Commercial ice makers are necessary for bars, cafes, cafeterias, restaurants – catering facilities in general, convenience stores, food displays, and medicinal and healthcare facilities. Commercial ice makers provide almost immediate availability of ice. These units are capable of producing high-quality cubes in intervals of 10 minutes and 560lbs of ice in 24 hours.
To find the best commercial ice maker, it is essential to know the brands standing behind these machines. Some of these brands include hOmeLabs, Euhomy, VEVOR, Costzon, ROVSUN, Vremi, Hoshizaki, and KUPPET. Each brand comes with unique advantages and disadvantages that will be included in the reviews.
Factors such as shape, size, production output, storage capacity, build material, type of ice cubes produced, and accessories should be taken into account when purchasing a commercial ice maker. This commercial ice makers buying guide includes all these factors.
The best commercial ice makers are listed below:
- hOmeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker Machine
- Euhomy Commercial Ice Maker Machine
- VEVOR 110V Commercial Ice Maker
- Costzon Commercial Ice Maker Built
- ROVSUN Built-in Stainless Steel Commercial Ice Maker
- Vremi Commercial Grade Ice Making Machine
- Hoshizaki Commercial Ice Maker
- KUPPET Stainless Steel Commercial Ice Maker
The Best Commercial Ice Machines Comparison Table
hOmeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker Machine
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Euhomy Commercial Ice Maker Machine 100lbs/24h
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VEVOR 110V Commercial Ice Maker 400LBS/24H with LCD Panel
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Costzon Commercial Ice Maker Built-In Stainless Steel Ice Maker
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ROVSUN Built-in Stainless Steel Commercial Ice Maker
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Vremi Commercial Grade Ice Making Machine
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Hoshizaki Commercial Ice Maker
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KUPPET Stainless Steel Commercial Ice Maker
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Best Commercial Ice Maker Reviews
1. hOmeLabs Freestanding Commercial Ice Maker Machine
The hOmeLabs freestanding commercial ice maker machine by the brand hOmeLabs is best suited for restaurants, bars, hotels, and offices. hOmeLabs is a well-known home and kitchen appliances brand that sells innovative, intuitive, and mindful products.
The hOmeLabs commercial ice maker is unique because it can produce ice in large volumes. It comes with a 1.2 l water tank that refills itself with water automatically, unlike conventional countertop ice makers. The + and – buttons on the LCD indicator allow adjusting the ice making time and ice thickness. This ice maker is freestanding, meaning – it can be used as a stand-alone appliance and can be installed and moved around easily. A 6.5ft drain hose, water supply hose, water connector, and ice scoop are also included in the package.
The interior of the hOmeLabs commercial ice maker is highly durable and made of rust-resistant stainless steel. The exterior of the machine is made of plastic coated with aluminum. A scoop for the ice cubes is made of plastic.
The hOmeLabs commercial ice maker produces up to 99lbs of ice per day or 45 clear ice cubes every 10-11 minutes.
The hOmeLabs commercial ice maker can accommodate up tp 29lbs of ice.
Cleaning the hOmeLabs commercial ice maker can be done easily as the machine has an automatic cleaning function. The hOmeLabs ice maker’s exterior should be cleaned after periods of storage and based on usage. Cleaning the unit before the first use and leaving it in an upright position for 24 hours is mandatory.
The hOmeLabs commercial ice maker costs around $500.
The hOmeLabs commercial ice maker comes with a 2-year warranty while buying an extended 4-year warranty is possible as well.
The advantages of hOmeLabs freestanding commercial ice maker machine are as follows:
- The hOmeLabs freestanding commercial ice maker machine can produce large quantities of ice, up to 99lbs, and makes a great choice for special celebrations, gatherings, etc.
- The hOmeLabs freestanding commercial ice maker machine requires very little to no maintenance and performs self-cleaning.
- The thickness of ice cubes and ice making time of the The hOmeLabs freestanding commercial ice maker machine can be adjusted.
