Stacking Ice Machines: A High Volume Ice Maker Solution?

Reading Time: 4 minutes Ice Machines 101

High volume Ice maker Chicago

If you run a small Chicago business that needs more ice on hand, one of the most cost-effective options is a high volume ice maker. If you plan on getting a bigger ice machine, know that they give off a lot of heat. You’ll need adequate ventilation to accommodate the bigger unit.

When industrial ice machines don’t receive enough ventilation, it can lead to lower ice production, longer harvest times, or even complete shutdown.

Hoshizaki ice machines have a stackable option that can increase your ice cube production rate while also saving space. So, are stackable units the best commercial ice machines for small rooms?

A High Volume Ice Maker Solution for Small Space

If you need to increase your ice supply, a bigger, high-volume ice maker is your best option. However, if you run a small Chicago business, you may not have the room for one. You’ll want an ice machine that can deliver your ice needs, but not take up too much space.

Stackable ice machines, like the Hoshizaki IM-500SAA ice machine, allow you to install up to three units on top of one another. More machines, equal more ice. These units work together to deposit into a single ice bin or ice dispenser. If your business is lacking side-to-side space, stackable units might be the best solution.

The Pros and Cons of Stacking

Yes, Hoshizaki stackable ice makers will increase your ice production rate, but they come with a few downsides.

Looking for a High-Volume Ice Maker?

At Automatic Icemakers we have a large selection of high-volume ice makers (including stackable units) to choose from in our all-inclusive ice machine leases.

Bin Space

If you choose a stackable high volume ice maker, you’ll need more bin space. Ice bins have a switch that shuts down the machine when ice reaches a certain level in the bin. This system prevents your ice machine from making too much ice, leading to an ice maker freeze up.

When you add a stackable ice machine to your existing ice maker, you’ll need a bin to accommodate more ice.

For instance, assume you buy a stackable ice maker that produces 500 pounds of ice a day along with a 400-pound ice bin. If you decide to add an extra unit that produces 500 pounds of ice, the ice bin will shut off both machines if the bin reaches 400 pounds. If you don’t at least double your bin size, you’re not getting the benefit of an extra 500 pounds of ice.


The major difficulty with owning a stackable ice machine is that they are difficult to service. This can limit the lifespan of the bottom machine if stacked.

Stacking ice machines makes it very difficult to service the bottom unit. The top units can block access to the evaporator and drop zones. If technicians want to reach these components, they’ll need to remove the top unit first. The technician then has to reinstall the machine, which takes extra time and costs money.


A commercial ice machine releases a lot of heat, and adding stackable machines can make the room much hotter. You’ll need to cancel out that extra heat, which means either lowering the temperature or increasing the airflow by installing fans in the room. Overly hot ice machines have to work harder. This leads to less ice and more frequent breakdowns.

Need a High Volume Ice Machine for Your Business?

If you own a small Chicago business and need a high volume ice machine, you have a few options.

A single high volume ice maker is the best option because one ice machine is much easier to service than a stackable ice maker.

The second-best option is finding space for another ice machine. Obviously, this will require another room, but two ice makers are going to have a longer lifespan than stacking units.

A stackable ice maker is a great option if you run a small Chicago business that needs more ice. You’ll need enough commercial ice bin space and ventilation to support the multiple units. Servicing the industrial ice cube maker may also become an issue, but it’s still important to receive routine cleaning and maintenance. Our ice machine leases come with maintenance, cleaning, and repairs for a low, monthly cost!

Our team is available to help you get started today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *