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How To Clean and Sanitize Your Ice Machine To Keep it at Peak Performance During Summer MonthsPrint
July 21, 2016 No comments
This poor performance from your ice machine is usually caused by either poor maintenance routines, heat, or both.
The warmer the air temperature, the harder your ice machine must work to produce ice. The neglecting of maintenance routines and built-up scale and contaminant deposits cause your ice machine to work even harder. A combination of the two can lead to your ice machine completely failing.
Ice machines are rarely ideally located in a restaurant. Ice machines should not be located in a hot kitchen, nor should they be located next to another piece of equipment that emits heat. That said, if the ice machine is kept in one of these places, it is imperative that the restaurants who own those ice machines religiously keep to a cleaning and maintenance routine.
| An ice machine should be on a 6 month maintenance routine, which involves cleaning and sanitizing all moving parts, the inside, the outside, and the ice machine’s condenser and filter. If the water quality in your restaurant is poor, causing scale build-up, you will need to clean your ice machine even more often. If you operate a beer bar, brewery, or bakery where yeast is common, clean your ice machine every 90 days. Yeast spores love the moist environment of an ice machine and add to contaminant problems quickly.
What happens if you do not bother to clean your ice machine?Calcium build-up in the dump valve erodes the diaphragm in the valve, eventually leading to leakage behind your ice machine where you don't notice it. Once it starts leaking, the calcium begins to grow up on the condenser, eating and corroding it away. The only fix is a new ice machine.
Check the guidelines on your ice machine manufacturer’s instructions. Your manufacturer may require approved or specific cleaners and sanitizers to be used with their machines, and they may have specific instructions regarding the warranty.
How To Clean Your Commercial Ice Machine
Sanitizing Your Ice Machine.
Should I Replace or Repair My Commercial Ice Machine?We cannot really answer that question for you. However, the three main points to consider as you make this decision are warranty, ice demand & supply, and new ice machine technology & energy efficiency.
1) Ice Machine WarrantyConsider both the warranty on your current ice machine and warranty offered on a new ice machine.
Check to see if your warranty is still in effect and if so, have you done anything to negate the warranty? For instance, many warranties are void if you neglected maintenance repairs or if you used chemicals not suggested by the manufacturer. That said, if your warranty is still in effect, you are probably better off just getting the machine fixed.
If your warranty is expired or has been voided, you might want to consider a new ice machine.
Make certain if you purchase a new commercial ice machine that you have researched the new warranty. What does the warranty on a new machine provide you? Read the details before you purchase. Better and longer warranties can, in the long run, make a more expensive ice machine less expensive.
2) Ice Demand & Ice Supply
Does your current ice machine keep up with ice demand year-round, or are you purchasing additional ice? This one is pretty simple. If you are purchasing ice during high demand, you need to seriously consider replacing your current machine.
3) Commercial Ice Machines New Technology & Energy EfficiencyHow energy efficient is your current ice machine?
New ice machine technology has greatly impacted energy efficiency and longevity, meaning new machines are much less expensive to run. Some machines such as the Manitowoc Indigo Series have onboard dashboards that allow you to program your machines to optimize performance and operating times. Manitowoc’s new Luminice growth inhibitor technology is perfect for places where yeast is present, such as a bakery or brewery. This technology reduces yeast and bacteria growth.
New digital technology also helps you monitor and maintain your ice machine. Dashboard displays on new ice machines display the operating health of the machine in real time, like the Scotsman ice machines with AutoSentry™, which is a self-monitoring technology.
An additional resource that might help you is the Energy Cost Calculator offered by The U.S Office of Energy, Efficiency, & Renewable Energy for commercial ice machines that will help you calculate energy cost attributed to different ice machines.
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