The hOmeLabs freestanding commercial ice maker machine also has the following disadvantages:
- The hOmeLabs freestanding commercial ice maker occasionally displays an error code and should be reset,
- The cubes don’t last very long after being produced and stored in the hOmeLabs freestanding commercial ice maker.
2. Euhomy Commercial Ice Maker Machine
Manufactured by the popular brand, Euhomy, this ice maker is one of a few products on the market that has ETL certification and is approved for commercial use. However, it can be used both in a commercial – bar, restaurant, hotel and in household settings – kitchens and outdoor kitchens.
One of the Euhomy commercial ice maker’s unique features include automatic overflow prevention that prevents the ice cubes from overflowing. This powerful ice maker can efficiently produce high volumes of ice without causing too much noise. Not only does the Euhomy commercial ice maker provides a comfortable environment but it is energy-efficient as well.
This commercial ice maker is capable of producing up to 100lbs of ice per day or 45 ice cubes per cycle and storing 33lbs of ice. Collecting ice from the bin is easy as comes the unit comes with a curved flip design. It takes 11 minutes for Euhomy commercial ice maker to produce small ice cubes, 15 for medium, and 20 minutes for large ice cubes. The size of the cubes and the ice making time are adjustable on a smart LCD screen.
The Euhomy commercial ice maker is made of is stainless steel. The ice tray is pure copper plated with nickel, and it is anti-corrosive and resistant to rust. This ensures the high level of safety and hygiene of the ice cubes produced with this unit.
This ice maker for commercial use comes with the “Timer Clean” button that should be pressed before making the first batch of ice. After the first use, the machine will start the self-cleaning process once the clean button is pressed. To extend the life of the Euhomy commercial ice maker, it is recommended to regularly clean it after usage.
When maintained regularly, the Euhomy commercial ice maker can last for more than 2 years and it comes with a 1-year warranty.
The Euhomy commercial ice maker is priced around $480.
The advantages of Euhomy commercial ice maker are as follows:
- The Euhomy commercial ice maker is equipped with an energy certificate and helps with saving electricity and lowering bills.
- The LCD panel of the Euhomy commercial ice maker allows adjusting the temperature, ice making time, and the size of the cubes.
- One-click cleaning function of the Euhomy commercial ice maker starts automatic cleaning of this commercial ice maker.
The disadvantages of Euhomy commercial ice maker are as follows:
- The Euhomy commercial ice maker sometimes displays an error code.
- The ambient temperature has to be low for the ice within the Euhomy commercial ice maker to stay solid.
3. VEVOR 110V Commercial Ice Maker
The VEVOR commercial ice maker is a functional unit that makes a good choice for restaurants, schools, hotels, supermarkets, and businesses. VEVOR is a leading brand that specializes in manufacturing appliances, tools, and equipment sold at low prices and their amazing 24/7 customer service.
Featuring an ETL certification, VEVOR commercial ice maker is one of the most energy-efficient units on the market. Equipped with well-considered accessories, one of which is the SECOP compressor, this machine can provide large volumes of ice rapidly. It also comes with a built-in water filter that ensures the ice produced is crystal clear, hard, but also chewable at the same time. The ice produced with the VEVOR commercial is maker stays solid for 5 to 7 hours thanks to the 6-sided cyclopentane foam layer.
The VEVOR ice maker for commercial use comes at a price of around $2,550. VEVOR sells the same commercial ice maker with a bigger capacity at around $2,750.
Made of heavy-duty brushed stainless steel, VEVOR commercial ice maker is sturdy and durable while it also has a luxurious appearance. The interior of this unit is made of a 2.55 thick food-grade PP injection liner that adds up to its sturdiness and impact resistance.
To prove the durability of this commercial ice maker, VEVOR offers a 5-year warranty on the SECOP compressor and a 3-year warranty on other parts. In case of quality problems or logistic damage, the ice maker can be returned and replaced with a new one within 30 days of purchase.
