Monthly Archives: March 2015

  1. The Car Wash of Dishwashers: The Conveyor Dishwasher

    champion dishwasher Dishwashers come in all shapes and sizes for commercial settings, but one type stands out if you need a constant stream of clean. That type is the conveyor dishwasher. Think of it like a car wash for dishes. Dirty racks go on one end, clean dishes come out the other ready for reuse.

    Some units are quite small, while others are very large. The size you’ll need depends on how many racks per hour you need to wash and whether you want additional components like a booster heater or a drying unit. One of our smaller units, the Fagor FL-200W-NB, can wash up to 150 racks per hour and is insulated for sound so it can be used in larger bars and restaurants. However, it does not have a booster heater.

    A much higher-end model is the Champion 80 DRHDPW Energy Star unit. This system can wash 208 racks per hour. It has a prewash unit, a dual-stage rinse, and energy features to reduce the costs of the unit like its own hot water heater and automatic shutoff valves. There’s also a booster heater built in made of stainless steel.

    If you’d like to get set up with your own conveyor dishwasher, check out our wide selection here at Ice Machines Plus. Can’t make a cold drink without a clean glass!

  2. Keep it Clean with Water Filtration

    Steamer Oven Open Water filtration systems are responsible for taking out the mineral deposits and filter out impurities.  Having pure water in the kitchen heightens the flavor of the food and also lowers the corrosion on the parts.

    For instance, one machine that bakeries use often is a steamer oven. By introducing steam at the right time in the baking process, loaves puff faster and get a good crust. But if those steam vents start to become blocked, the oven won’t get steam and the loaves could burn. It could also create a dangerous situation if the relief valve is also clogged.

    What could clog these vents? Mineral deposits in your water, that’s what! If you live in an area with hard water, mineral deposits will start to build up on the surfaces anywhere they can get a foothold. This is called scaling. Over time, the scale will get large enough to slow the flow of water and damage whatever device is using the water. Ice machines also have this problem.

    That’s why good scale filtration and water purification are so necessary in your kitchen. Be sure to change your filters regularly and that your filters are strong enough to handle your water supply. You don’t want to use sub-standard water in your food! We can help you find a water filter at our water filtration store. 

  3. Get a Combo!

    Sushi plate Most ice machines come in two main pieces. There is a head unit that actually makes the ice, and a bin that collects it. This lets customers decide how big of a bin they need for their business. But sometimes you just want an all in one unit that handles both ice production and ice storage.

    Enter our ice machine combos. Whether you’re looking for a standard bin or a hotel ice dispenser, our combination models come in every major brand. We’ve got Ice-O-Matic, Hoshizaki, Scotsman, and Manitowoc combo cubers ready for your kitchen or hotel lobby.

    For instance, take the ENERGY STAR rated ICE806FA Air-Cooled 897 LB Full Cube Ice Machine combined with the CD40030 dispenser from Ice-O-Matic. This machine combination can pump out 897 pounds of ice every 24 hours, 37 pounds an hour! This dynamo only uses 5.47kWH of electricity. The dispenser pumps out a quarter pound of ice per second and stores 180 pounds of ice in the storage area. This is enough ice for any medium or large operation that regularly needs ice. It also comes with an attractive corrosion-resistant stainless steel finish.

    To take a look at all our available models, check out our easy combo shop. You can compare brands and prices to find the perfect ice machine for your business’ needs.

  4. If You Know Nothing About Commercial Ice Machines, Know This

    Ice_machine_easy_combo_shop Commercial ice machines, like cars, have moving parts within them that can break down and otherwise cause hassles for you and your coworkers.  And, like cars, there are people out there who can take them apart and put them together blindfolded.  Others, not so much.  Here’s what you need to know about ice machines even if you know nothing about ice machines

    It comes with an owner’s manual

    Owner’s manuals are like gold in some places because they outline the little differences between one machine and the other.  They also provide recommendations on cleaning schedules and more.  Reading the owner’s manual will truly make the difference.

    Weird noises aren’t good

    Just like in your car, if it’s making a weird noise, there’s a high likelihood that your commercial ice machine has something which is wearing down.  We look at the severity of the issue by its frequency, intensity, and duration.  If it sounds like it’s summoning Voldemort, you might want to get it checked out.

