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Ice Machine Solutions for Cold Weather Conundrums

Ice is a crucial component for many businesses — even in the winter. Whether it’s for healthcare or comforting fall cocktails from behind the bar, for businesses that use ice, it’s usually a necessity rather than a luxury. And cold weather doesn't change that.

Yet despite that ice requires cold temperatures to be formed, cold temperatures around your commercial ice machine can be harmful to the performance of your machine. When cold weather strikes, it’s important to be aware of these problems — and how to prevent them.

Slow Ice Production Rate

Problem: The ice machine has slowed down its ice production rate, leaving you without ice when you need it most.

Solution: Upon installation, ensure that your ice machine is being placed in a temperature-controlled room, away from the elements. The thermostat should be between 70-75 degrees.

During the winter, a slow ice production rate can frequently be traced back to the evaporator plate and outside temperature. The evaporator plate is where refrigerant freezes and transforms water into ice. When outside air, incoming water, or both are below 45 degrees, this can be a problem. 

The evaporator needs to reach 48 degrees in order to create ice. If the outside air is too cold, this can prevent the defrost timer from starting efficiently. Consequently, the defroster takes longer to start, slowing the ice production rate.

Frozen Parts

Problem: Parts of the ice machine have frozen, preventing the machine from functioning at an optimized level.

Solution: Again, ensure that the ice machine is in a room with the right temperature. In addition, consider insulating the water pipes connected to your machine.

There are many unique parts to an ice machine. These include the evaporator, evaporator plate, float switches, and water pumps and inlet valves. As water freezes, it expands. This can cause detrimental damage to your machine and its parts, resulting in the need of a plumber and technician.

Bin Switch Failures

Problem: The ice machine shuts off automatically, not producing ice.

Solution: Move your ice machine to a new location with a temperature of 70-75 degrees.

Commercial ice machines have a bin switch. A bin switch controls your machine by turning off the when the ice bin is full of enough ice. However, if the bin switch becomes too cold, it can shut off on its own — whether you have ice or not. 

As you can see, the external temperature surrounding your ice machine is critical in its performance. Cold weather can make a major impact if your machine isn't in the best place possible. It’s important to have your machine installed by a licensed technician who knows where the machine will do well. Not addressing the issue of location can result in long term, costly consequences for your business and your budget.

At Memphis Ice, our ice machine rental program gives customers ease of mind, as well as a host of other benefits, should a problem occur. If you’d like to get in touch with one of our ice machine pros, simply reach out in the chat box below or contact us here.

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