Back to Buying Guide Index

Buying Guide Index

Ice Machine Buying Guide Ice Machine Buying Guide

Section 7. Where Can Install My Commercial Ice Machine?

Some Installation Considerations


Where should I install my ice machine?

If possible install your ice machine where temperatures do not fall below 50 degrees F and do not rise above 100 degrees F.  Place them as far from ovens and other heat sources as physically possible.  Ice production rates will decrease as surrounding air temperature increases (see Section 8).

Make sure that the ice machine will fit into the space you have planned for it, including getting into the facility or building through doors, etc.  Check the exact dimensions of the equipment cabinet. Also, be certain to allow for clearance around the ice machine as needed for air intake and discharge (typically on one or both sides of the unit) and also to allow for easier cleaning or maintenance.  See the individual manufacturer’s specification sheet for location of the machine’s intake and discharge.

Determine ahead of time where your electrical, water and drain connections are so that your ice machine will hook up with ease.  Leave enough space for your water filtration system if you will be including it.  Be certain your facility’s electrical system meets the model’s specifications and that there is a separate circuit, fuse and/or breaker for each machine.

Also pay attention to foot traffic through the space.  Are there going to be other kitchen activities in close proximity?  Plan ahead. Place your ice machine in a location that optimizes work flow for everyone retrieving ice from the machine.

Lastly, be sure to keep the ice machine as far from dough preparation as possible.  Yeast floating in the space will contaminate ice machine and storage bins since it grows in moist dark environments.  Be prepared to keep an extra strict ice machine cleaning schedule if you have yeast in the air.

Indoor or Outdoor Installation


Several ice machine models are rated for outdoor performance. These models are typically all-in-one, undercounter ice machines with smaller compressor/condenser systems that won't have to work as hard as they would in a larger ice machine. Also the exteriors of outdoor models are constructed of durable materials that are resistant to corrosion and the stressful conditions of climate and weather. As outdoor models are on the smaller side and don't produce a lot of ice each day, they would be useful at restaurant patio bars or on residential patio or poolside decks. Some are even designed for marine installations. Look at the specific model names and manufacturer specifications to determine if a particular ice machine model is approved for outdoor use.

All other models are designed for indoor locations. Their performance will be directly impacted by surrounding temperatures and air quality. Their cabinets and internal components may not be approved for exposure to harsh climate conditions such as direct sunlight, sea-salt, or significantly low or high air temperatures. These models (air-cooled AND water-cooled) need to be installed in temperature-controlled locations to keep the units from being overworked (see Section 8 for more details).

<< Back to Section 6            Section 8 >>
© 2003-2018 IceMachinesPlus All Rights Reserved.