The advanced multi-function panel comes with several buttons – schedule, overtime, making, the thickness of the ice cubes, and auto-clean among others. By pressing the auto-clean button, the VEVOR commercial ice maker starts cleaning all pipes and trays and ensures the ice cubes are free of smell. The improvements VEVOR has taken when it comes to the programmability and cleanability of this commercial ice maker make it easier to operate and reduce its operating costs at the same time.
The VEVOR commercial ice maker produces 156 clear cubes in 5 to 15 minutes. It takes 5 minutes to produce thin, 8-11 minutes medium, and 11-15 minutes to produce thick ice cubes. This commercial ice maker can produce up to 400lbs of ice in a day and store 350lbs in the ice bin.
The advantages of VEVOR commercial ice maker are as follows:
- The VEVOR commercial ice maker comes with a built-in 850W SECOP compressor that produces ice at a rapid rate.
- The intuitive LCD panel built in the VEVOR commercial ice maker displays the ice making conditions, temperature, and several buttons to set the ice cube size and start auto-cleaning.
- All of the accessories for ice making are provided in the package, including a premium water filter, water supply hose, water draining hose, water supply connector, and ice scoops.
The disadvantages of VEVOR commercial ice maker are as follows:
- The VEVOR commercial ice maker produces noise while operating.
4. Costzon Commercial Ice Maker Built-In Stainless Steel Ice Make
This commercial ice maker by Costzon is specifically manufactured and designed for prosperous businesses – restaurants, bars, coffee shops. It makes a good choice for gatherings – birthdays, weddings, and other celebrations. Ice cubes produced by this Costzon unit go best with mixed drinks such as vodka, brandy, rum, and cocktails.
What makes Costzon commercial ice maker so special is the powerful built-in 200W compressor that speeds up ice production to a maximum. Surprisingly, it doesn’t add up to the overall energy and water usage and it is highly efficient. The fact that it can be either freestanding or built under a counter contributes to this commercial ice maker’s functionality. Adjustable feet on the bottom keep the ice maker away from the ground and protect it from water, rust, and mold.
Costozon commercial ice maker, along with all the accessories, comes at a price of $500 circa.
Made of stainless steel, Costzon commercial ice maker is sturdy, very durable, resistant to corrosion, and eco-friendly as well.
The Costzon commercial ice maker comes with a 1-year warranty, although the life expectancy of this machine for commercial use extends a couple of years further.
The Costzon commercial ice maker is easy to clean and maintain, mostly because of the materials used for its production such as stainless steel. It is equipped with an intuitive panel that allows controlling the ice making and cleaning processes. Also, it has 2 cleaning options – clean and timer clean.
This commercial ice maker by Costzon can produce up to 110lbs of ice every 24 hours. New ice cubes are made every 12 to 18 minutes.
Capable of storing 33lbs of ice cubes, Costzon ice maker has a solid capacity. When the ice bin is full and the bin can’t take more ice, the ice maker will shut down automatically.
The advantages of Costzon commercial ice maker are as follows:
- The Costzon commercial ice maker’s 200W compressor dissipates heat and makes sure ice cubes stay solid for longer.
- Highly efficient and energy-conserving, the Costzon commercial ice maker has a water usage rate of 99%.
- An ice shovel, water drainage pipe, and a water line with a quick connector are included in the package along with the Costzon commercial ice maker.
The disadvantages of Costzon commercial ice maker are as follows:
- The Costzon commercial ice maker occasionally displays an error code and produces large blocks of ice, after which it should be plugged off and thawed.
- The Costzon commercial ice maker is noisy.
5. ROVSUN Built-in Stainless Steel Commercial Ice Maker
ROVSUN manufactured this ice maker mostly for bars, cafes, and restaurants. This brand specializes in home and kitchen appliances, especially the ones with cooling and freezing effects.
The most unique feature of this commercial ice maker by Rovsun is its impeccable heat dissipation. It is equipped with large exhaust vents on each side that ensure the unit doesn’t overheat. Also, this product is one of a few that use both tap and bottled water. This feature makes the unit more convenient to use and more suitable for a wider range of applications.
