Monthly Archives: October 2012

  1. Scotsman Ice Machines: Prodigy Ice Machines Are Better Than Babies

    Scotsman Prodigy Ice Machine Earth Logo

    Some of the most difficult facets of child rearing come during the early years. One of them is the child's inability to communicate. The same cry may mean feed me, change me, pay attention to me, or play with me. While it takes time for attentive parents to decipher what the child actually requires, there is a lot less to learn when it comes to Prodigy Ice Machines from Scotsman. These ice machines were designed to alert users of their needs and performance at all times, so you're never left clueless about what your ice machine is doing. They, like most ice machines, also come with an instruction manual (something that cannot be said for children).

    The way in which Scotsman's Prodigy Ice Machines communicate with users is through their AutoAlert® Indicator lights. When all is well, the “power” and “ice” lights will show a steady stream of green. If there is ever a problem with the ice machine, the lights will start to blink red, instantly alerting the operator of a problem. If your ice machine requires cleaning or sanitation, the “clean/sanitize” button will illuminate itself to ensure that your Prodigy ice machine is always serviced within a reasonable amount of time.

    Without these indicator lights, you may be left in the dark if your ice machine runs into a problem. Some people do not realize how greatly scale and mineral buildup can adversely affect the performance of their ice machine. While the ice machine will not clean itself automatically, it does the next best thing by alerting you when a cleaning is required. While babies can do this by “radiating” a distinct scent, the AutoAlert® lights are a far better option provided by Scotsman's Prodigy Ice Machines.

    Scotsman Prodigy Ice Machines also can also be equipped with a few other optional features that make them even easier to manage. The optional Smart-Board allows operational data to be transmitted remotely, so diagnoses of problems can be made more quickly and accurately. The VariSmart sensor allows you to program ice levels for up to seven days in advance, so you will always have freshly made ice in the bin. By controlling ice production, your ice machine will also consume less water and energy- something Scotsman's Prodigy Ice Machines already do incredibly well. The cuber heads from the Prodigy Series create ice using less water and electricity than competing brands, and most air-cooled and remote air-cooled Scotsman ice machines are ENERGY STAR qualified as well.

    scotsman prodigy control panel   We all love children, but let's face it; we wouldn't want them to be responsible for the well-being of our businesses. That's why Scotsman ice machines are so highly revered by those who use them. Scotsman has available Prodigy cuber heads, Prodigy Flake Ice Machines, and their famous Prodigy Nugget Ice Machines. For more information on Scotsman, or on the other leading ice machine manufacturers in the industry, check out some of the additional content in our Ice Expert Center, or give us a call at Ice Machines Plus, at 1-877-900-4423.

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  2. Scotsman Ice Machine Reviews

    For years, Scotsman's ice machines have been providing businesses with reliable ice production. Scotsman ice machines continue to be some of the most popular in the industry, with a wide range of models available. Scotsman offers ice machines that create cube, flake, gourmet, and most popular, nugget ice. This ice is famous for its chewable nature, and for its flavor retaining capabilities, and has found numerous followers around the country. This article will review in detail some of Scotsman's most popular ice machines, what you can expect from them, and how they will fit into your establishment.

    Scotsman's CU1526MA

    Scotsman CU1526 Undercounter Ice maker   Scotsman's CU1526MA is the smallest undercounter ice machines available to produce medium sized ice cubes. These cubes resemble standard playing dice in shape, and primarily see use in fountain sodas and mixed drinks. This ice style is perfect for bars and restaurants. This is one of Scotsman's Prodigy ice machines as well. One thing that sets Prodigy ice machines apart from the competition is their conservative use of water and electricity. These ice machines produce the same amount of ice as competing models, but do so using less resources. In doing so, the CU1526MA is ENERGY STAR qualified as well. This ice machines is air-cooled and will produce anywhere from 150-200 pounds of ice per day, depending on the temperature of the air and water surrounding the ice machine. Its internal storage bin can hold up to 80 pounds when filled completely.

