Flake Ice Machines – Do This One Simple Thing Or Pay Thousands In Repairs
Flake ice machines require one thing to be done regularly or they can ruin themselves. Well informed cube ice makers know that they should should clean their machines regularly, but they don't. They have figured out that if you ignore it long enough it will stop working. Then you clean it and it will start working again.
That is not the case with flake machines. If you ignore them, they will stop working. Then you clean them and they may not start working again. Then when you call a service technician, he tells you the damage is serious and replacement of the machine may be cheaper than repair.
Why Neglecting Your Flake Ice Machine Can Ruin It
A cube ice maker makes ice by freezing it in the shape of cubes on a shaped metal plate. When the ice is formed the plate is warmed and the ice falls off. The first part is called the freeze cycle and the second is the harvest cycle.
The flake ice machine uses a cylinder and freezes the ice on the inside of it. It is then scraped off by a metal auger. It is kind of like a shaved ice machine does with a block of ice. This process is continuous and there is no harvest cycle. The flaked off ice is pushed out the top of the cylinder and falls into the ice bin.
The ice cuber makes large batches of ice, at regular intervals. The flake ice machine small amounts of ice conterminously. The part that freezes the water on both types is called the evaporator. It is called the evaporator because it is made cold by the evaporation of refrigerant inside of it. The refrigerant removes the heat from the water to make ice.
Only pure water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This leaves behind minerals that build up on the evaporator plate, until the ice machine stops working. On a cuber this isn't a problem because only water touches the plate. Once the mineral scale is removed the machine works properly again.
It's a serous problem on a flake ice machine. As the minerals build up, the auger scrapes against them as it is flaking off the ice. It pushes the mineral build up into the evaporator and eventually scratches. It is possible to repair but is very costly. On an older machine it is probably better to replace it. On a newer machine, the warranty would likely be voided.
How To Easily Prevent Damage To Your Flake Ice Machine
All these problems can be avoided by simply cleaning the machine. Cleaning usually consists of making some ice with cleaning solution added to the water. There are step by step instructions on the back of the machines front cover as well as in your owners manual. You can also have a service technician show you how to do it. Occasional cleaning can prevent thousands of dollars in repairs.
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