The ROVSUN commercial ice maker is among the budget-friendly products in this category. It is priced at around $380.
ROVSUN is well-known for using high-quality materials, such as stainless steel, to make ice makers. This commercial ice maker is made of durable, rust-resistant stainless steel that prolongs its lifespan.
ROVSUN provides a 1-year warranty for this commercial ice maker. With proper maintenance, it should be able to produce ice for at least 3 to 4 years.
The ROVSUN commercial ice maker should be cleaned before the first use and held in an upright position for 24 hours. Once installed, the unit should be cleaned by pressing the “timer clean” button. This command triggers a 20-minute long cleaning session. The exterior and ice bin should be cleaned occasionally using a sponge and clean water. The ice bin can be sanitized with hot water and chlorine or household bleach.
Capable of producing 110 up to 150lbs of ice per day, ROVSUN commercial ice maker boasts intense power. It makes 45 standard ice cubes per one 11-18-min cycle.
This commercial ice maker by ROVSUN has a large storage bin that can hold up to 24lbs of ice. The ice bin screen is 100% see-through, which makes it convenient to check the amount of stored ice at any moment.
The advantages of ROVSUN commercial ice maker are as follows:
- The double water inlet structure of the ROVSUN commercial ice maker allows using both tap and bottled water for producing ice cubes.
- The ROVSUN commercial ice maker has an LCD screen with several buttons for self-cleaning, ice making time, and ice cube thickness setting.
- The ROVSUN commercial ice maker’s advanced cooling system enables faster heat dissipation.
The disadvantages of ROVSUN commercial ice maker are as follows
- The ROVSUN commercial ice maker’s ice bin has no freezing function and ice cubes should be used shortly after production.
6. Vremi Commercial Grade Ice Making Machine
Vremi is a brand famous for manufacturing home and kitchen appliances, including ice makers. This specific commercial ice maker is ideal for both commercial and home and produces crystal clear ice cubes quickly.
The Vremi commercial ice maker’s freestanding design makes it special for several reasons. It can be moved around easily and it can produce ice as long as it has access to a water line. Unlike portable countertop models, this product doesn’t require constant refills. It can start producing ice seconds after its 1.2l water tank is connected to a water supply. Vremi includes a full set of ice making accessories along with this product – an ice scoop, draining hose, and water supply hose with faucet connector.
This commercial ice maker by Vremi can be bought for around $520. This product can also be found at a discount price of around $480.
Made of rust-resistant stainless steel, Vremi commercial ice maker is sleek and durable at the same time.
Backed up by a 1-year warranty, this commercial ice maker by Vremi is meant to last for much longer. An extended 4-year warranty can be bought as well.
The stainless steel exterior of this unit is very easy to maintain. Vremi equipped this commercial ice maker with an easy operation panel. This digital control panel allows adjusting the ice making process but the cleaning process as well. The automatic cleaning function triggers a cycle during which the inside of the unit is cleaned.
The Vremi commercial ice maker comes with a built-in powerful compressor that speeds up the ice making cycle. This product can make up to 99lbs of ice per day or 45 clear ice cubes per cycle that lasts 11-20 minutes.
The storage bin of the Vremi commercial ice maker is large enough to accommodate up to 29lbs of ice.
The advantages of Vremi commercial ice maker are as follows:
- The water supply of the Vremi commercial ice maker is connected directly to the water tank and provides a contact water supply.
- The “timer/clean” button of the Vremi commercial ice maker starts the self-cleaning program.
- The Vremi commercial ice maker’s compressor speeds up the ice making process without using too much energy.
The disadvantages of Vremi commercial ice maker are as follows:
- The Vremi commercial ice maker is not properly insulated and ice cubes are melting at a relatively fast rate.
7. Hoshizaki KM-520MAJ Commercial Ice Maker
Hoshizaki is a synonym for quality, durability, and reliability, and this commercial ice maker is no different. The Hoshizaki KM-520MAJ is specifically made for businesses and high-traffic areas that have huge demands for ice on daily basis.