    Scotsman's CU50GA

    Scotsman CU50GA Undercounter ice machine with gravity drain makes gourmet ice   Another one of Scotsman's undercounter ice machines, the CU50GA is constructed a bit differently than the CU1526MA, and it also produces a different type of ice. The CU50GA resembles a small, undercounter refrigerator, measures less than 15 inches wide, and stands just under 35 inches tall. This ice machine creates gourmet ice - a hard, clear ice cube that is composed entirely of water, while minerals and other impurities are filtered out. It works great in offices, board rooms, and executive suites. This ice is elegant, meant for special occasions as well, and complements scotch and other spirits very well. Unfortunately, the CU50GA does not produce a great amount of ice on a daily basis - only about 65 pounds per day. It also has the ability to store around 24 pounds of ice, making this ice machine from Scotsman better for more personal, intimate use. The CU50GA is also equipped with a gravity drain, not like its cousin the CU50PA which uses a pump to remove excess water. Both the CU50GA and CU50PA have been approved for outdoor use however, making them more versatile than most other ice machines.

    Scotsman's C0530MA

    Scotsman C0530MA medium ice cuber head   This ice machine head is one of Scotsman's most popular. The C0530MA cuber head can produce up to 560 pounds of ice per day in ideal conditions. This is generally adequate to service the needs of a mid-sized bar or restaurant. This unit is just the cuber head however, and an appropriate bin or dispenser must be purchased in addition to the ice machine head, if you do not have a suitable one on hand already. The C0530MA produces medium sized cubes, perfect for soft drinks and mixed drinks. As one of Scotsman's Prodigy ice machines, the C0530MA requires less water and electricity to produce the same amount of ice as similar cuber heads from other brands. These ice machine also make use of Scotsman's AutoAlert system, which reminds users of cleaning and sanitizing schedules, and alerts them of potential problems with their ice machine. This ENERGY STAR qualified ice machine also has other optional features available that allow users to program ice production rates for up to seven days ahead of time.

    Scotsman's F1222A

    Scotsman F1222 Flake ice maker head   This air-cooled, flake ice machine from Scotsman serves to create up to 1,100 pounds of flake ice in a 24 hour period. Flake ice, primarily used for seafood or produce displays in supermarkets or fish markets, is desired for its soft, malleable nature. This ice can be shaped and formed to fit around objects without causing damage to the products with which it comes in contact. As this ice comes in direct contact with the product itself, it allows the product to remain cooler while safely displayed. As one of Scotsman's Prodigy ice machines, the F1222A features the same AutoAlert system as the C0530MA, and some of the same optional accessories. Like any standard cuber or flaker head, the F1222A does require a bin to store the flake ice it creates.

    Scotsman's MDT5N40A

    Scotsman MDT5N40 Countertop Nugget Ice Maker   Now we get to the nugget ice that everyone loves! This is one of Scotsman's countertop ice machines, which also happens to be one of the most sanitary nugget ice machines around. The MDT5N40A features touch-free technology that senses when a user’s glass is present, and dispenses either water or ice automatically. There are no buttons to push as water and ice are dispensed from two separate chutes. The MDT5N40A produces up to 523 pounds of nugget ice per day when air and water temperatures are ideal, and the internal, self-contained bin stores around 40 pounds of nugget when filled to capacity. This ice machine is smaller, and fits well in the office break room or cafeteria. If you, your customers, or your employees love nugget ice, you'll love this countertop nugget ice machine. Scotsman also improved the operational noise produced by the MDT5N40A, decreasing the fan noise by about 25%. A smaller model is available in the MDT5N25A, with more information available here. (Note: The MDT5N40A has been replaced by the HID540A-1. The MDT5N25A has been replaced by the HID525A-1.)

    Scotsman NU130 (Discontinued)

    Scotsman NU130 Nugget Ice Maker   For years, this ice machine enjoyed great popularity among nugget ice lovers around the country. Unfortunately, Scotsman has discontinued the commercial NU130, but we still field many queries and questions regarding this quality undercounter ice machine. We at Ice Machines Plus now recommend the GEMU090, a comparable nugget ice machine from Ice-O-Matic. Scotsman is the parent company of Ice-O-Matic and the NU130 and the GEMU090 are nearly identical in terms of ice style, and storage capacity. You can find the Ice-O-Matic GEMU090 on our site if you want to provide the lovable nugget ice in your home or business.

