How To Decide When To Replace Your Scottsman Ice Machine

Let’s say you have a broken Scottsman ice machine. You can ask the opinion of a salesman and a repairman and get two totally different answers.

The salesman says, “you are better off replacing it”. That is the way he makes his money. That is his mindset.

The repairman says, “there’s no need to get rid of it”. He makes his money by fixing stuff. That is his mindset.

We need to figure out how you can make the best decision for you.
How To Consider the Age of the Scottsman ice machine

I have seen 5 year old machines that were ready for the junk pile. I have seen 15 year old machines that were doing great.

Manufacturers estimate the life of an Scottsman ice machine to be about 8 years. They are in the business of making replacement Scottsman ice machines.

I think if an Scottsman ice machine is taken care of, a 10 year life expectancy is reasonable. You are going to do everything you have learned, right?

It is never too late. Your Scottsman ice machine may be damaged from years of neglect. But you can make it last longer and run better.

This article is an excerpt from the FREE course Ice Machine Secrets. You can get the whole course by subscribing to the FREE e-zine Refrigeration Savings Tips below.

How To Consider the Scottsman Ice Machine Repair

The standard recommendation is to do the repair if it is half the cost of a new machine. I think a repairman made that rule of thumb. Let’s look at a real life example. A compressor went out on a $1,200 prep table. The owner paid about $600 to have it changed. Three month later the evaporator coil had to be replaced for $400.

The unhappy restaurant owner has spent $1,000 on an old piece of equipment. For $200 more he could have a new one under warranty.

Maybe half is ok for a piece of equipment that is only a couple years old. As the equipment ages I think the repair threshold should be lowered.

An exception would be if you couldn’t get the old piece out, perhaps because of remodeling. Another exception is if the new machine does not come in a size that will fit in the space.

How To Consider the Condition of the Scottsman Ice Machine

I think of it as a sliding scale. The better the condition of the machine, the more you should spend to fix it. The worse the condition of the machine, the less you should spend to fix it. Here are some things to check.Evaporator Check The evaporator is what the ice freezes on. If it has a problem, it is usually better just to replace the used Scottsman ice machine. Look for the coating wearing off, nicks, warps or bulges. Condenser Check The condenser is the part with the compressor and the fan blows warm air out. You may have to take a side panel off to see it. The compressor is the big black thing with a big and little tube coming out of it. Rarely there may be 2 tubes at the base. With the unit unplugged put your hand on the compressor and try to rock it slightly. If you can’t, the shipping bolts were never loosened and the compressor is probably damaged internally. The problem with checking the condenser coils is that it may have just been cleaned. A unit that has constantly run with a dirty condenser has a damaged compressor. Look at the fan blade and cowl around the fan. If they are dirty, the compressor has had a hard life. Check to see if the condenser fins are greasy. Grease is a great insulator and caused the compressor to overheat and overwork. The fan shouldn’t make a metallic noise or rattle. It should be symmetrical without any nicks. The compressor should not rattle either.

The Final Choice

The standard industry advice is that if the repair is more than half the replacement cost or the machine is over 8 years old, replace it.

I think that is an oversimplification. There is no magic formula. You have to make the decision on your own, when the time comes. Now you are armed with what you need to know to make an informed decision.

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