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The Step By Step Guide To Buying A Used Ice Machine

Buying a used ice machine can be a great solution for commercial kitchens, restaurants, and businesses. One advantage is that they’re usually quite a bit cheaper than buying a new ice machine—if it’s in good condition. So if you’re looking for a used ice machine, here’s a step by step guide with everything you need to know before you buy.

Finding A Good Used Ice Machine

It’s easy to find used commercial ice machines for sale online. With just a quick google search, you can see listings for used commercial ice makers on dealer websites and resale platforms like eBay and Amazon. 

However, if you want your investment to last for years to come without expensive repairs, it’s best to buy your ice maker from a reputable dealer. That way you know your equipment has been inspected, repaired, and cleaned by experts. Some dealers even offer a limited warranty on used or refurbished ice machines, so be sure to ask.

What To Look For In A Used Ice Machine

Consistent Maintenance History

All ice machines need routine preventative maintenance. In addition to ensuring all parts are in working order, this process ensures that the interior of your ice machine is cleaned to remove buildup. 

Make sure the ice machine you plan to purchase has been serviced regularly and recently so you won’t face costly repairs due to poor upkeep. 

Related: Heads Up! Read This Before Buying An Ice Machine On Amazon

Where The Ice Machine Was Installed

An ice machine’s environment has a huge impact on its overall health and longevity. If it’s installed in an area with extreme temperatures, poor ventilation, or bad air quality, you’ll have big problems later on. Make sure your ice machine has been installed in good environments, such as: 

  • Areas with good air conditioning and heating
  • Spaces with good ventilation and airflow 
  • Away from hot ovens, friers, and heat sources
  • Areas that maintain an average temperature of 70° fahrenheit

As a general rule, avoid purchasing ice machines from greasy fast food kitchens, bakeries, and breweries. These spaces are notoriously bad for appliances, especially ice makers, due to poor air quality. In particular, bakeries and breweries have yeast particles in the air that can contribute to bacteria growth inside your ice maker, which means gross mildew and mold.

Related: 5 Worst Locations To Install Your New Ice Machine

Easy Access To Parts and Repairs

Before you buy a used ice machine for your commercial kitchen, do some quick research. Are you able to find parts and repair technicians in your area? Scoring a good deal on an ice machine isn’t worth it if parts are discontinued or you can’t find maintenance service. 

What To Avoid In A Used Ice Machine

Like any used appliance, ice machines can look impressive on the outside but have some serious problems going on that can cost you down the road. Here are common red flags that should alert you to a bad buy.

A Bad Evaporator

Ice machine evaporators are one of the most expensive parts to repair. Sometimes, they can cost more than the ice machine itself! This part is responsible for freezing the water into ice, then heating just enough so that the ice drops into the bin. Basically, an evaporator makes an ice machine an ice machine. Since this part is so important to the life of your ice maker, you’ll want to make sure it’s in good working order.  

Here’s what a bad evaporator can look like: 

  • Warping of the plate
  • The plate separating
  • Nickel plating on the evaporator stripping off
  • Separator rows falling out

Related: We’re Your Commercial Refrigeration Repair Experts

Corrosion Inside The Ice Maker

Internal corrosion is a major indicator of a leak somewhere inside the ice machine. Once you’ve got corrosion, you’ve got a big problem. You’ll need to replace the part that causes the leak in addition to other parts that have been damaged by rust. It can be hard to know how far the damage goes, so it’s best to pass on any unit you find that has corrosion inside.

A Dirty Condenser

A condenser releases heat that the refrigerant has accumulated from water during the freezing process. If the ice machine is in a poorly ventilated area, it can’t release the heat, which leads to overheating and internal damage. So if you see a dirty condenser, it’s a good indication that the machine hasn’t been well taken care of or installed in a good environment.

Memphis Ice Machine Company: Your Full-Service Distributor

As you can see, buying a used commercial ice machine is a complicated process that requires patience and perseverance. As a general rule, if the deal is too good to be true, it’s probably smart to walk away. 

Sometimes you may find that buying an ice machine isn’t the answer at all. In that case, consider renting a commercial ice machine. With Memphis Ice, you can rent an ice machine for as little as $4 a day. 

When you need ice machines, ice machine repair, or ice advice, contact us! We’re here to help outfit you with the best solution for your commercial kitchen, restaurant, hotel, or business. We’ve even got residential ice solutions for your home kitchen. Schedule a call today to talk with an ice expert! 

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