Ice machines are vital to commercial businesses like restaurants, bars, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, large corporations, etc. Imagine on a busy Saturday night with a packed restaurant, drink orders are flowing, and your ice machine stops working? What do you do? Or, your hotel is booked to capacity over Memorial Day Weekend, and your ice machine isn’t working correctly. It may not seem like a big deal to some, but it could negatively affect your business by losing repeat business, receiving bad reviews on Google or reducing your revenue.
To avoid any commercial ice machine mishaps, check out these troubleshooting ideas to help until your Commercial Repair HVAC team can get to your location.
An ice machine is part of the HVAC family, and a big reason that ice machines stop working is due to being dirty, either the air or water aspect part of the machine.
Try the process of elimination method. Is it an electrical, mechanical, or refrigeration issue?
- Does the machine have power?
- Does it have a water supply?
- Is the incoming water warm or normal room temperature?
- If the machine is water cooled, is it running water through the condenser to cool the compressor?
- If it is air cooled, is the condenser coil plugged in?
- Is the ambient air hot at above 90°F in the kitchen or next to an oven or stove?
- Is the water inlet valve constantly running while the machine is trying to make ice in freeze mode?
- Is there too much or too little water running out of the condenser drain line while the ice machine is running?
- If so, think of what type of conditions will take place when these issues exist?
- What are the possible causes that created these conditions?
- This type of thinking should put you on the right path of finding the problem causing the operation of the ice machine not to function as intended.
Most common mistakes
The most common problems found when an ice machine is not functioning properly are due to:
- not changing water filters;
- improperly adjusting water pressure regulator valves;
- improper bridge thickness switch settings;
- not cleaning the ice machine condenser coil;
- not cleaning the internal water side of the machine;
- changing water inlet valves when they need to be taken apart to clean out the muck or calcium flakes holding it open;
- water turned off;
- high ambient temperature;
- an unlevel ice machine;
- using the wrong cleaner for the type of ice plate metal; and
- using the wrong type of refrigerant.
Things to know
- Ice machines usually take at least 30 minutes to cycle each time.
- It takes at least an hour to correctly clean and take apart an ice machine and put it all back together, and start it up.
- Make sure you always change the water filter and clean all parts of the machine.
- You should change the water filter every six months if the water is hard, or once every 12 months if it is not.
- Ice machine should be serviced once every six months to keep it clean and sanitize the bin. Service should include the panels and surrounding areas. The same service should include the internal parts of the machine, such as the water trough, water tubes, water curtain, float valve, bridge thickness switch, and condenser if air cooled.
- Always reset the power to the circuit board, so the memory of the machine is cleared of errors.
- Resetting the power should prevent the ice machine from stopping at the same number of cycles as it did before the repair.
- Resetting the power twice by pushing and holding down the power button until all lights on the circuit board power on and off. After doing this two separate times, restart the machine.
Ice is vital to cool drinks, buffet tables, and help prepare certain foods in the kitchen. Keeping your ice machine in good working condition is important. Like any piece of equipment, it needs to be maintained regularly. Here are the basics that should be done:
- Clean and sanitize the bin frequently. Follow your manual’s recommendations for cleaning and sanitizing procedures.
- Change the air filter as needed.
- Change your water filters regularly to keep your ice and your ice machine in top condition.
- Sanitize the water intake to avoid a buildup of bacteria around the filter.
- Check for damage to the machine.
- If you have hard water, you will want to inspect it more often.
Services and sanitized
Keeping an ice machine sanitized and serviced is essential. An unsanitary ice machine can make people sick the same as poor hygiene practices with food handling. Ice bins are being touched constantly throughout the day which can carry dirt, germs, feces, or other contaminants.
The most common repairs on ice machines are due to water filters not being changed regularly. Hard water can quickly affect the water inlet valve, which usually leaves the water valve stuck open, and the float valve weighed down.
Do you need a company to handle the maintenance or repair of your commercial ice machine? If ye, give TRUST Heating & Air a call at 678-926-9676.