Ice Machine Cleaner – Are You Making This Huge Mistake?
Using the wrong ice machine cleaner can ruin your machine. There are two types but only one is right for your machine. Find out which on you must use.
Ice machine cleaner is necessary for cleaning your machine properly. Unfortunately using the wrong one for your machine can slowly ruin you machine. It could damage it so bad, that repair would not be economically feasible.
Nickle Safe Ice Machine Cleaner
The cleaner is usually a combination of phosphoric and citric acid. These are the acids found in soft drinks and orange juice. So they are usually food safe burn will burn bad if they get into cuts or in the eyes. `They come in two strengths and this is where the problem can happen.
The weaker strength is called nickel safe and must be used on evaporators that contain nickel. The stronger solution will strip the nickle of the evaporator plate and cause the ice to stick to it. This will cause the machine to malfunction.
This damage can not be repaired. Replacing the whole evaporator is an option but usually it is a better financial idea to just replace the whole machine. This is a problem even on newer machines because this type of damage voids the warranty.
All this can be avoided by using nickle safe ice maker cleaner if your machine requires it. Manitowoc is the largest brand with nickle in the evaporator. If yours does, there should be a warning in the owners manual. You can also call the manufacturer. The number should be in the owners manual and maybe inside the front cover of the machine.
All Other Ice Maker Cleaners
All the other machines use the strong type of cleaner. It is usually in a smaller bottle. Using the nickle safe kind in a machine without nickle will not hurt it. The solution is just weaker and will not clean te water circuit as well.
In non nickle machines the effectiveness of any cleaner can be improved by using hot water. You can also let the solution circulate longer. Do not do these things if the machine requires nickle safe cleaner because increasing the cleaners effectiveness may cause damage.
One manufacturer, Hoshizaki makes special shaped very stiff nylon brush for their machines. Brushes will not be needed if the machine is cleaned regularly. But they can be useful on a neglected machine. Be careful of plastic parts when using cleaning tools.
The Limitations of Ice Machine Cleaner
These cleaners can only remove mineral build up from the metal plate that freezes the ice. If the machine has mold or slime it will keep coming back unless the entire machine is sanitized. This is an article detailing complete Ice Machine Cleaning Article
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