Ice Machine

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6 Key Factors To Consider Before Buying or Renting an Ice Machine

The right ice machine is one of the most important decisions you need to make for your business, especially if you are in the restaurant or hospitality industry. Our team here at Memphis Ice loves to guide people just like you through every step of the ice machine buying process. We know everything you need to consider before renting or buying your next ice machine. That’s why we wrote this blog! Keep reading to learn about the 6 key factors that determine which ice machine is the right machine for you.

Related: 7 Busted Myths About Ice Machines

1. Storage and Capacity

Right out of the bin, capacity and storage impact how much ice you can use on a daily basis, and how much space your machine needs in your business. One of the first questions we often ask is how much ice, by weight, you’ll need in a 24-period. If you don’t know, just give us a call and we’ll figure that out together. 

When it comes to capacity and storage, here are the two key factors that we use to determine the right fit:

  • Ice per day by weight: As mentioned above, how much ice you use—as well as how much ice you need on hand at any given time—is key in determining the right sized machine and ice bin for your business.

  • How do you normally use your ice? Does your business experience short bursts of service or sustained service all through the day? Do you empty out your current machine right at the start of the day? How you use ice will impact the size and speed of your next ice machine.

For more information about ice bins for storage, click here to read our blog about them!

2. Location, Location, Location

Where you store your ice machine matters. Your ice machine needs space to create ice at peak efficiency. Store it too close to hot appliances, outdoors, or use it as storage and suddenly you’re not getting the ice you need. Installing your ice machine in bad location results in reduced production and diminished lifespan of the equipment you rely on. 

Related: The 5 Worst Locations To Install Your New Ice Machine

3. Three Ice Types to Choose From

The type of ice you choose, and what your customers expect, drastically change the ice machine choices that you have. 

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Clear and Cloudy Ice

If you need to have the classic cube ice, then you need a cube ice machine. If you’re looking for pearl ice—sometimes referred to as nugget or Sonic ice—then you’ll need a pearl ice maker! 

    4. Which Condenser is Right For You?

    Condensers cool your ice machine. All of that ice production generates heat. That heat needs to go somewhere, which is why the location was so important to mention in this blog. The cooling process happens in a few different ways. 


    Air-cooled ice machines are our most popular option. Air is pulled from the back and out the sides to keep the condenser inside the ice machine cool and running at peak efficiency. Great if you have the space an ice machine needs to effectively breathe.

    Sometimes, restaurants prefer installing remote condensing units away from the ice machine to reduce noise and save space. It’d be more involved to go this route, but it makes sense for some installations. Think of it like a small central AC system.


    Instead of air pulled from the back, water-cooled ice machines circulate water around the condenser to transfer heat away from the machine. Efficient? You bet. Quieter? Absolutely. The biggest drawback? All that water needs to come from somewhere and drain elsewhere. This style of condenser is much more popular with our larger clients who use a closed-loop water system. 

    Click here to read our blog all about the key differences between air- and water-cooled ice machines.

    5. Create a Maintenance Plan

    Don’t wait to create a sustainable maintenance schedule. Before you buy is the best time to determine when and how you will inspect and clean your new ice machine. That is how you increase the lifespan of your essential equipment, like an ice machine. 

    Related: Ice-O-Matic’s SafeIce Purification System Maintains Your Ice Machine For You

    You have two options here: Hire a full-service company to take care of it or do it yourself. At Memphis Ice, we recommend the following maintenance for any ice machine that we sell or rent to our customers:

    • Disinfect and sanitize the surface of your ice machine daily
    • Inspect bin, coils, and drainage tubes weekly for common wear and tear or damage 
    • Conduct a full clean and inspection at least two times per calendar year. 

    If you don’t figure this out before signing the dotted line, you’ll deal with slime, grime, and much more. Click here to read about what happens when you don’t create and stick to a preventative maintenance schedule for your ice machine.

    6. Will You Buy or Rent Your Ice Machine?

    We know you need ice. But sometimes the upfront costs of purchasing an ice machine are just too much to cover. That’s exactly why we offer our customers, new and old, a robust rental program for their next ice machine. For as little as $4 a day, you can have all the crystal clear ice your customers need when you rent your ice machine from Memphis Ice. Enjoy peace of mind knowing that if there are ever any issues with your machine, our service technicians have your back.

    Click here to learn more about our rental program. And if you’re ready to talk to a dedicated service professional right now about your next ice machine, just click here to contact us.

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