If your ice maker stopped making ice, the change in summer temperatures could be the culprit.
A reliable commercial ice machine is essential to many businesses, especially during the summer months. Unfortunately, higher temperatures can cause lower ice production. To avoid a loss in supply, here are some of the most common ice maker problems that occur in the summer – and ways that you can solve them to keep your day to day operations on track.
Decrease in Production
When commercial ice equipment is tested by manufacturers for quality and production rate, it’s done under optimal conditions. This means that the maximum amount of ice a machine can produce in a day can only be reached when the air temperature is 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the water temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
During the summer months, it can be much harder to maintain these conditions. When the air and water coming into the ice maker are higher in temperature, you’ll find your ice cube maker not working as well as usual. This is why it’s important to do everything you can to keep your ice machine cool, especially during the summer.
Increase in Air Temperature
Even if your ice machine seems like it’s producing enough ice, it could still be overheating due to more extreme summer temperatures. If you have a newer machine, you may think it can keep up with production, but eventually those high temperatures will take their toll.
Most of the ice machine calls technicians receive over the summer are for cases where the ice maker stopped making ice due to overheating. The increase in temperature can make it seem like your ice machine is not working properly.
Here are a few common problems that can cause ice machine temperatures to rise:
- Improper ventilation around the machine
- Stored in a confined area (cubby, closet, etc.)
- The machine is in a hot room (kitchens, warehouses without AC, etc.)
- Clutter blocking vents
- A dirty ice machine due to lack of cleaning and maintenance
Ensuring your ice maker is in a temperature-controlled room with central air conditioning will help your machine perform its best. The air temperature should remain as close to 70 degrees Fahrenheit as possible.
Keeping proper ventilation around your ice machine is also just as important. If your machine is in a small, enclosed space hot air won’t be able to escape. A good way to keep cool air moving through a less ventilated space is to place fans that push the hot air away from the machine.
Increase in Water Temperature
In addition to increased air temperature causing issues, elevated water temperatures can be just as problematic. The optimal water temperature for ice machines is 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Most water lines run underground, where they are insulated from hot summer temperatures. However, some water lines run through walls or even the roof, leaving them exposed to the heat. During particularly hot temperatures, water lines can heat up and push hot water into your ice machine. We’ve seen water reach machines at up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit!
Ice machine manufacturers install a safeguard in machines to shut it down when it overheats. This is in place because if the machine becomes too hot, it can cause irreparable damage. Although this helps keep the machine in good condition, when your ice cube maker isn’t working it can have a big impact on keeping up with customer needs.
Ice Maker Stopped Making Ice or a Rise in Ice Demand?
As the temperatures rise and ice production inevitably goes down, the demand for ice in the summer only seems to go up! In the summer, people are much more dehydrated from the heat and require more ice-cold water to cool down making the demand increase greatly.
Your ice demand will increase even more if you have outside customer seating as the heat from the sun will warm the beverage and ice up quicker than it would indoors. It’s important to have enough ice to keep up with warmer temperatures.
Having a large enough machine for even the most demanding service months is important to keeping a constant supply of ice. Our Automatic Icemakers leasing program includes top of the line Hoshizaki ice maker or Manitowoc ice maker models for Chicago businesses.
With a better understanding of the problems that ice machines can face in the summer months, you’ll be prepared to crush ice service, hot or cold. Always remember, if your ice maker is not working, contact us to schedule an ice machine repair as soon as possible!