It is unique because it produces crescent-shaped ice ideal for mixed drinks. The Hoshizaki KM-520MAJ commercial ice maker is NSF-certified, meaning that it is tested and approved by a certified organization. It is also certified by ENERGY STAR® as an energy-efficient and eco-friendly product. The built-it EverCheckTM alert system reconfirms the unit’s energy efficiency and makes it easy to maintain. This commercial ice maker produces beeping sounds when it has to be serviced.
At $3,365 per unit, Hoshizaki KM-520MAJ commercial ice maker belongs to the most expensive products in this category.
The Hoshizaki KM-520MAJ commercial ice maker is built to withstand heavy use on regular basis. Its stainless steel exterior and double-sided evaporator prolong the unit’s life and make it perform well under pressure. The inside of the machine is made of polyurethane.
Backed up by a 3-year warranty on parts and a 5-year warranty on compressor, Hoshizaki KM-520MAJ is a very reliable commercial ice maker.
It is important to disinfect the unit’s exterior using a sanitizing solution and a cloth. The same applies to the evaporator. Cleaning the inside of the KM-520MAJ commercial ice maker is pretty straightforward and takes about one hour.
The Hoshizaki KM-520MAJ commercial ice maker can produce up to 556lbs of ice in a day and it is among the most effective products on the market. It is possible to mount 2 units, side by side, to double the ice production.
The advantages of Hoshizaki KM-520MAJ commercial ice maker are as follows:
- The EverCheck TM alert system of the Hoshizaki KM-520MAJ commercial ice maker improves the unit’s energy efficiency and reduces service downtime.
- The Hoshizaki KM-520MAJ commercial ice maker has a very high production capacity – 556lbs of ice every 24 hours.
- The 5-year warranty on the Hoshizaki KM-520MAJ commercial ice maker’s compressor inspires trust.
The disadvantages Hoshizaki KM-520MAJ commercial ice maker are as follows:
- A storage bin is not included in the package with the Hoshizaki KM-520MAJ commercial ice maker.
8. KUPPET Stainless Steel Commercial Ice Maker
The KUPPET commercial ice maker is certified by ETL for commercial use and has an automatic overflow and power-off protection. This makes it one of the safest and most energy-efficient products suitable for application in bars, hotels, restaurants, and homes.
What makes KUPPET commercial ice maker so special is that it can work 24 hours straight without interruption. This is possible thanks to the powerful built-in compressor that operates at a low noise level. This is also possible thanks to the thick layer of insulation that keeps the temperature inside the machine low and provides fast cooling.
The price range of KUPPET commercial ice maker is around $390. It can be found at a discount price of around $330 as well.
Made of stainless steel, KUPPET commercial ice maker is long-lasting, sturdy, and resistant to rust inside and out.
This commercial ice maker by KUPPET is backed up with a 1-year warranty. Its life expectancy is 3 to 5 years when the unit is properly maintained.
The KUPPET commercial ice maker is a low-maintenance type of product. The LCD smart panel makes its use and cleaning very straightforward. The ice making time, ambient temperature, countdown, and cleaning can be adjusted. This commercial ice maker also features automatic self-cleaning.
Capable of producing up to 88lbs of ice per 24 hours, KUPPET commercial ice maker can meet high ice volume demands.
KUPPET commercial ice maker produces 45 ice cubes in 5-8, 8-11, and 11-20-minute intervals, depending on the ice thickness.
The KUPPET commercial ice maker’s ice bin can store up to 25lbs of ice.
The advantages of KUPPET commercial ice maker are as follows:
- The thick layer of insulation can make the ice stored in the ice bin last from 3 to 5 hours even when the KUPPET commercial ice maker is out of power.
- The high-quality compressor makes the KUPPET commercial ice maker more powerful, yet it operates at 40dB and will not produce noise.
- The simple control panel allows adjusting the ice making conditions and provides light signals when the KUPPET commercial ice maker should be emptied or filled with water.
