If you’re a Chicago business that needs over 1000 lbs of ice a day, you’ll need a large ice maker to produce all that ice. Since large ice machines have different needs, they also have a few additional installation requirements. Larger machines require more space, higher voltage, and increased water flow to operate effectively.
What are the Installation Requirements for a Large Ice Maker?
Large ice makers have different installation requirements so they can consistently deliver the amount of ice your business needs in a day. Here are the most common:
1. How Much Space Do I Need?
Large air cooled ice machines require space to expel hot air away from the unit. The ice maker should have at least 1 foot of space on all sides, including above the machine. Of course, if you can spare more 1 foot, even better! It will allow for more air to move freely and it will be easier for a technician to reach vital machine components during service.
Air cooled ice makers will produce far less ice if they don’t have enough room for hot air to escape into the environment. The air lingers around the machine and re-enters through the venting. This has the same effect as installing your ice machine in an overly hot room – an ice maker not making ice!
Some very large ice makers that produce over 3000 lbs a day, like the Manitowoc SDT-3000W ice machine, do not offer air cooled systems because the space they would take up. These models come in water cooled ice machine or remote cooled ice machine systems.
2. What are the Electrical Requirements?
Most ice makers require a 110v outlet to supply enough power to them. Larger ice machines require more voltage to operate. These machines require a 220v connection and electrical outlet. 220v outlets are common in areas designed for large home appliances like washers, dryers, and dishwashers. If the room you plan on installing your large ice maker does not have the proper outlet, you’ll need to contact an electrician to install one.
3. What Are the Water Flow Requirements?
Larger ice machines require more water to produce a batch of ice, and that means they =need a water line that can deliver. When installing a large ice machine, you need to make sure your water line is optimized to allow the proper flow rate.
If your ice maker requires a flow rate of 5 gallons and minute, you may need a plumber to install a water line that can deliver that amount.
What Kind of Ice Bin Do I Need?
The larger the ice machine, the bigger bin you’ll need. Many large ice bin models have different features than your standard, top door ice bin.
Large commercial ice storage bins are commonly made of stainless steel, making them strong and easy to clean.
Many larger ice bins, 1300 lbs and above, have their door towards the bottom of the bin. A bottom facing door forces users to grab ice from the bottom of the ice pile, rather than the top. When ice sits for too long, it begins to melt. By placing the access door toward the bottom of the bin, the older ice gets scooped out, making way for the new, freshly dispensed ice. These type of ice machines also have a viewing window towards the top of the bin, so users can inspect their ice supply.
Choosing Multiple Ice Machines
If you need a large supply of ice, another option you have is to buy multiple ice makers to deliver the amount you need.
To install multiple ice makers, you’ll need plenty of space. For air cooled units, it’s often best to install the ice maker in separate rooms. You don’t want two ice makers increasing the temperature of the room. Businesses like campuses and resorts benefit the most from this setup since they often have plenty of space to accommodate multiple units. Multiple units might not be the best option for high-volume restaurants with less space available.
Finally, Hoshizaki has stackable ice maker models that allow owners to install 2-3 units on top of one another. Note that these setups make it harder to service the bottom ice machines and can lower their overall lifespan.
Installing a Large Ice Maker is Easy with the Right Resources
A large ice maker is the most cost-effective option for businesses that need a large amount of ice. You can save yourself a headache if you know the proper installation requirements before you purchase a model. If you need a large ice machine for your business, we have plenty of models for Chicago businesses. We also make sure to install all of our ice machines under the best conditions that will prolong their lifespan. If you need help choosing a model, our Ice Machine Experts know how to size and install ice machines for all industries!