 to 5 years, but it totally depends upon the water quality, usage, and preventative maintenance regime. There are many companies who are using a machine for more than 10 years and is absolutely in good running condition. However, weather can be a valid cause of ice-machine damage in a few areas. But if the equipment is serviced on a regular basis, operated and maintained in accordance as per manufacturers guide book, then the life expectancy can be increased from 5 to 10 years.
There are several basic things to do to maintain a commercial ice machine. If you ignore or overlook some small key pointer, it can be a bigger problem which can affect ice production.
- Clean your ice machine properly once in every 6 months.
- Follow the maintenance guide written by the manufacturing company in your ice machine’s manual.
- Testing the quality of water on a regular basis can increase the longevity of your machine.
- Do not leave the control switch in the service position while you are cleaning the machine. It will cause bigger damage to the water pump.
Cleaning chemicals are the most vital matter to keep in mind while maintaining your ice-machine. Always use chemicals approved by the company for your ice machine. Most evaporators are nickel plated, and cleaning solutions can strip the plating by damaging it in both ways internally and externally, which can make the ice machine useless. So, always look to the user manual to determine the chemical type.
How much does a commercial ice maker cost?
To determine the cost of a commercial ice maker, you must know that the cost depends on three parts: the collection bin, the refrigeration system, and the water supply system.
- In modular types of a machine, the ice machine is placed on top of a dispenser. It comes in three different widths. The generation of ice from these types of machines is around 250-1000 pounds.
- In an under-counter machine, the ice machine fits under a counter which is minimum 40 inches high. These machines have lesser ice-holding capacity, and they combine both the ice dispenser and the machine. These types of machines generate about 350 pounds of ice daily.
- Countertop machines, as the name denotes, it is a machine which is fitted on top of a counter and generates about 400 pounds of ice in a day.
The different styles of designs implied, and the volume of ice turnover determines the cost of a commercial ice maker.
A smaller unit of ice maker, of the first-hand type, would cost about $1500-$2000 while a second-hand model would cost $500-$700. These machines have less ice holding capacity, which is ideal for use in cafes, hotels, or restaurants. A larger model would cost approximately $5000 with a larger dispenser bin that would hold more ice. Water-cooled ice machines would a few hundred dollars less than the air-cooled ones.
There are a few exceptional brands that would cost a bit higher due to improvised features and technologies incorporated into them. While purchasing a commercial ice cooler, one must also consider the maintenance cost, which includes changing of filters on a yearly basis.
How much water does an under-counter ice maker use?
Usually, it is seen that an ice maker uses up two to three times more water than the volume that we need to produce ice by storing water in the freezer.
While talking about the amount of water used up by an under-counter ice maker, we can say that it cannot be specified in exact numbers. This is because under-counter ice makers have constant drainage. Any kind of cooling does not take place in the ice bin apart from the ice formed itself. Therefore, as the ice keeps on melting, the drainage takes place. This, in turn, requires more water to be used up in the under-counter ice maker.
To determine the amount of water used up by an under-counter ice maker, one can switch it off for a while and make a note of how much water is being drained?
From several market reviews, we can conclude that an under-counter ice maker uses up about 2.5 to 3 gallons of water on a daily basis.
What is the best under-counter ice maker?
There are many different types of under-counter ice makers produced by different brands. But before deciding to choose one, a person should have a complete idea about the qualities which make an under-counter ice maker best.
- The ice maker should be easy handles and convenient to use.
- Should not alter the taste of the item where the ice is being used. The ice produced should clear.
- Should have a high turnover capacity.
- The ice maker should be cost-effective.
- The ice maker should be elegant and classy in appearance.
Keeping all the qualities in mind, the following icemaker stands out to be the best in the market-
U-LINE B195B-00 14” ICE MAKER-BLACK.
This ice maker stands out to be the best in the market, which uses less than 3 gallons of water and produces up to 23 pounds of ice daily. The size of this ice maker is almost four times the size of a refrigerator used at homes, and so is the ice production rate. This machine uses the least quantities of electricity and water as compared to other ones in the market. The machine consists of a reversible, and it complies with the height requirements. The ice storage capacity of the machine is about 12 pounds and is very much convenient to use. The machine consumes lesser power and is also energy efficient. This machine costs $1045.00 at present.
What are the different types of ice?
There is mainly one type of ice on earth, which is the same in Antarctica as well as the same which you get from your refrigerator. In the case of outer space, scientists have proved that there are 17 or more forms of ice. But here the different basic types of ice which we get from the ice machines.
There are five basic types of ice in total created from ice machines. They are-
- Flake Ice – This type of ice is small and hard in nature, which helps to preserve food like meat, seafood, etc. It also maintains hydration in food for a long period.
- Crescent Cubes and Gourmet Ice- Gourmet ice mainly includes crescent cubes where liquid can easily flow with slowly melting. It is used in ice bin most of the time.
- Nuggets- This type of ice’s texture is soft, which helps to chew easily as it is used for smoothies and soft drinks.