    It can always use a good cleaning

    Even if you know nothing about commercial ice machines, you probably still know how to clean the outside and the bin. There are special sanitizers that can be used for your machine, ones which will keep the presence of sickness-causing bacteria down.

    Ice is food, so an ice machine is a food preparation device

    If you work in the kitchen, that means that your ice machine should be treated with the same respect that you treat all of your other cooking gear.  No kicking, banging, or otherwise ‘having words’ with the machine when it’s unhappy, else it will come back to you.

    These four things will help keep your ice machine running for a long, long time.  When in doubt, when you hear a strange noise, call a service technician – that’s what they’re there for.   

  5. Warning: You're Losing Money If You Are Not Using the Right Ice Machine

    Rusty Ice Machine That ice machine chugging away in your business could be secretly costing you money. It’s true! Want to know why? Excess energy and water costs. Here’s what you need to do to make sure your machine works well for you:

    1. Unmaintained machine

    All machines require periodic maintenance. If your machine hasn’t been serviced in a long time then it could be working much harder than it needs to. Notably, scale buildup can make a machine work too hard, and will eventually break the machine if it isn’t cleaned. Take out that owner’s manual and look through the recommended maintenance schedule.

    1. Wrong-sized machine

    Do you look in your ice bin and see a glacier at the bottom that you never touch with your scoop? You may want to consider trading in your machine for a smaller version. While it’s good to have a little extra capacity, some businesses get a machine that generates too much ice. That’s just wasted energy and water.

    1. Water-cooled machines

    Water-cooled ice machines may use slightly less electricity, but they use far more water. If your region has water problems, consider replacing your machine with an air-cooled one unless your place of business makes this impossible. For instance, if the room with an air-cooled ice machine sits is too warm, it won’t make ice.

    1. Not Energy Star compliant

    Finally, your machine may no longer be Energy Star compliant. Every few years the government changes the requirements for ice machine certification. You should check to see if your ice machine still complies with new federal rules for the Energy Star label. If not, you may be able to get a discount by replacing your current unit.

    Don’t let your ice machine rob your business! Make sure it is doing its part by checking your machine against these four items. If you need to get a replacement, check out our wide selection here at Ice Machines Plus.

     Photo Credit

  6. Need it Quick? Try our Quick Ship Program

    Quick Ship Box Sometimes, a piece of equipment gives up the ghost and you don’t have time to wait a week or two for it to arrive.  There’s just no way that you can be down for that length of time, because every day without it means lost revenue.  Fortunately, there are shipping solutions which can quickly get your new ice machine to you. 

    We created our Quick Ship program here at Ice Machines Plus because we understand your need for speed.  For certain models in our lineup, we can ship the equipment to your business with 48 hours, subject to certain restrictions.

    This program is only available to addresses within the lower 48 states. Orders have to be placed before 2 PM Eastern. Orders placed after that time will ship out the next day. Once ordered, the delivery will take two business days. Weekends and holidays do not count. We also cannot control weather-related delays. Also, all of our equipment is shipped free freight with a standard delivery schedule.

    To know whether or not an item is eligible for the Quick Ship program, just look for the green icon under the picture of the item. If you would like to see a complete list of what products are eligible, check out this web page. Don’t let an unexpected failure take you out of business. We can get you a new machine fast through our Quick Ship program.

  7. Key Points for Ice Bin Buying

    bin image - not ice One of the confusing parts about buying an ice machine is that the ice machine and the bin are normally two separate components. The reason for this is that different industries have different needs for storage.  An establishment which is fairly low volume needs a bin with less capacity than its higher-volume counterparts.

    When ordering a bin, you need to make sure that the ice machine you choose is compatible with it. A seal is formed between the machine and the bin to preserve the ice. The wrong combination could be costly.

    Another thing that differentiates a bin is whether or not an anti-microbial treatment has been applied to the surface. Some bins also have UV lights for additional protection. An ice scoop holder is also a good feature to look for. This improves sanitation and could prevent a mark on your next health inspection.

