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Small Commercial Ice Machines 101

Everything You Need to Know

While most restaurants need a commercial ice machine, not all restaurants and bars need a big commercial ice machine. In fact, smaller establishments can often use machines that produce less than 400 pounds and still run perfectly smoothly. There are a few different options for small commercial ice machines that businesses of all kinds have to choose from. In this blog, we’re going to look at the three different types.

1. Countertop Ice Machines

Countertop ice machines are those that are small enough to fit on top of your counter. They provide easy accessibility and much like the undercounter ice machine, save space. These are also very popular in offices and work settings. Our personal favorite is the Ice-O-Matic Pearl Ice Machine

Countertop ice machines will typically require a foot of space. The most important factor is ensuring that the ice machine is able to expel hot air in the opposite direction of the machine. You can see our selection of countertop ice machines here.

2. Undercounter Ice Machines

Undercounter ice machines are exactly what they sound like — compact machines that can be installed underneath a counter to maximize an establishment’s space. These are most popular with bars because they allow bartenders to access ice quickly and easily. In addition, they are self-contained. You can see our selection here.

Undercounter ice machines will usually have front ventilation. Because it’s likely to be in a more high-traffic area, it’s important to keep the machine clean and clear away any debris that may get caught in the vent. It will also need one foot of clearance.

3. Modular Ice Machines

Modular ice machines are those that use a bin and dispenser to store ice. These are especially ideal for smaller locations where ice may need to be used by multiple people or shared between back-of-house and front-of-house. 

For modular ice machine, it’s important to keep one foot of space on all sides of the machine — or at least where the vents are.

Requirement Checklist for Ice Machines

The requirements for smaller commercial ice machine are similar to those of a large one, but there are a few key points to notice.

  • A standard 110v electrical outlet is all that is needed to run a small ice maker. Most use a 115v connection. These are very common in homes and businesses alike. However, if you have a larger voltage outlet such as a 220v, you may need to hire an electrician.

  • Any ice machine that produces 750 pounds of ice and below require a flow rate of three gallons per minute. You will need to ensure that you have a water line capable of delivering this amount of water. If not, you may need to hire a plumber.

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