    Hopefully these reviews have helped to educate you a bit more on some of Scotsman's most popular ice machines. For more information, check out some of our other posts in our Ice Expert Center, or give us a call at 1-877-900-4423 to find the perfect Scotsman ice machines for your establishment.

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  3. Ice-O-Matic’s ICEU150 Wins the Popularity Contest

    Ice-O-Matic ICEU150 Underounter ice machine   It's no mystery that in the world of undercounter ice machines, the ICEU150 from Ice-O-Matic is one of the most popular. As one of the leading producers of commercial undercounter ice machines, Ice-O-Matic has put every bit of their focus into creating an undercounter ice machine that does what Ice-O-Matic does best: Make a great amount of ice. Ice-O-Matic ice machines outperform similar ice machines in the same class, creating the most ice when air and water temperatures are ideal. For their price, these ice machines make the most amount of ice per dollar spent, which is one of the main reasons for their popularity among ice machine owners.

     One of the reasons Ice-O-Matic's ICEU150 remains in the good graces of consumers is its increased ice production and its versatility. In terms of output, the ICEU150 can produce up to 174 pounds of ice per day. For an undercounter, this is a great amount of ice. As this ice machine measures only 24 inches wide -the slimmest commercial undercounter ice machine to date - and it can be placed almost anywhere. Its size and output have made this ice machine popular for commercial use, under-bar areas, and also for private residences and clubs. The ICEU150 produces the greatest amount of ice for its size, and it can also be used in the home if desired.

    Ice-O-Matic's ICEU150 can be either air-cooled or water-cooled. This refers to the way in which the condenser is cooled- by means of air or water. Air-cooled ice machines tend to be more sensitive to air and water changes around them, and realize a greater drop in production when temperatures increase. Water-cooled ice machines tend to be more consistent, but they use a great amount of water to keep the condenser cool. In the case of the ICEU150, it uses over 150 gallons of water to cool the condenser for every 100 pounds of ice created. Because of this, the water cooled ICEU150 is not ENERGY STAR qualified, while the air-cooled ICEU150 is ENERGY STAR approved.

    Those who are interested in the ICEU150 can choose the cube style they desire as well. The ICEU150 can produce either full cubes or half cubes, both of which are perfect for use in beverages. Half cubes tend to displace more liquid, but full cubes generally last longer, and melt more slowly in drinks. Ice-O-Matic ice machines are also covered by the longest warranty in the industry, assuring quality operation of your appliance for years to come.

    In a popularity contest Ice-O-Matic’s ICEU150 takes the blue ribbon, captures the gold medal, and wins first place. If you know Ice-O-Matic, it should come as no surprise that this ice machine remains one the most desirable for both commercial and residential use. If you need great ice output from your undercounter ice machine, few do it better than Ice-O-Matic's ICEU150.

    Click here to view the Ice-O-Matic ICEU150 Stat Sheet

  4. Nugget Ice From Scotsman’s MDT5N40: Countertop Convenience

    Scotsman MDT5N40 Countertop Nugget Ice Maker   If you want a glass of ice water at work (or simply a glass of ice, or water) the process may be more tedious than it should be. If you have an ice machine, you may be required to go to it, scoop the ice, head to the water fountain or sink, and fill your glass. If there is no ice machine in your office, you may be reliant on others to refill the ice tray in your freezer (which is apparently a difficult task for some). All of these hassles can be bid adieu with Scotsman’s MDT5N40, a countertop nugget ice dispenser that also dispenses water, and it does so all while remaining one of the most sanitary ice and water dispensers available.

    This is the time of year when cold and flu season begins, and germs and bacteria are spread more easily. The water fountain is easily one of the repeat offenders in terms of transmission of sicknesses. With Scotsman’s MDT5N40, this threat is virtually eliminated. The MDT5N40 dispenses both ice and water with a touch-free sensor. When a container is placed below the ice spout, this countertop ice maker begins to dispense the nugget ice that everyone loves. Because there is no need for users to press buttons or push levers, the transmission of germs is minimized, if not eliminated altogether.

    The MDT5N40 from Scotsman creates nugget ice, and for a countertop ice maker, it creates a pretty good amount of it. The MDT5N40 will produce over 500 pounds of ice on a daily basis in ideal conditions. The self-contained bin holds up to 40 pounds of nugget ice when filled to capacity. In terms of hourly production, the MDT5N40 creates nearly 21 pounds of ice per hour, so if the internal bin is depleted, it will take less than two hours to refill completely.

