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How to Keep Your Commercial Ice Machine from Freezing up

Nothing can be more frustrating to you and your customers than having your ice machine freeze up and stop working. Knowing some of the common causes can help you diagnose your machine and get it operating again at full capacity.

At Stellar Services, we specialize in servicing commercial ice machines, so if you find you’re experiencing issues, please give us a call! We would be happy to take a look and find the solution that works best for you and your budget.

How Does an Ice Machine Work?

Ice machines use electricity and gas to cool water and then freeze it through a process of evaporation and condensation:

  • Gas is heated up and then forced through a tube where it begins to cool.
  • That gas is converted into a liquid as it cools.
  • That liquid gas is moved to the evaporator.
  • Water runs over the evaporator.
  • The evaporator cools the water bringing it close to freezing.
  • At the right moment, the water stops and starts to turn into ice.
  • Once cubes are formed they are moved to a dispenser unit and the process begins again.

The process to make ice is pretty much the same across appliances, from your freezer to large commercial units, it is simply a matter of scale.

Common Causes of Ice Machine Failure

Unfortunately, ice machines aren’t a closed system. They combine electricity and water to create ice. This two-step process means that they are more susceptible to problems and can stop working. Here are some common failures:

  • Low water supply – If the water flowing to your ice machine is blocked up, it can keep your machine from operating at optimum performance.
  • Too much water – If you have extra water leaking it into the machine, it can create large chunks of ice. Those chunks can block up your machine and cause your evaporator to freeze.
  • Water’s temperature is too warm – Hot water flowing to your machine can throw off the ice machine. It takes the evaporator too long to cool down the water and freeze it into cubes, and this trips a sensor within the machine.
  • Room is too warm – The hotter the air temperature, the slower the machine operates. At high enough temperatures the ice machine will stop making ice.
  • Impure Water – The most common issue that ice machines come from the water they use. Water carries impurities and those impurities can keep your machine from running at an optimum level, and produce lower quality ice. When you clean your ice machine, check the evaporator for mineral deposits. This is a sign that the water you are using is carrying impurities. Buying a filtration system can keep your ice machine from freezing up, and lengthen its lifetime.

How to Keep Your Machine Running Smoothly

There are a few things you can do to keep your ice machine running optimally so that you don’t have any frustrating or lengthy breakdowns:

  • Make sure your water is clean – filtering your water before sending it to the ice machine can keep mineral build-up at bay.
  • Check your water intake – If your water line is clogged or leaking it can greatly reduce the performance of your machine. Check your water line if your machine isn’t working like you think it should.
  • Regularly clean your machine – Before attempting to clean your ice machine make sure you know what you’re doing or you could only further damage your machine.
  • Consider where you place it – Ice machines work better in cooler locations, the hotter the temperature around the machine, the slower it will work.

Regular maintenance is the best way to keep your machine running smoothly. Don’t let your customers go without ice, have an expert check your machine and make sure everything is working the way it should.

Rely on Stellar Services for Your Ice Machine Needs

Stellar Services can install, repair, and provide maintenance for your commercial ice machine. We understand the importance of having a fully functioning machine and we offer a warranty to give you peace of mind that your machine is covered.

Whether you have an emergency or you want to schedule some routine maintenance, Stellar has you covered. Contact us today!