5 Ways to Get Your Restaurant Ice Machine to Make More Ice
Restaurant ice machines are rated by how much ice they can produce in 24 hours under ideal circumstances. The ideal circumstances are a new machine sitting on the factory floor.
That is usually the only time the ice machine will operate in ideal circumstances. In the summer when ice demand increases the circumstances become even less ideal. By moving the operating conditions closer to the ideal, ice production can significantly be increased.
Increase Ice Production By Lowering the Ambient Air Temperature
The biggest effect you can have on your restaurant ice machines production is to keep it in a cool place. Most kitchens are not cool in the summer. Every degree the temperature rises is a decrease in production. Relocation or the installation of a thermostat controlled exhaust fan may be needed.
Increase Ice Production By Keeping the Condenser Coils Clean
Dirty condenser coils have the same effect as the machine being in an ambient temperature that is too high. In addition to decreasing production, it also decreases the life of the compressor. Grease is the biggest culprit. It will have to be professionally removed. Dirty air filters cause the same problems as a dirty condenser.
Increase Ice Production By Keeping the Evaporator Clean
Eventually your restaurant ice machine will stop working if the evaporator is not cleaned. Before that happens production starts decreasing. The ice sticks to the evaporator and is melted off. This is an easy do it yourself job. There should be cleaning instructions inside the front cover.
Increase Ice Production By Keeping the Incoming Water Cool
This usually isn’t a big problem. The warmer water in the summer does reduce production but not significantly. Water temperature can be a problem if the water lines are routed through an attic or ceiling crawl space. Another possible problem is hot water being fed into the cold water line by a bad mixing valve or other problem.
Increase Ice Production By Properly Adjusting the Cube Size
I saved this for last because it can cause more harm than good. If the ice is too thick it will freeze very slowly at the end of the cycle. If it is too thin it will melt out of the evaporator. If it is acceptable, a tiny adjustment can cause a problem. If you want to try this adjustment yourself invest the effort to learn to do it properly.
What to Do If Your Ice Production is Low?
Start off by checking the 5 things above. Correct any that need to be. Then have a refrigeration technician perform a production test. That will compare the actual amount of ice the machine is producing to what it should be producing under the conditions.
If the machine is under producing something is wrong with the machine. If the machine is operating normally, you can still try to increase production. The machine is operating normally for the conditions. Simply improve the conditions and you will improve your restaurant ice machines production.
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