Unruly Ice Machines? 5 Common Ice Machine Problems and How to Fix Them
Sometimes ice machines just won’t cooperate. Whether you have too much ice or too little, a leaky unit, or a loud ice maker, ice machine malfunctions can throw a real wrench in the works at your establishment. But don’t worry—ShortOrder is here to help you troubleshoot. Once you’ve checked the obvious culprits (like the ice machine’s indicator lights and power supply) it’s time to take a closer look at the issue. Here are our tips for the top 5 common ice machine problems and how to fix them.
1. Combating Ice Machine Slime
Without proper maintenance, ice machine slime is a common problem among ice machine owners. This slime that accumulates inside the machine is a type of mold or fungus that forms when surfaces that are constantly covered with water droplets are exposed to warm temperatures. The result is a pinkish slime that can eventually become red, green, brown or black, coating your ice and lending it an unpleasant taste and smell. To prevent ice machine slime, wipe down and sanitize your ice machines regularly. To combat existing slime, use quaternary ammonium chloride (QAC). This will eliminate the slime and prevent it from reforming for a period of time after its application. If the mold is in your water lines, hoses, or fittings, however, you may need to get them replaced altogether.
2. When an Ice Machine Won’t Make Ice
Unfortunately, this common ice machine problem could be due to any number of issues. To determine the cause, check that the power supply is connected correctly; the ice machine’s catch bin and interior bin for build-up; the water supply for normal and unimpeded flow; and the evaporator plate for discoloration, too much copper color, or scale deposits.
3. If Your Ice Machine Is Too Noisy
If your ice machine is making a lot of noise, it could be a harbinger of worse problems, so be sure to check your ice machine when it first starts making extra noise. If the machine has always been loud, remember that air-cooled ice machines are simply louder than water-cooled ones. If your unit has gotten louder than usual, get it serviced. It could be a simple fix of a loose panel or some other rattling part, or it could be a struggling compressor. If the sound consists of squealing or crunching, check the ice machine’s freezing cylinder for scale buildup, and remove any buildup with a scale remover.
4. If Your Ice Machine Is Leaking
If your unit is leaking water, inspect the water hook-up. The water line may be cracked or have a worn-out fitting. If this is the case, have the connection serviced.
5. When Ice Machines Cause High Utility Bills
If your energy bill seems too steep despite normal levels of ice machine use, check that no components are working harder than they need to, and also the level at which your ice machine’s thermostat is operating. Additionally, consider replacing your unit with an Energy Star-certified air-cooled machine like a Scotsman ice machine and employ the tips in our post about saving energy with your ice machines. Also remember that water-cooled ice machines consume more energy than air-cooled ones.
Remember, you can use these guidelines to get started with fixing your ice machine. However, when troubleshooting ice machines, we do recommend that you read your ice machine’s service manual for definitive answers to common problems. To learn more about ice machines before making a purchase, check out ShortOrder’s ice machines buyer’s guide.