Ice Machine Buying Guide
If you are in a business that relies on ice, you no doubt need an ice machine to make ice for you. However, the type of ice machine that is right for your business will vary greatly depending on what exactly you're serving. There are several different types of ice machines and each produces a different kind of ice.
If you are serving iced drinks, mixed drinks, or bagging ice to be sold or dispensed, then you will probably need a cubed ice machine. This type of machine is perfect for bars, bagging facilities, and many restaurants. Ice-o-matic, Manitowac, and Hoshizaki, and Scotsman all make variations of these machines. All of these produce the rhomboid ice cubes found in most bars and restaurants, with the exc
Different institutions need different types of ice machines. For instance, a church ice machine might need to have medium volume and a large bin which would be perfect for storing the ice when it wasn’t in use. The restaurant ice machine might need something that has a larger volume which can handle a high ice turnover. What’s one of the reasons our ice machines by industry page was prepared.
In the perfect ice machine world, one size would fit all, and everybody would be happy. That isn’t the case at all. For instance, could you see one of those huge hotel ice machines taking up residence as an undercounter bar ice machine? Or, can you see that your hospital would be using only flake ice for its many
Ice machines are rated primarily on two factors. The first is how much ice the machine can produce in a day. The second is how much can the machine store before it turns off production. Buying a machine with too much production or storage will leave you with too much ice. Old ice can be a breeding ground for bacteria if it stays in the bin for too long. Extra ice also makes cleaning take much longer. If you have too little production or storage though, you could run out of ice in the middle of the workday. This can lead to unhappy customers and spoiled buffets.
The rule of thumb for selecting a machine is to buy one that produces 20% more ice than your daily usage. The bin should be large enough to hold enough ice for 2 entire meal shifts or enough to cover your greatest rush period plus 20%, whichever is greater.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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 tr
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
Close your eyes and think about the places where you’ve seen an ice machine. Maybe it was at the gym, where people were icing their boxing bruises. Perhaps you’ve seen that ice making head over the soda dispenser at your favorite convenience store, or maybe you’ve even had a vacation night or two in a hotel where there was a dispenser at the end of the hall.
Regardless of where you’ve seen the ice machine, you probably noticed that there were two parts to it: the ice machine head and bin. These are two completely separate pieces of equipment, created that way, and completely dependent on the kind of usage that you’ve got.
Today, we’re going to talk a little bit more about how you can save money on your ice machine by purchasing the ice making
Did you know that you can buy some restaurant equipment used? For forks, dishes, and other smallwares, it’s always best to buy it used, since you can save a ton of money and get what is essentially the same equipment. But should you get a new or used ice machine? It’s always best to buy new.
With ice machines, it’s really difficult to tell how it functions without actually hooking it up and letting it run. Any dealer can swear to you that the machine has been well taken care of, but the proof happens when you get it to your restaurant (and it’s potentially too late).
Ice machines have a few parts, all of which can be on the danger list if they’re in a used machine.
- Evaporator coil
- Hot gas Bypass Valve
- Water Pump
People trade in their machines
We’ve talked about the fact that buying the right energy efficient ENERGY STAR ice machine can provide you with significant savings over time. We highlighted ice makers from four of the top ice machine manufacturers in the country, including Scotsman Ice, Manitowoc Ice, Hoshizaki Ice, and Ice-O-Matic Ice.
Here are those articles:
All of the ice machines listed in the articles are ENERGY STAR certified, b
Make sure that it will have enough space to perform. While there are many low profile and compact ice machines on the market, you want to make sure that you’re giving the ice machine that you’re purchasing enough space to operate. Else, it will heat up the area and lose some of it efficiency.
Make sure that you’ve got the right connections already established to the machine. At Ice Machines Plus, we put all of the equipment specifications right on the page so you can see what types of electricity and water lines that you’re going to need.
Make sure that the ice machine has more production capacity than what you need right now. You want to have an ice machine that you can grow into, rather than one which is already too small for your needs. If it’s too small, there will be inconvenience all around, from the servers to the chefs.
Choose efficiency over price. A more efficient machi