How to Choose an Ice Maker Water Filter

Reading Time: 5 minutes Ice Machines 101

Ice Maker Water Filter

Your ice maker water filter limits the amount of dirt, scale, and minerals that can end up in your unit. There are a lot of ice machine water filters on the market – and each is designed to help reduce specific particles from entering your ice machine. Choosing †he right type is a matter of understanding your area’s water condition and choosing the right filter to combat it.

Let’s show you the most popular water filters for ice machines – and which one is right for your Chicago business.

Before You Pick an Ice Machine Water Filter, Identify Your Water Condition

Luckily, in Chicago, we have very clear water. Places like Arizona and Nevada have high-mineral water which combines to create scale. On the other hand, old pipes can flake particulates into your water as well. These particles can enter your ice machine and damage them without the proper ice maker water filter.

The best way to identify your particular water condition is to have a professional come out and test it for you.

What is Flow Rate and Why Does it Matter?

Flow rate is the amount of rushing water a filter can pass through it without issue. For example, if an ice maker water filter is rated at 5 GPM (gallons per minute), the filter will allow 5 gallons of water to pass through it every minute.

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Ice makers have different water rates depending on the model and require the correct ice machine water filter to accommodate them. An undersized water filter on an ice machine that requires a higher flow rate will limit the amount of water that enters the unit. This can lead to small, malformed ice cubes or damage to the ice maker.

The Different Types of Ice Machine Water Filters

When it comes to ice machine water filters, there are three popular types. Each is designed to address certain particles in the water. Knowing your area’s water condition will help determine which type of filter you should get for your ice maker.

Sediment Filters

Sediment filters are very common on ice machines. They help to prevent everyday dirt and particles from entering your machine and ending up in your ice supply. These particles can affect the look and taste of your ice cubes.

When choosing a sediment water filter, there are two criteria you should pay attention to, micron rating and flow rate.

The micron rating tells you the size of particle the filter allows to pass through it (one micron is equal to 1 millionth of a meter). For example, if a particle 10 microns in size and you purchase a 5-micron filter, the particle will get caught up in the filter. On the other hand, smaller particles less than 5 microns in size, like water particles, will be able to pass through the filter.

At Automatic Icemakers, we use a 5-micron sediment filter on compatible ice machines. This ice maker filter prevents most of the dirt and minerals found in standard tap water from entering your unit.

While sediment filters are great for stopping most large particles from entering the ice maker, they don’t do much against chlorine.

Standard sediment filters should be replaced about every six months depending on your water use, supply, and quality.

Carbon Filters

Carbon block filters are another type of filter that can limit incoming particles from entering your ice machine.

Carbon filtration is one of the oldest forms of water filtration. Ancient Egyptians found that storing water in charcoal pots caused their water to taste better.

Carbon filters use a process called adsorption, where the porous texture of activated carbon traps harmful particles and prevents them from entering your ice machine. One of the benefits of carbon filters is that they also trap chlorine, which is used to treat Chicago’s municipal water supply. These filters can make water taste better for those who are sensitive to the taste and odor of chlorine.

These are a popular choice for commercial nugget ice machines that use an auger system.

As with most water filters, around six months is a good time to replace your carbon filter.

Phosphate Filters

These filters are a necessity for areas with high-mineral laden water. Phosphate filters prevent minerals like calcium and magnesium from bonding together and creating what we call “scale.” Scale is a hard substance that clings to the inside surface of an ice machine and damage vital ice machine components like evaporator plates, float switches, and water-cooled condensers.

Phosphate filters technically treat water by dispersing phosphate molecules into your ice maker’s water supply. This action satisfies the ionic bonds of calcium and magnesium, preventing them from forming scale.

Luckily, Chicago tap water is not known for having high mineral content, so you likely won’t require a phosphate filter. Although, other areas in Illinois may have high mineral content, so it’s a good idea to have your water quality checked.

Phosphate filters need replacing about every six months as the phosphate will eventually run out.

It’s Easy to Pick the Right Water Filter For Your Ice Maker – if You Know Where to Start

Choosing the right ice maker water filter is vital to keeping your ice machine running and producing clean, great-tasting ice.

Finding out the quality of your building’s water supply is the first step in determining which ice machine water filter you need. A professional can help you make sure the water filter you choose is compatible with your type of ice machine.

At Automatic Icemakers, we install ice machines under the very best conditions. If you’re looking for a quality commercial ice machine for sale, give us a call! We also provide ice maker leases with the best ice machine models on the market. We also include commercial ice maker repair, cleaning, and maintenance – all for a low monthly cost.

Our team is available to help you get started today!
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