    When it comes down to it, the ice bin that you choose should be one that your workers are comfortable with. It must have enough capacity to keep up with demand, be large enough to enter easily, and easy to clean. Take a look through our list of ice bins here at Ice Machines Plus and give us a call if you have more questions.

    Photo Attribution

  8. Sanitize Your Ice Machine: Your Life Depends on It

    Sanitize Your Ice Machines We’re seeing reports of another ice machine at a VA hospital that’s testing positive for Legionnaires’ disease.  This time, it’s in Tampa at the CW Bill Young VA Medical Center. 

    A 64-year-old man died of pneumonia and also tested positive for the disease at the center.  The VA has mentioned that the man died of medical complications.  The hospital itself cannot confirm that the patient was exposed to the deadly bacteria while at the center.

    The VA and other hospitals do routine testing for the bacteria that causes Legionnaire’s disease in order to prevent such an outbreak from happening.  It takes vigilance and a clean water system to make sure that these types of incidents don’t happen.

    At the VA, there were, “4.1 colony-forming units per milliliter,” and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration allows for up to 10 colony-forming units.  This particular VA hospital is stepping up in light of the results and going ahead with the cleansing of its water system.

    Cleaning and sanitizing your ice machine should be a regular part of the maintenance regimen for all facilities managers. The instructions for how to properly clean and disinfect your ice machines should be available in the operations manual. By taking a few steps toward prevention, events like the death of the 64-year-old man with pneumonia wouldn’t happen, or they would be minimized.  What’s in your water supply, or ice bin, right now? 

    Photo Attribution

  9. Try Nugget Ice in One of these 200+ Smoothie Recipes

    Smoothie Recipes There are several things that you can slip into smoothies, and nugget ice is one of the best.  No calories, takes up significant volume, and chills all at the same time.  And, if you’re using nugget ice in your smoothies, you’re already starting with a product that people love.

    Smoothies and slushies are really good for the summer months, but you can also find them around in the wintertime.  Very little can beat being inside and slurping on a wonderful slushie while watching the snow outside, in a warm room of course. 

    We’ve brought together several selections of smoothies that can call for nugget ice instead of regular cubes.  Experiment with the quantity until you find just the right balance of tasty treat and cool ice.

    Here are 20 super healthy smoothie recipes from Prevention magazine.

    Food.com gathered 50 smoothie recipes for your reading pleasure.  It gives you the short and sweet of it.

    What about Greatist?  They have 54 smoothie recipes that have been gathered from all over the web. 

    Where would we be without Realsimple?  Here are 10 recipe ideas for smoothies.

    Interested in health?  Here are the best 15 healthy smoothies from Averie Cooks.  You’re sure to find some great uses for nugget ice there.

    So, what do you think about nugget ice, now?  You can use it for all of your smoothie recipe and ice needs. 

    Photo Attribution - Elanas Pantry

  10. It Warms Our Heart to See that Luxury Hotels Think About Ice Machines

    Luxury Hotel with Ice Machines What makes a hotel special? What makes clients come back again and again to revel in your version of hospitality? Casey Obie Barrett, VP of Obie Companies, believes that he has what it takes to provide a special experience to guests.

    The Inn at 500 Capitol in Boise will be the flagship, the feature which sets the bar for the other amenities in the hotel.  “It’s the attention to detail.  It’s the little things that you wouldn’t really think matter, and they all add up.”

    That’s the key, and this type of attention to detail goes right down to their ice machines.  Staff will be filling up bags of ice so that customers do not have to hear patrons trying to get ice on their own. 

    “We came to Boise because of a void in our product.  We are a high-end, luxury, high-service hotel that’s more like an inn.  This is a whole different thing than what’s in Boise right now.”

    Now, we believe that while offering bags of ice to the patrons would be good, but we also believe that having a small ice machine in every room would better serve their needs.  This would be attentive to the volume of ice that people have in every room, and it would allow the staff to focus on providing some of the other amenities.

    It’s an exciting concept.  People who have great memories will be charged with learning the guest’s names and otherwise making them feel at home.  What better to make people feel at home than a machine that offers pearl ice? 

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