Your Ice Maker Machine – 5 Ways to Kill It While Voiding Your Warranty
An ice maker machine can be seriously damaged by simple things that could have been easily avoided. The most costly repairs are evaporator plate and compressor replacement. On an older machine it might be more cost effective to replace the whole machine. On new machines, the problems below can void your warranty and become a high dollar nightmare.
1) Ice Pick Thawing Assist
If there is a harvest problem the evaporator could become covered with a thick sheet of ice. Never try to force the ice off. Sensors or other components could be frozen in the ice. The worse thing to do is to chip it away with an ice pick. One nick on the evaporator and the machine is ruined. Instead turn the machine off and call for service. Allow enough enough time for the ice to thaw before the tech arrives to save on the service call.
Is is best to allow the ice to melt on it's own. But if you have to thaw it faster, you can kill all power to the machine and use a water hose. Of course this will melt the ice in the bin. When your ice maker machine goes down it is safer to buy some ice and wait for the evaporator to thaw.
2) Using Cleaner That Is Too Strong
The water circuit should only be cleaned with cleaner approved for that machine. This insures that it is food safe and that it will not harm the evaporator. There are non-ice machine food safe cleaners that will get the evaporator very clean. Cleaners not intended for ice maker machines may ruin any evaporator.
Some ice machine cleaners can even damage ice maker machine evaporators. If your evaporator contains nickle, you must use a nickle safe cleaner. Manitowoc ice maker machines are the most common type with nickle in the evaporators.
Check with your manufacturer to see what type of cleaner should be used with your machine. Keeping the water circuit clean reduced operating costs, prevents unneeded service calls and increases ice production.
3) Never Cleaning the Condenser Coils
Dust can reduce the air flow through condenser coils. Grease can make the situation much worse. This causes the compressor to overwork. It reduces ice production and will eventuality lead to costly compressor failure. If the condenser is fouled with dry dust it can be blown out with compressed air. If it is covered with dust and grease it will need to be chemically or steamed cleaned. Then it can be fitted with an air filter.
Ice makers and other refrigeration equipment should be located away from deep fryers, flat tops and woks. The inconvenience this causes is off set by the time and money wasted battling greasy refrigeration coils.
4) Using an Extension Cord
Extension cords that are too long or too small a wire size causes the compressor to over amp. This can lead to compressor failure. It is better to have a power outlet installed near the machine. ice maker machines are less problematic when they have a dedicated electric circuit. Multiple appliances on the same circuit can cause electronic control board problems.
Ice machines usually do not come with cords. They are installed when the machine is installed. So make sure it is the proper gauge of wire. If an extension cord is needed, the cord can be replaced with a slightly longer one. Extension cords pose a threat to refrigeration equipment and can also be fire hazards.
5) Blocking the Air Flow
There is never enough room for storage but against the ice maker machine is a bad place to stick things. It has the same effect as a dirty condenser and also leads to compressor failure. The same is true for another piece of refrigeration equipment blowing hot air into the machines air intake or the ice maker machines own hot air recirculating back into itself. ice maker machines come with owners manuals that will have a diagram showing the required clearances.
Leaving enough space around the machine has an added benefit. It allows the service technician to get access to the needed areas so speedy and accurate diagnosis can be made. You don't want the tech making guesses at your expense because something can not be seen or measured.
What To Do If It Is Too Late
Using the wrong cleaner and ice pick damage is obvious and will definitely void your warranty. Evaporators are so expensive and the labor so high to replace them so high that it might be more economically feasible to replace the whole machine.
A dirty condenser, extension cord that is too small and blocked air flow will not be obvious if corrected before calling for service. Even if you don't, it is likely the tech will overlook these conditions so that the warranty can be honored. .
Of course the best course of action is to correct the conditions now and prevent the problems. That will save you time, money and inconvenience. There are many articles on this website that can do that for you. Go here Ice Maker Machine or check out the article directories on the left navigation bar for more money saving tips.