    The nugget ice produced by the MDT5N40 is sought by ice chewers everywhere, as it is well known and well liked for its soft, chewable nature, and its flavor retention abilities. When flavored beverages are poured over this ice, and the drink is consumed, consumers are then left with a tasty reminder in the nugget ice cubes left behind. The MDT5N40 from Scotsman also operates with 25% less fan noise than previous models, allowing this unit to be placed in quiet hallways without it disturbing anyone.

    If you are still required to make two or three stops for a single glass of ice water, it may be time to make a change. Consider the Scotsman MDT5N40 as your “one stop shop” for both ice and water, all included in a single, convenient countertop ice maker.

    Editor's Note: The Scotsman MDT5N40 has been discontinued and replaced by the updated Scotsman HID540A-1.

  5. Hoshizaki’s KM-1301SRH for the Big, Booming Businesses

    Success is something we can all appreciate. With success however, come more challenges and roadblocks. Let’s say you planned to open a large club and needed an ice machine that could produce over 1,000 pounds of ice per day. Hoshizaki provides a perfect ice machine in the KM-1301SRH. In a year or two, perhaps your business has doubled, and you want to expand, add an additional floor. Are you going to require another ice machine and bin from Hoshizaki? Maybe not. The KM-1301SRH is stackable, so you can double your ice machine’s production without needing to worry about finding more space for an additional ice machine to operate.

    As your success increases, your building may expand, and now so can your ice machines’ output. Look at New York City as an example. People flocked by the millions, and as space became an issue, the only feasible thing that could be done was done- build upward. With Hoshizaki’s KM-1301SRH, you can do the same thing- build up without your ice machine creating a greater footprint where your space may be limited.

    The KM-1301SRH is a remote air-cooled ice machine, so the condenser can be placed outside, away from the building, or on the roof of your establishment. This is helpful, as the condenser of an ice machine like this may generate a lot of heat and noise if it is left to operate inside your building. When you operate a larger club, the temperature will rise quickly when it is packed with moving bodies. There is no need for your ice machine’s condenser to add to the uncomfortable conditions.

    Hoshizaki KM1601SRH on a Hoshizaki ice bin   One of the greatest benefits a Hoshizaki ice machine provides is consistent performance. The KM-1301SRH produces up to 1,353 pounds of ice per day in ideal conditions. When air and water temperature increase, your ice machine’s performance will inevitably drop, but not to the extent that some others do. The daily output of the KM-1301SRH drops to 1,222 pounds per day, a loss of less than 10%. Some ice machines lose up to 30% of their production when temperatures increase to the same point, but not this ice machine from Hoshizaki.

     There are a few reasons for this. Hoshizaki is the only ice machine company that features a stainless steel evaporator plate, so performance is most consistent. These evaporator plates tend to have a longer life when compared to other brands because of their construction, and will not peel or flake over time. The remote air-cooled condenser of the KM-1301SRH also allows the condenser to operate in a cooler location, so production remains more consistent over time.

    If you need a great amount of ice every day (upwards of 1,000 pounds), the KM-1301SRH is a great choice for a high quality, remote air-cooled ice machine. This ice machine from Hoshizaki will provide consistent ice production, and if your ice needs ever increase, you can always add another ice machine to operate on top. For more information, or if you have any questions, consult the ice experts at

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  6. Scotsman’s Prodigy C0530MA-1A: Five Stars and Green Lights

    Five Star Rating for Scotsman Ice MachinesIf you’ve read any of the reviews related to Scotsman’s C0530MA-1A then you’ve probably seen quite a lot of praise and five-star reviews. The reason for this is more than just because Scotsman continuously puts out quality, reliable ice machines. It’s because when you get an ice machine from Scotsman’s Prodigy Series, like the midsize C0530MA-1A, you get the comfort of the green lights that let you know all is well and right with your ice machine’s operation. Since this Scotsman ice machine will flash yellow or red when an issue arises, it can be serviced in a timely fashion, with the right fix applied the first time.

