Not all Chicago businesses need a large ice maker. Chicago is full of small bars and businesses that use less than 400 lbs of ice in a day. These businesses need a small ice maker to deliver their daily ice needs. If you’re looking to get a small commercial ice machine for your business, we have everything you need to know to start serving crystal-clear ice to your customers.
What Type of Small Ice Makers Are There?
1. Countertop Ice Makers
These ice makers fit on top of counters, bars, or custom stands. Countertop ice makers, like the Hoshizaki DM-200B ice and water dispenser, give users quick access to ice while saving space. These models are popular in small bars, office breakrooms, and wait rooms. Some countertop ice dispensers require an ice machine to produce the ice. Self-containing countertop ice makers, like the Hoshizaki DCM-300BAH ice machine, come with the machine and storage built-in.
2. Undercounter Ice Makers
Undercounter ice makers, like the Hoshizaki IM-200BAB ice machine, fit underneath bars or countertops. These are popular small ice makers for bars because they allow bartenders to quickly serve ice to customers while saving space behind the bar. Undercounter ice machines are self-contained, meaning they have bin storage built-in.
3. Modular Ice Makers
Modular ice machines, like the Manitowoc IDT-0620A ice machine, only produce ice. They still need an additional bin or dispenser to store the ice. These are also very popular small ice machines for bars where additional staff serve drinks as well. Wait staff can grab ice to serve drinks or deliver ice to the bar. These ice machines come in a range of sizes between 400 lbs a day to over 3000 lbs!
What are the Requirements for a Small Ice Maker?
If you want a small ice maker for your Chicago business, you become familiar with the installation requirements:
How Much Space Does a Small Ice Machine Need?
Depending on the model, you’ll have to free up enough space so the ice machine can release hot air into the surrounding environment.
Small ice machines come in many types:
- Countertop Ice Makers – Countertop units require a foot of space all around the ice machine. Most importantly, you need to make sure the venting is not blocked by a wall or boxes and other items.
- Undercounter Ice Makers – These machines feature front-to-front ventilation, where cool air and hot air are released through the front of the machine. Again, the venting needs to be clear of boxes or debris. If the ice machine’s ventilation is on the side, make sure it has at least 1 foot of clearance.
- Modular Ice Makers – Modula units also need 1 foot of clearance on all sides of the ice-maker (especially where the vents are). More than a foot is even better. It allows technicians to have enough space to perform maintenance and cleaning.
What Are the Electrical Requirements of a Small Ice Maker?
Small ice machines that produce below 400 lbs of ice use a 115v connection to deliver enough power to the unit. A standard 110v electrical outlet is sufficient to run a small ice maker. 110v outlets are common in most households and businesses across the US. If your business happens to have a 220v voltage outlet, you’ll need to hire an electrician to install a 110v in the area you want to install the ice maker.
What are the Water Flow Requirements?
Ice machines that produce less than 750 lbs require a flow rate of 3 gallons per minute (GPM). Small ice machines need a water line that can deliver that amount of water. Some water lines have the flow rate labeled on them. Some don’t. To measure your flow rate, open the waterline and time how long it takes to fill a gallon bucket. If it fills in less than 20 seconds, you fulfill the 3 GPM requirement. If not, you may need to hire a plumber to install the proper water line.
Looking for a Small Ice Maker?
If you need ice for your Chicago coffee house, smoothie shop, office, or just need a small ice maker for a bar, we have an ice maker for you! Our ice machine leases also come with maintenance and repairs for a low, monthly cost. If you’re not sure what size ice machine you need, our staff can help size the perfect ice maker for your Chicago business. Contact us today.