- Classic Cubes- Commercial ice machines produce this type of ice, which is the toughest for teeth. It is used in mixed drinks, carbonated beverages even in banquet services.
- Half Ice Cubes- It is half in size as the name says it all. It is appropriate for school, hospitality, retail, etc. and can also be used in cold coffee and mixed cocktails.
- Ice doesn’t provide nutritional value as it is only frozen water. It helps to keep you hydrate and refreshed as well in summer days. Ice can also make your drink tastes better.
What type of condenser to use with the commercial ice maker?
There are three types of condenser generally used with the commercial ice maker. Let us have a quick review of these machine types.
- Air-Cooled Ice Machines condenser: It produces more noise and heat than the other two types. But the selling average of this machine is more than 65% in the United States because of its easy installation facility and low utility cost. It is also significantly cheaper than the others. Although it requires a spacious area to breathe & ventilate and it has a high chance to draw floor dust into the refrigeration system still people like to use it more than other machines.
- Remote Ice Machines: These can keep the noise and heat of its condenser under control inside your workplace. This machine can be used efficiently and effectively in cooler climates. You can take advantage of several ice makers under its rack system to produce more ice in a shorter span of time. But, these machines are more expensive with separate pieces to buy. The installation charge is very high, and you need to have a pad outside for remote condenser.
- Water-Cooled Ice Machines: These are in high utility demands. It can work without heat and noise. It can be a great option to produce large scale ice, which is used in sprawling hotels and ice house building projects. It has no impact on the high-temperatures area, and it consumes less electricity than the other two types, which is more profitable to run. But, it needs a tremendous amount of water which is illegal in some areas.
Do commercial ice maker a need water filter?
Yes, commercial ice maker does need a water filter to produce clear and tasty ice to serve at restaurants, bars, cafes, and in many other places where ice is needed on a larger scale. There are some benefits to use these water filters in commercial ice making industry. Let us have a quick glance on the benefits:
- It can reduce the occurrence of unexpected failures due to sediments, scale build-up, or corrosion, which can minimize the production quantity and make the machine consume more electricity to run properly.
- It helps to reduce chlorine related corrosion and eliminates chlorine taste and smell, which can make the water taste better. This is the most vital benefit for those companies who serve ice to the restaurants and bars on a regular basis.
- A water filter can reduce many maintenance costs, related to scale build-up on evaporator plates by keeping the surface always clear. This will directly affect your production cost and selling price.
- It can prevent all the clogging issues caused by sediments in solenoid valves and distribution tubes. If your machine got some logging issues, then it can be an expensive matter to fix.
- It can prevent bacterial growth within your ice machine to keep the ice always healthy for your clients. It will increase your demand for ice among the targeted customer base.
Using a water filter and regular cleaning of your ice machine can prolong the longevity of the appliance and keep it in a well-running position always.
How much water does a commercial ice maker use?
Generally, most of the ice making companies use 18 to 200 gallons of waters, which is nearly 68 liters to 750 liters to produce 100lbs (45KG) of ice. All the ice makers use more water than it contains in the ice, which is nearly 2 to 3 time more. A model 506 Undercounted ice maker machine uses 25 gallons of water to produce up to 46 pounds of ice in a day in 70°F ambient temperature. The water usage amount and ice production amounts are dependent on the demand of the ice. If you serve at the maximum number of restaurants, hotels, hospitals, and grocery shops, then you have to use a huge quantity of water to serve your clients. More than 39% of produced ice goes to hospitals on a regular basis.
Water-cooled ice maker consumes less energy to run successfully. But on average, it wastes 100 gallons of water to produce 100 pounds of ice. That is why these types of models are now banned in the US. A good maintenance work and performance monitoring can reduce the water and energy consumption rate for a commercial ice maker.
Generating ice with less water use has an environmental benefit also. Checking machine output on a regular basis, measuring water consumption rate in small turbine flow meters, adjusting machine to dispense less ice, stop dispensing ice during non-using periods and checking incoming water pressure regularly and replacing water-cooled ice machines with air-cooled machines are the key factor that can reduce water usage rate for an ice maker company.
How do you clean an industrial ice maker?
The ice machine is essential equipment in such places like restaurants, home, bars, hospitals, etc. Ice is compared to food according to the FDA, and it is important to know the steps of cleaning an industrial ice maker. Otherwise, mold or other bacteria will gradually grow up in your ice maker, which may harm your health after having it. So, cleaning it up properly is the foremost part of maintaining an ice machine. Here are some steps to clean an ice maker given below.
- At first, remove the ice from dispenser or bin to continue the cleaning process.
- You can switch off the power button to give time to the ice for melting.
- After that, you can press the button called ‘clean’ or ‘wash’ which will help to flow the water through a damp water valve. This process will take one to two minutes maximum.
- You may remove the internal components of your ice machine for safe cleaning.
- Take sufficient amount of ice machine cleaner and mix it up with lukewarm water. Clean those removed parts with this mixture with the help of nylon brush, cloth, or sponge.