    Scotsman C0530MA medium ice cuber head

    If you have children, or have been around a crying child that cannot yet speak, you know how frustrating it may be while trying to decipher what each wail means. If the child is not hungry, not tired, and not in pain, you may be at a loss for what to do, or what the problem may be. Thankfully, when Scotsman’s C0530MA-1A has a problem, it can communicate it to you immediately. The indicator lights in the top corner of the ice machine effectively tell you what is wrong, and what needs to be done to fix the issue. The C0530MA-1A will communicate when it is time to clean, descale, and sanitize your ice machine, but when all systems are go, you will see a steady stream of green lights.

    Scotsman Prodigy Lights all green

    The C0530MA-1A from Scotsman will produce around 550 pounds of ice per day in ideal conditions. It produces medium sized ice cubes, also known as full ice cubes, which are the standard cube-shaped ice cubes commonly found in mixed drinks, soft drinks, and other beverages. The C0530MA-1A is an air-cooled ice machine, meaning the condenser is cooled by the surrounding air. The air filter is easily accessible and removable from the side of the machine, so cleaning it is a simple task.

    As one of Scotsman’s Prodigy ice machines, the C0530MA-1A operates and creates ice using less water and electricity than other cubers. Scotsman’s Prodigy ice machines are some of the most resource-conservative ice machines on the market today, and in doing so, almost all air-cooled and remote air-cooled ice machines from Scotsman are ENERGY STAR qualified as well. If it’s efficiency you’re looking for, you’ll find it with Scotsman’s Prodigy ice machines.

    The C0530MA-1A is great for midsized bars and restaurants, and can also be used as a suitable ice machine in smaller hotels and motels. The C0530MA-1A is best suited for use on top of a bin or an ice dispenser (sold separately), which are all available on If you’re looking for quality, consistent ice production from an energy efficient, five-star ice machine, look no further than the Energy Star qualified Scotsman C0530MA-1.

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  7. Scotsman’s NU130 is Gone, But the GEMU090 is Here!

    Well, the unfortunate day has come, and we at are officially out of stock of Scotsman’s undercounter, nugget producing ice machine- the NU130. Unfortunately, Scotsman will no longer be making a commercial model of the NU130, and all nugget ice lovers will be forced to search elsewhere for their beloved nugget ice. Thankfully, Ice-O-Matic (which is a branch of Scotsman Industries) can offer nugget ice lovers a break with the GEMU090. This undercounter ice machine provides all the same amenities as the NU130, and most importantly, will continue to be produced by Ice-O-Matic- a son of Scotsman Industries.

    Scotsman NU130 Nugget Ice Machine   Nugget ice lovers can now get the same quality nugget ice that Scotsman’s NU130 produced, simply with a different name- Pearl Ice. Pearl Ice is identical to nugget ice in the way it is small, soft, and chewable. It also still retains the flavor of the beverages it cools even after the liquid in your container is gone.

    With the GEMU090, you don’t have to worry about finding space for a larger ice machine. The NU130 and Ice-O-Matic’s GEMU090 share almost identical measurements. Both are 15 inches wide, and the GEMU090 actually measures an inch shorter than the NU130. This allows Ice-O-Matic 's GEMU090 to fit in a greater variety of locations than the NU130. Like Scotsman’s NU130, the GEMU090 is also available with a drain pump, or with a gravity drain.

    Ice-O-Matic GEMU090 Undercounter Pearl Ice Machine   The GEMU090 from Ice-O-Matic produces up to 85 pounds of Pearl Ice per day, and the self-contained bin holds around 22 pounds of ice when filled to capacity. This is not enough ice to supply for a larger bar or restaurant, but it will suffice for a smaller café, in the office, or stadium and hotel suites.  Like the NU130, the GEMU090 makes fits great in the home too. Pearl Ice makes an especially good companion in iced coffees, as some local coffee shops in the northeastern United States have started creating all of their iced coffees with these delightful nuggets.

    Even though Scotsman’s NU130 may be out of stock, and Scotsman will not be continuing to produce a commercial model, Ice-O-Matic’s GEMU090 provides a great alternative if you're looking for an undercounter nugget ice maker. Since Ice-O-Matic is a branch of Scotsman Industries, you can rest assured that you will be receiving a well constructed, reliable undercounter ice maker. Consider the Ice-O-Matic GEMU090 as an alternative to the Scotsman NU130. Ice-O-Matic also has larger ice making heads available if you require a greater amount of nugget ice for your establishment.

