Preparing your ice maker for summer

The weather in the UK can be unpredictable, but that doesn’t dampen customers’ craving for refreshing, ice-cold drinks. As summer approaches, restaurants and bars are gearing up to increase foot traffic and revenue. However, it’s worth noting that this time of year can also bring about all kinds of problems for your ice maker.


Rising temperatures and increased demand can put stress on commercial ice machines, leading to potential problems. To avoid costly repairs or breakdowns during the peak of summer, it’s crucial to take certain steps to prepare your ice machine.


Snowman provides reliable and cost-effective ice machines to many businesses across the country. However, your ice machine should be maintained to ensure it remains efficient.


5 Tips for Keeping Your Ice Maker Running.

Here are some simple tips to help you keep it looking its best.


Tip 1: Ensure a cool environment


All machinery requires specific environmental conditions to operate effectively, and ice machines are no exception. To achieve the manufacturer’s estimated ice production rate, the machine should be placed in an environment with temperatures between 7 and 32 degrees Celsius.


As the temperature rises, the amount of ice produced decreases, so it is important to ensure that the ambient temperature around the ice machine does not exceed 37 degrees. If so, it may stop producing ice entirely. Additionally, higher room temperatures cause the ice in the bin to melt faster, depleting the overall ice supply.


Considering that the area around the machine gets hotter due to the hot air being expelled during the ice making process, the room temperature should be well below the ice maker’s maximum limit.


Tip 2: Leave enough space


At least one foot of space must be provided around all sides of the ice machine. Make sure your device is not installed in a tight space as ventilation may be compromised, causing temperatures to rise due to trapped hot air. Ice makers require a steady flow of cold air to make ice effectively. Consider relocating your ice machine to a more suitable location to maximize production during the busy summer months.


If the ice machine is installed next to or near a heat-generating appliance such as a grill, it should be moved to a cooler area. Also, make sure there are no boxes or crates stacked around the ice machine, which may restrict airflow.


Tip 3: Monitor water temperature


If you’ve noticed a decrease in ice production during quiet periods, this will be worth a look. When demand increases, it can become a problem if the ice machine cannot keep up with production during the slower months.


The ice machine performs best when the incoming water temperature is around 10 degrees Celsius. If the water is too hot, the ice machine must work harder to cool the water, resulting in longer ice cycle times.


Water temperature is greatly affected by outdoor conditions. If you notice that ice production slows down as the outside temperature rises, consider getting it checked out.


Tip 4: Keep your ice machine clean


A clean ice machine runs more efficiently than a dirty ice machine. The buildup of scale, mold, or dirt not only affects the quality of the ice, it can also hinder ice production.


There are two types of ice machine cleaning: daily cleaning and deep cleaning. Both are critical for optimal performance. Daily or weekly closing and opening procedures should include wiping down high-traffic surfaces such as bin handles and shovels.


The manufacturer recommends deep cleaning at least twice a year, which should be performed by an ice machine technician. These thorough cleanings, which include descaling, sanitizing and sanitizing the inside and outside of your ice machine and freezer, are best scheduled before the busy spring season. Professional cleaning usually takes several hours but is well worth the investment.


Tip 5: Implement ice management procedures


Implementing an effective ice management program can significantly increase the amount of ice your business can use without incurring additional costs. Many people don’t know that the size of the ice bin underneath it limits the ice maker’s ability to make ice. When the ice bin reaches full capacity, it signals the ice machine to slow down or stop ice production.


Ice shortages occur when the ice bin storage capacity falls below the ice machine’s production capacity, and the business is dependent on the ice machine producing at full capacity.


To maintain optimal ice production, bar and restaurant ice machines should consider the following steps:


At the beginning and end of each shift, fill every ice bin and beverage station on the premises, including the area behind the bar and other areas where ice is typically used. This frees up space in the box, allowing the ice machine to run continuously 24 hours a day.

Scoop ice from the back of the ice maker. When ice accumulates in front, it activates the ice bin control prematurely, signaling the ice maker to stop. Train employees to use ice shovels to pull ice forward as needed.