You need water to make ice, so that means that there is always a risk your ice machine will spring a leak. If you own a commercial ice machine in Chicago, know that there are some common places where ice maker leaking occurs. We’ll help you identify the common causes of leaks with a little ice machine troubleshooting.
Steps to Follow When Your Ice Maker is Leaking Water
Leaks around your commercial ice equipment can come from the outside or inside of the machine. It’s important to check around the machine to identify where the leak is coming from before you call for service.
A plumber or ice machine technician will need to be called depending on where the ice maker’s leaking from. If the leak is on the outside of the machine or from behind the shut-off valve, you’ll need a plumber. If you notice the leak coming from inside the machine, you will need to schedule an appointment with an ice machine technician.
Once you find the leak, unplug the unit and then shut the water off. It’s crucial that you follow the steps in this order as it can cause damage to the ice machine.
We know that turning off your high volume ice machine is a hassle (you still need ice to serve). If you absolutely can’t shut the machine down, it’s important that you at least control the leaking.
Place a container, like a bucket or a pot, to catch any water. This will protect the machine as well as the surrounding area.
How to Fix an Ice Maker Leaking from the Outside
If your ice machine is leaking water from outside the unit, it’s most likely coming from the waterline. Leaky water lines can happen when the ice machine not securely connected to the water line or if the line has a break or crack in it.
A plumber is the best person to call if you notice your water line leaking.
If you’re an Automatic Icemakers’ customer in the Chicago area, we will cover any waterline leaks that occur beyond the shut-off valve.
Clogged drains are another common problem that can leave you with the impression that the ice machine ice leaking. If your ice machine is utilizing a floor drain, there will be a few inches of space between it and your ice machine’s drain line. Many times a towel or other object will get kicked under the ice machine blocking the floor drain. As a result, water will not drain properly and will overflow, causing water to pool under your ice machine.
If you find that your ice maker leaking from the bottom, check underneath the unit to make sure that nothing’s blocking the drain.
What to Do If You Have an Ice Maker Leaking Internally
Leaks from the inside of the machine can stem from several different components. Common problems that we often see are:
- Faulty water pumps or incorrect installation
- Loose or worn out pipes
- Improperly sealed water inlet valves
- Leaky condensate drains
- Ice machine freeze ups
These leaks are usually due to components not being installed correctly or wearing out in older machines. A good ice machine technician will determine exactly where the unit is leaking from and either repair or replace the part that needs attention.
If you are an Automatic Icemakers’ customer, you can call our give a call to our knowledgeable customer service team and they will send a technician to your Chicago area business as soon as possible.
Ice Makers Leaking and the Long-term Effects
Don’t ignore the problem if you have an ice maker leaking water. The damage varies depending on where the leak is coming from, but regardless, it can still cause problems.
If the leak is coming from outside the industrial ice cube maker, it can cause extensive damage. Water leaks can cause damage to:
- Food products (especially if food is stored in cardboard boxes)
Water, if left to sit for too long, may also contribute to mold growth in walls and under floors.
You may also face possible liability problems if you ignore a leak and create an unhealthy work environment where workers can slip and fall.
If the leak is inside the machine, it’s best to address the problem right away. Leaks result in less water reaching critical components. You may also notice smaller ice cubes or your ice machine not making enough ice. If the machine is leaking directly into the ice bin or commercial ice dispenser, it can cause the ice to clump and make it hard to get out.
By far the most severe issues that a leak can cause in the machine are corrosion or freeze-ups. Ignoring internal leaks for too long it will cause damage to the bottom of a machine. While water in the Chicago-area is not particularly high in mineral content, some of the more rural parts of Illinois do have enough minerality to cause scale build-up.
A freeze-up occurs when ice gets stuck on the evaporator plate, not being released during the drop cycle. As more water flows over the ice that’s stuck, it freezes into a large mass that will eventually expand enough to crack the evaporator plate. These repairs are expensive and will leave you without ice until the repair is complete.
How to Avoid Water Line and Ice Machine Leaks
Prevention is the best way to stop an ice maker from leaking water. The easiest way to do this is through routine preventive maintenance. Every six months, you should have a technician come out to service your ice machine. A reliable ice machine service in Chicago can help prevent possible leaks from happening. An experienced technician is able to identify which parts might have the potential to leak and replace them before that happens.
Having the best commercial ice machine possible and maintaining it well is the best way to prevent a broken ice maker or a costly ice machine repair in Chicago. Purchasing an ice machine and covering repairs can be too much for some business, so instead, look into Automatic Icemakers commercial ice machine lease. We cover everything from maintenance, to cleanings, repairs, and even backup ice. Call us today if our program sounds right for your Chicago business!