A Guide to Hotel Ice Dispensers in Chicago
Chicago is a major tourist spot, and a hotel ice dispenser is one of the first amenities new guests ask about. They need a quality hotel ice dispenser to provide them with ice during their stay. The hotel bar needs a reliable ice machine to provide ice for drinks. Our helpful guide will help you choose the right ice machine for your hotel, motel, or resort.
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Types of Hotel Ice Makers
Hotel ice dispensers are popular in the hotels and motels because they allow guests to get ice without the help of an employee. Hotel bars, restaurants, and kitchens also need an ice machine for drinks and to prepare food. Below are some of the types of ice makers for different business needs:
Hotel Ice Dispensers
A hotel ice dispenser not only allows guests access to ice, but it’s also the safest way to do it. Hotel ice dispensers dispense ice directly into glassware or bucket. Guests don’t have to scoop ice out themselves. All our Hoshizaki hotel dispensers are ADA ice makers to accommodate guests with disabilities. These models are compatible with our Hoshizaki modular ice machines.
Modular Ice Machines
A modular ice machine's only job is to produce ice. They do not come with a built-in bin to store the ice. You’ll need to purchase a hotel ice dispenser or bin to hold the ice supply. Modular ice machines come in a large range of sizes to meet the needs of any hospitality industry. Choose between 500 – 1900 lbs of ice a day.
Countertop Ice Makers
Countertop ice makers fit on top of a counter so customers and employees can have access to ice. Some countertop ice makers come with the machine and dispenser, while others require that you buy a machine to fit on top. They produce between 500-800 lbs. of ice a day. Countertop ice makers are popular in office break rooms and waiting rooms. They are a hygienic way for customers and employees to grab ice and don’t take up a lot of space.
How Do I Select the Right Type of Ice Cube?
Whether it's for your hotel ice dispenser or bar, choosing the right type of ice is more than a matter of aesthetics. There are cubes best suited for room service or to help elevate the look of your bar's cocktails.
Hotel Ice Maker Installation Requirements
Hotel ice dispensers should be easy for guests to find but should not take up space in your hallways. Most hotels install an ice dispenser in small side rooms. Wherever you choose to install your ice dispenser, make sure it’s in an area that meets the model's installation needs.
Ice machines produce heat – which is why small rooms can be problematic if you’re trying to keep the machine cool. Hotel ice machines that overheat produce less ice and break down than machines located in wide open rooms with 70-degree temperatures. Free up at least 1 foot of space on all sides of the unit.
When ice melts, the leftover water needs to be flushed away. You need to provide proper drainage for your hotel ice dispenser or else you’ll likely find a puddle of water collecting around your ice machine. A floor drain is the most common choice, but hotels may need to consider other drainage options. If your hotel does not have the proper drainage set up of your model, you’ll likely need to call a plumber.
Small commercial ice machines that produce under 800 lbs. of ice a day require a outlet that can provide 110v of electricity. Large ice makers that produce more than 800 lbs. generally require 220v. Amperage needs are dependant on the model you choose, as well. You may need an electrician to install the right outlet to meet your model’s electric needs.
If you’re going to make ice, you’re going to need water. Depending on the model, ice makers require flow rates between 3-5 gallons a minute. If your water line doesn’t provide your model’s water needs, you’ll need to hire a plumber to install one. Low water flow leads to smaller, malformed ice cubes.
What Type of Ice Machine Condenser Do I Need?
Condensers give off heat as your commercial ice machine runs. Each ice machine has a cooling system that works to make sure the inside of the machine doesn’t overheat. There are three common types.
Hotel Ice Dispenser Cleaning and Sanitizing
Cleaning Your Ice Bin
It's possible that mold and slime can grow in your hotel ice machine or ice bin. If a health inspector finds excessive amounts of mold or slime, it will lead to a health code violation.
Mold and Slime
Risks of Mold and Slime
Hotel ice machines need two professional cleaning visits per year. Cleaning helps eliminate mold and slime inside your ice machine, so it won't end up in ice.
Prevent Scale Buildup
Hotel ice dispensers in areas with high-mineral water can gather scale. Scale clings to machine parts and leads to costly repairs. Cleanings and water filters are the best way to limit scale.
Professional Ice machine cleaning
More About Disinfecting
Diseases such as Legionnaires' disease are dangerous to guests with immune compromised systems. Disinfecting your ice machine will kill these diseases.
How Much Does an Ice Machine Cost?
A hotel ice dispenser can cost between $1,500 for small undercounter ice machine to over $10,000 for a high-volume ice maker and bin. If you buy a modular ice machine, you will also need an ice bin or dispenser to store the ice. There are also some hidden costs involved with properly caring for an ice machine as well. Here are the most common:
You need preventive maintenance for your hotel ice machine and the average cost is around $300 per visit.
Ice machine manufacturers recommend two maintenance visits per year. Preventive maintenance optimizes your machine, so it runs smoothly and provides the most ice possible. An ice machine technician will also point out potential problems that can lead to expensive repairs.
Depending on how severe the problem is, an ice machine repair can cost either a few hundred dollars or a few thousands. Here are some examples of some common ice machine repairs and their estimated costs:
- Hot Gas Valve Replacement - $600
- Expansion Valve - $600
- Compressor Repair - $1500
- Evaporator Repair - $2500
All-Inclusive Hotel Ice Dispenser Program
We sell and lease top-quality hotel ice makers, hotel ice dispensers and bins from the best ice machine brands in the industry.
Our experienced team of technicians will keep your hotel ice machine in top condition with preventative maintenance, cleaning and repairs. Don’t worry about tracking appointments, we'll call you when your machine is due for its next service. Our all-inclusive ice machine leases come with a hotel ice machine, maintenance, cleaning, and repairs for a low monthly cost. We’ll even provide backup ice if your hotel ice maker is down for repairs for an extended time.
The hospitality industry never sleeps, and neither do we! We maintain 24/7 customer support to assist you at any time of day.