  8. Water-cooled Ice Machines: A Good Fit For You? Part II

    While our last article examined some of the benefits and drawbacks of water-cooled ice machines, this one will look a bit deeper into the performance of specific ice machines. Hoshizaki, Manitowoc, Scotsman, and Ice-O-Matic all provide ice machines that feature either air-cooled, remote-air cooled, or water-cooled condensers, and in most cases, you will have an ice machine that performs markedly different because of the way its condenser is cooled.  This article will serve to illustrate how much of a difference the condenser makes when it is water-cooled, and also show exactly how much water a water-cooled ice machine consumes.

    The ICE0520FW from Ice-O-Matic, C0522MW from Scotsman, KM-515MWH from Hoshizaki, and the ID-503W from Manitowoc are all water-cooled ice machines that produce around 500 pounds of ice per day. They all create standard ice cubes except for Hoshizaki, whose ice machine creates crescent cubes. Primarily, these ice machines are perfect for small to mid-sized restaurants, bars, or coffee shops. These cubes are great for mixed drinks, soft drinks, and coffee. The following chart will illustrate how much water each ice machine uses to create ice as well as to cool its condenser.

    Brand Machine Water Use, Ice* Water Use, Condenser* Total Water Use*
    Scotsman C0522MW 18.4 Gallons 160 Gallons 178.4 Gallons
    Ice-O-Matic ICE0520FW 23.2 Gallons 128 Gallons 151.2 Gallons
    Hoshizaki KM-515MWH 21.5 Gallons 115 Gallons 136.5 Gallons
    Manitowoc ID-503W 19.9 Gallons 165 Gallons 184.9 Gallon

    *Water use is based on the water required to create 100 pounds of ice.

    Ice-O-Matic’s ICE0520FW produces seven more pounds of ice per day when outfitted with a water-cooled condenser when conditions are ideal. However, when temperatures rise, Ice-O-Matic ice machines with water-cooled condensers tend to realize the greatest benefit, as their water-cooled ice machines produce an additional 72 pounds of ice per day, a decent amount of ice, making Ice-O-Matic's ICE0520FW worth a look if you require a water cooled ice machine that will operate in a warmer climate.

    This chart says a few interesting things about Scotsman as well. While Scotsman boasts about ice machines from their Prodigy Series (which the C0522MW is), and the way in which they use less water in the ice creation process, Scotsman’s water-cooled ice machine uses an alarming amount of water to cool its condenser. Scotsman’s water-cooled ice machines do however perform the best overall in terms of production over their air cooled counterparts. In ideal conditions (70 degree air, 50 degree water) the water-cooled C0522MW will produce 75 more pounds of ice than Scotsman's air-cooled C0522MA. When air and water temperatures increase (rated at 90 degrees air, 70 degrees water) Scotsman’s water-cooled C0522MW will produce over 100 pounds of ice more per day than the same, air cooled ice machine. This is by far, the greatest discrepancy between any two of these air-cooled or water-cooled ice machines.

    Hoshizaki’s KM-515MWH uses the least amount of water to cool its condenser. However, when ice making conditions are ideal, the KM-515MWH and KM-515MAH produce will produce identical amounts of ice per day. Only when under the stress of elevated temperatures does the KM-515MWH out-produce the air cooled KM-515MAH, to the tune of an additional 40 pounds per day. If you're going to be paying extra for a water-cooled ice machine, you can find better performance from either Scotsman or Ice-O-Matic.

    The water-cooled ID-503W from Manitowoc makes little case for itself. This water-cooled ice machine uses the most water per day, and when compared to its air cooled counterpart, the ID-502A only makes 20 additional pounds per day in ideal conditions, and 40 additional pounds under stress. For what you will pay in water use, the benefits of this water-cooled ice machine from Manitowoc do not compare to the benefits of an air cooled ice machine, or a water-cooled ice machine by another brand.

    While there are a few good reasons to choose a water-cooled ice machine (consistent production, quieter operation), the negatives can outweigh the positives at times. To this day, water-cooled ice machines are always exempt from inclusion in ENERGY STAR’s program as well, because of their wanton use and waste of water. ENERGY STAR qualified ice machines will save the operator money, and in some areas these ice machines qualify for ENERGY STAR’s rebate program, where users can be reimbursed for using an ENERGY STAR qualified product. Water-cooled ice machines are not for everyone, and if you decide that one is required for your business, be prepared to pay more in the long run than what the price tag details. If you need any help finding the right ice machine for your establishment, don't hesitate to give us a call at Ice Machines Plus.

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  9. Water Cooled Ice Machines: Are They a Good Fit For You?

    We have written many articles and spoken at great lengths about the benefits of air cooled and remote air cooled condensers for your ice machine. Less is talked about or written about water cooled models, and for some good reasons, but this article will examine the benefits (and also note the drawbacks) of the ice machine that makes use of a water cooled condenser. In the second part, we will be comparing ice machines from the four major brands in the United States, and it will become clear that water cooled ice machines do provide some great benefits, but it is up to you to find out if they are right for your establishment.

    *Note: Water cooled ice machines can be identified by the suffix “W” at the end of the ice machine’s name. Air cooled ice machines are generally followed by an “A”, and remote air cooled ice machines generally end with an “R”, although Manitowoc uses an “N” to denote a remote air cooled ice machine. Manitowoc’s water cooled ice machines are also listed only as odd numbers (ID-503W, IY-505W).

    H2O Spelled out in water

    Water Cooled Ice Machines are More Consistent
    Consistent ice production is one of the biggest benefits that is reaped by an ice machine with a water cooled condenser. This is possibly the most important reason for selecting a water cooled ice machine. With air cooled ice machines, the condenser is cooled by the air around the unit, so if your ice machine operates in a warm environment, production may fall drastically (up to 30% in some cases) when temperatures increase. Water cooled ice machines make use of water to keep ice production more consistent, and your ice machine performs much more reliably. Their performance tends to fluctuate markedly less than their air cooled counterparts.

    Water Cooled Ice Machines Keep Things Quiet
    If you have ever stood next to an air cooled or remote air cooled condenser, then you have probably heard the fan kick on and the loud whirring that follows and can last for a few minutes as it operates. This noise can aggravate customers and employees and interrupt the workflow of your business. Water cooled ice machines operate at a much quieter level, and are less of a nuisance to the people around them. If you own an ice machine with a higher production rate, it may operate at even higher sound levels. Water cooled ice machines tend to keep the noise to a minimum however.

    Water Cooled Ice Machines: Same Price, Better Performers
    In general, water cooled ice machines from Scotsman, Hoshizaki, and Manitowoc are all priced the same as their air cooled counterparts. Currently, Ice-o-matic is the only brand offered at that prices their water cooled models slightly higher than the air cooled models, and it is a mere fraction of a difference. With this in mind, you can receive a greater output from two identical ice machines, simply due to the way in which their condensers are cooled.

    Drawbacks of Water Cooled Ice Machines
    Unfortunately, water cooled ice machines are not impervious to faults of their own. As they cool by way of water, they tend to consume a lot of it. Ice machines may use anywhere from upwards of 150 gallons of water per 100 pounds of ice created, and this water is not reused or recycled in any way. Most often, this water is simply wasted, which can lead to a dramatic increase in your monthly water bill. This overuse of water also leaves all water cooled ice machines from being approved by ENERGY STAR. In some areas, the use of ENERGY STAR qualified appliances will qualify the owner for a rebate, and they will receive money back for participating in the ENERGY STAR program. This is negated however with the use of a water cooled ice machine.

    Because of their liberal use of water, some southern and southwestern cities in the United States have actually banned the use of water cooled ice machines, making them illegal to own or operate. While water cooled ice machines do tend to use less energy and electricity than air cooled and remote air cooled units, the savings do not ever equal the amount paid for the water used and wasted.

    Water cooled ice machines are not for every establishment. They are great for reliable, consistent, quiet production, but the cost of operation is often much greater than their air cooled counterparts. For some, there is no other option than the ice machine with a water cooled condenser, but this choice is not for everyone. For more information regarding water cooled ice machines, contact one of our ice experts at, or check out our follow up article on water cooled ice machines where we compare the performance of four similar water cooled ice machines, and examine the water they consume in the ice making process and to keep their condensers cool.

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