The disadvantages of KUPPET commercial ice maker are as follows:
- The KUPPET commercial ice maker is more compact than other products from the competition and, thus, has lower ice storage capacity.
Types of Commercial Ice Makers
The 4 types of commercial ice makers are listed below:
- Self-contained commercial ice makers
- Commercial modular ice machines
- Commercial ice dispenser machines
- Combination water and ice machines
1. Self-Contained Commercial Ice Makers
Self-contained commercial ice makers are units that combine ice makers and storage/collecting bins in one. Also known as under-counter ice makers, these machines can fit under most 40-inch high counters. 70% of commercial ice makers are self-contained ice makers.
Advantages of Self-Contained Commercial Ice Makers
- 80-350lbs of maximum ice output per day,
- Compact size,
- Built-in storage bins.
Disadvantages of Self-Contained Commercial Ice Makers
- Can not meet the needs of high-traffic commercial facilities.
Usage of Self-Contained Commercial Ice Makers
Self-contained commercial ice makers are used in cafes and bars with lower ice demand.
2. Commercial Modular Ice Machines
Commercial modular ice machines are units with separate motors and storage bins. Separating the storage bin from the motor results in more powerful and durable motors and higher ice production quantities.
Advantages of commercial modular ice machines are as follows:
- 240-2,000lbs of maximum ice output per day,
- Powerful and durable motors,
- Most models are compatible with ice dispensers.
Disadvantages of commercial modular ice machines are as follows:
- These units take up more space compared to self-contained commercial ice makers.
Usage of Commercial Modular Ice Machines
Commercial modular ice machines are used in establishments such as cafes, bars, or restaurants that have a continuous demand for ice cubes and are not short in space. To dispense ice,
3. Commercial Ice Dispenser Machines
Commercial ice dispenser machines are compact units that dispense ice while some models produce and dispense it. Commercial ice dispenser machines that don’t produce ice have to be paired with production heads. Pushing the button or pulling the lever dispenses ice from the machine. These machines are capable of producing 200 up to 400lbs of ice per 24 hours. Compared to self-contained commercial ice makers, commercial ice dispenser machines are even more compact but don’t have storage bins built-in.
Advantages of Commercial Dispenser Ice Machines
- Automatic water filling,
- Some of these machines are portable,
- Available as a countertop or freestanding models.
Disadvantages of Commercial Dispenser Ice Machines
- These units tend to break down more often.
Usage of Commercial Ice Dispenser Machines
Commercial ice dispenser machines are mostly used in health care settings, nursing homes and hospitals, and food service establishments.
4. Combination Water and Ice Machines
Combination water and ice machines are units that can produce ice and dispense water, unlike self-contained ice makers. These machines can produce up to 500lbs per day.
Advantages of Combination Water and Ice Machines
- These units have a small footprint, still great ice production capacity,
- Multi-use application,
- They can produce ice cubes and nugget ice.
Disadvantages of Combination Water and Ice Machines
- These machines are expensive,
- Some machines require special carbon water filters.
Usage of Combination Water and Ice Machines
Combination water and ice machines are used in healthcare facilities, cafeterias, offices, and companies.
Types of Commercial Ice Machine Condensers
1. Air-Cooled Ice Machines
Air-cooled machines are units that use fans that draw in fresh air from the environment to dissipate heat and cool the condenser down. Up to 70% of ice machines are air-cooled because they are affordable, efficient, and easy to install.
Advantages of Air-Cooled Ice Machines
- Low water consumption,
- No additional wiring is required,
Disadvantages of Air-Cooled Ice Machines
- The units need 6 or more inches of clearance around the air intake and discharge ports,
- Should be installed in rooms with ambient temperature below 80 degrees, otherwise, the volume of ice produced can drop,
- Fans tend to produce some noise.
Usage of Air-Cooled Ice Machines
Air-cooled ice machines are used in areas with poor water supply.
2. Water-Cooled Ice Machines
Water-cooled ice machines are units with built-in water condensers that use water to cool themselves and the entire refrigeration system down. These units use more water and require a constant cool water flow, unlike air-cooled ice machines. Using several gallons of water per hour, water-cooled ice machines are not cost-saving at all.