- Then rinse those parts with clean water.
- Do the same process in ice maker’s areas such as base, walls, plastic parts of an evaporator and most importantly dispenser or bin. Thus, rinse them up with clean water.
These steps will help to prevent your ice from being contaminated that you are going to take with your drink. Do not forget to clean up your ice maker once every six months.
How often should a commercial ice machine be cleaned?
Your commercial ice machine should be cleaned, maintained, and sanitary properly. Ice is referred to like food and needs to be handled like food. According to Food Law 2009 Chapter 4, ice machines must be cleaned and sanitized by the manufacturer for at least 2 to 4 times per year. You can even clean it by yourself also. Now here comes the question of how many times you should clean your ice machine and which parts should be cleaned properly. Here are the details mentioned below about cleaning up your commercial ice machine.
- Clean your commercial ice machine every 6 months
At least once in six months and twice in a year you should clean up your ice machine. At first, empty your machine and then start cleaning it up with safe sanitizer and scalar. Ensuring antimicrobial protection in your process of cleaning will help to keep your ice machine clean and fresh for the next six months. You can also call up the manufacturer for a yearly check-up of your commercial ice machine.
- Replace water filter twice a year
A new water filter which is clean and purified helps to produce the purest ice for you. You must try to replace your water filter every six months to get the best ice which tastes fresh too.
- Check your ice machine every week
Try to make time once a week for wiping down your ice machine, cleaning up dirt. You must check your pipelines; drains etc. to make sure that your ice machine is working properly.
Can mold grow in ice machines?
People often overlook kitchen sanitation, which is needed mostly over other things. Cleaning and sanitation of ice machine are one of them. Most of them feel that cleaning up an ice machine is not necessary. Thus the problems in ice machine can be seen as dirt, mold, or bacteria starting to grow up in the machine. Even there is a myth that mold can’t grow in the ice machines as the temperature is too low in those machines. But, this concept is wrong. Mold, bacteria, fungi can grow in ice machines, but the process of growth is slow in nature. In other places, they grow too fast, but in ice machines, they take time, perhaps a week or moth to become noticeable.
Mold can be called biofilm, which is covered with thin bacteria. If this is not cleaned properly, then these outbreaks can occur as mentioned below-
- Cholera- a disease of the small intestine
- E. coli- infection produced by bacteria which caused abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, etc.
- Typhoid- Infection produced by bacteria in the intestinal tract.
- Hepatitis A- Caused liver infection
- Salmonella- This is the infection produced by bacteria in the intestinal tract, which causes abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, etc.
Most of the time, mold is pinkish in color, which turns out to other colors too. Hence, you need to prevent this cause as soon as possible as ice is compared to a food item. It is not fair to serve your drinks with contaminated ice cubes.
What ice machine makes sonic ice?
If one wants to get sonic style ice, then he or she has to buy the best nugget ice makers for chewing the ice as sonic ice is for chewing by mixing it up in any type of soft drinks or smoothies. Sonic style ice cannot be made from any other ice maker. Specialized ice machine for perfect shaped sonic ice is needed. Here are some ice machines mentioned below which produce sonic style ice easily.
- Opal Nugget Ice Maker- This is first built Opal01, which is 24 lbs of soft. This machine is packed with stainless steel wrap with an accent of black color. It costs start from $440.19
- Scotsman- This ice machine produces soft sonic style ice which looks attractive and classy in design. It is easy to use and can be installed easily too. It is decent insulation means produced ice will last long for a long period of time. It costs start from $139.97
- Ice-O-Matic- This machine produces ice, which is excellent in quality and also appropriate for under counter installation. It costs start from $2,458.00. also, to note, you cannot get this item in India as it is not shipped.
All kind of ice can’t be chewed up properly as some are hard in nature. But sonic style ice is for enjoying a perfect drink, be it a soft drink or be it a cocktail. Two things you have to keep in mind while buying an ice machine for sonic ice are larger under counter and portable.
Where are Hoshizaki ice machines made?
If you want to get a wide variety of ice machines, then Hoshizaki is the right choice to buy. This machine produces ice in a different physical dimension. Now, here comes the question that from where Hoshizaki ice machines made?
Hoshizaki is the world’s largest manufacturer which makes commercial ice machines. It is an American based company and the headquarter is in Peachtree City, Georgia. It has facilities all over the world. This company produces all kind of machines, be it small under counter ice makers or be it large modular cube heads. The configuration of these machines will surely suit one’s need perfectly. Here are some advantages of Hoshizaki ice machines mentioned below.
- Hoshizaki ice machines have stainless steel evaporator plates for the last longing
- These machines have the facility of ice dispensers, storage bins and under counter in nature.
Some of the popular Hoshizaki ice machines are- Hoshizaki KM-115BAJ Air cooled 116 Lb, Hoshizaki KM-160BWJ water cooled 157 Lb, Hoshizaki KML-325MWJ water cooled 385 Lb, Hoshizaki KMD-410MAH Energy Star air cooled 415 Lb etc.