How An Ice Cube Machine Can Make Clean Ice With Dirty Water

An ice cube machine does not freeze ice like an ice tray. Take a look at an ice cube from an ice tray and you will see a cloudy area in the center. Then take a look at an ice cube made from a machine. You will see that it is clear all the way through. This is what allows it to make clean ice with dirty water. Here's how. First, only pure water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Impure water freezes at lower temperatures. The water around the outside of the cube is exposed to the most cold first and starts to freeze. The pure water freezes around the outside and pushes the minerals towards the middle.

The mineral laden water in the middle freezes last, making the cloudy ball in the middle of an ice tray made ice cube. But the ice cube machine makes ice without the cloudy middle.

How Ice Cubes Machines Avoid Freezing Impure Water

An ice cube tray holds the water in place. The pure water freezes first and then the impure water freezes. The impure water freezes because it is trapped in the cell of the ice cube. It would be possible to drain the impure water after the pure water freezes but impractical. An ice cube machine doesn't trap the water as it freezes. The evaporator plates on the machine gets cold as water runs over it. The water circulates over it repeated and gets colder and colder.

Eventually the water starts to freeze. Only the pure water freezes and the impurities are carried off by the flow of water. So the ice produced is pure and the water left over has a higher level of impurities than the water that the production cycle started with.

If the same batch of water was used over and over, the impurity level would continue to rise and eventually cause a problem. To prevent this, the machine flushes that water down the drain and starts with fresh water. That's all the water you see running down the drain from the ice machine.

How Knowing This Can Save You Money

Since the ice cube machine can make pure ice from impure water, maybe those expensive water filters are not needed. Water filtration technology has advanced tremendously and can deal with almost any type of water problem. But often expensive filters are being used when they are not really needed.

Minerals in the water can be flushed out after the freeze cycle. Routine cleaning will take care of any scale build up on the evaporator plate. A problem could be sediment though. It will not cause a problem for the actual freezing but may stop up the screen on the water inlet valve. This problem can be solved with an inexpensive sediment filter.

Now you know enough to figure out if you really need a filter system.

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