Advantages of Water-Cooled Ice Machines
- These machines use cold water that is chillier compared to ambient air, which makes them more efficient,
- Installation requires less electricity,
- They do not use fans, thus the operation is less noisy.
Disadvantages of Water-Cooled Ice Machines
- Use significant amounts of water.
Usage of Water-Cooled Ice Machines
Water-cooled ice machines are used in areas with poor air ventilation, warm climates, and small spaces.
3. Remote-Cooled Ice Machines
Remote-cooled ice machines are units that get cooled by using air or water while condensers are housed outdoors, usually on a roof. The ice machine and the condenser are connected with a pipe through which the refrigerant circulates. Compared to air-cooled ice machines, remote-cooled ice machines are more efficient in dispersing the heat and produce less noise.
Advantages of Remote-Cooled Ice Machines
- Efficiently outsource heat,
- Extremely quiet,
- Do not take up space.
Disadvantages Remote-Cooled Ice Machines
- These units are very expensive,
- More pressure is put on the HVAC system,
- Costlier and more complicated to install.
Usage of Remote-Cooled Ice Machines
Remote-cooled ice machines are used in facilities such as hotels and restaurants where multiple systems are operating at the same time and in the same area to reduce noise, eliminate heat, and make more space.
Types of Ice Produced by Commercial Ice Machines
Types of ice produced by commercial ice machines are listed below:
- Cube ice,
- Full-cube ice,
- Half-cube ice,
- Nugget ice,
- Flake ice.
Cube ice is most commonly used in numerous food service facilities. This type of ice is great for soft drinks and melts at a slower rate compared to flake or nugget ice.
Full-cube ice also known as dice cube is the largest type of cube produced by commercial ice makers. This cube melts at a slow rate and works best with liquor on the rocks, cocktails, and high-end spirits.
Half-cube ice is used in high-traffic facilities such as fast-food restaurants. It provides an almost instant cooling effect but has a relatively fast melting rate. It should be used with drinks that are consumed at a faster speed.
Nugget ice is softer and chewable when compared to cubed ice. It is mostly used in healthcare institutions, restaurants, cocktail bars, and fast food establishments.
Flake ice provides rapid cooling and is used for fish and meat food displays. It is also used with frozen drinks, smoothies, and frozen desserts, never with soft drinks and high-end spirits.
More information can be found here about the main types of ice.
Commercial Ice Maker Buying Guide
After choosing the commercial ice maker, condenser, and ice type, consider the following factors before making a purchase.
1. Amount of Ice
Determine the volume of ice needed per 24 hours and add several lbs on top. Restaurants and cafeterias use about 1lb of ice per customer. Serving 250 meals/drinks per day requires around 450lbs of ice. Cocktail lounges use 3lbs of ice per customer, hotels use 5lbs of ice per room, and hospitals need around 10lbs of ice per patient. Hospitals with 100 patients need 1000lbs of ice per day in ideal circumstances. To make sure not to run out of ice, calculate daily demands based on the highest traffic days.
2. Water Filter
Very few commercial ice makers have a built-in water filter, which is why an inline water filter should be bought. Water filters reduce the concentration of dissolved minerals in the ice maker that can cause buildups and hinder the unit’s performance. Installing a water filter contributes to producing clearer ice cubes that have no chlorine taste.
Consider commercial ice machines that come with accessories such as ice scoops, ice scoop caddies, drain pumps, and/or adjustable legs. Brands such as VEVOR and Costzon provide all the accessories needed to make the most out of their commercial ice makers.
Most commercial ice makers from brands such as hOmeLabs, Costzon, ROVSUN, and KUPPET offer 1-3 year warranties. Fewer brands, such as Hoshizaki offer 3-5 year warranties.
Factors That Can Affect the Production Capacity of Commercial Ice Machines
Factors like water quality, incoming water temperature, the amount of ventilation and the air temperature, and the purity of a commercial ice machine can affect its ice production capacity.
1. Incoming Water Temperature
If the water coming into the ice maker is warm, the machine will use more energy to produce ice. When using a water-cooled ice maker, using cool water is mandatory.
2. Ventilation and Air Temperature
Poor ventilation can negatively affect ice output. Do not install the ice maker in environments where the ambient temperature is over 80 degrees. High temperatures can cause pressure within the ice maker and reduce its output and lifespan.
3. Water Quality
Hard water causes buildups in water lines and pipes reduce the flow of water coming into an ice machine. The machine will take longer to produce ice, which can affect its performance and durability. Using water filtration systems will remove deposits from water and improve the taste and purity of ice.
Buildups within commercial ice makers can block the optimal inflow of water, reduce ice output, and worsen its quality. Cleaning a commercial ice maker regularly ensures the machine stays at optimum output. All the details about commercial ice makers cleanings will be listed below.
How To Clean a Commercial Ice Maker
Steps on how to clean a commercial ice maker are listed below:
- Take out all the ice from the ice maker or turn it off and wait until the ice melts.
- Press the “Clean” button to make the water circulate through the dump valve.
- This process takes 20 to 30 minutes on average. The light on the machine will indicate the moment when the cycle is over.
- Hold on until the water refills.
- When the cycle is over, disconnect the machine from the electrical supply.
- Remove the internal components of the ice maker.
- Mix water and the cleaning solution in ratio 1:16.
- Use the cleaning solution and a soft brush or sponge to clean the removed internal components.
- Rinse the parts with water.
- Use a cloth and the cleaning solution to clean the ice maker’s base, sidewalls, the evaporator’s plastic parts, and the inside of the ice bin.
- Rinse all the parts and install them back in place.
Troubleshooting Commercial Ice Machines
To troubleshoot a commercial ice machine, follow the steps listed below:
- Reconnect the connections,
- Run a cleaning cycle,
- Plug it into another outlet.
1. Reconnect the Connections
Inspect the connections at the bottom of the machine and reconnect them if needed. If the water-carrying parts of a commercial ice maker are poorly installed, the machine will have performance issues.
2. Run a Cleaning Cycle
Run a cleaning cycle to troubleshoot the unit and restore the perfect cube color and size. If the ice coming out of a commercial ice maker is hazy, it could be the water supply problem.
3. Plug It Into Another Outlet
Plug the machine into an outlet that can supply it with more electricity. A commercial ice maker that doesn’t get enough power will restart often.
FAQ About Commerical Ice Makers
1. How much space do commercial ice machines need?
Commercial ice machines need at least 1 foot of clearance to be installed properly. These units come in different sizes – 32 x 22 x 65 inches or 15.7 x 17.6 x 31.4 inches or 19 x 15 x 33 inches.
2. How to drain a commercial ice maker?
To drain a commercial ice maker, use a floor or wall drain or pump drain. Once the drain is installed, water is deposited from the machine into the drainage system. Some commercial ice makers come with built-in drains. Draining a commercial ice maker will ensure the unit’s top performance and prevent ice buildups.
3. How to sanitize a commercial ice maker?
To sanitize a commercial ice maker, mix 2 ounces of an ice maker sanitizer with 3 gallons of water. Turn off the power supply, take off the removable parts of the ice machine, spray the solution over the ice maker components or let the parts soak in it. Wait for 20 minutes, turn back the power supply, and fill the ice maker with water. Run one ice-making cycle and throw this batch of ice away.
4. How much energy do commercial ice makers use? Are they energy-efficient?
Commercial ice makers consume around 600kWh per month. One kWh in the US costs between 17 and 33 cents. Commercial ice makers with ENERGY STAR or ETL certifications such as Hoshizaki and KUPPET are more energy-efficient.
5. Can commercial ice makers be used at high temperatures?
Commercial ice makers can be used on temperatures as high as over 80 degrees, as long as these machines are water-cooled. Air-cooled ice makers should be used in rooms where ambient temperature doesn’t exceed 60 degrees.