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Can You Leave a Portable Ice Maker On?

Yes, you can leave your portable ice maker on for as long as you are around. Portable ice makers are capable of running non-stop (under the condition the unit is filled with enough water), which is why the water reservoir has been placed right under the ice storage bin. If an ice maker is running low on water, the water pump may lose some of its efficiency with time. Once there’s no more water in the reservoir, the unit will stop working automatically. And, if the ice in the ice bucket melts down, the water will go back into the tank and the machine will reuse it for making another batch of ice.

Turning Off The Unit When Gone a Long TimeCan You Leave a Portable Ice Maker On

A portable ice maker can run continuously and make ice at all times – but no one needs ice non-stop. If not using it to make ice, an ice maker will consume energy without a practical reason.

Unplug, clean, dry the ice maker, then turn it off and store it when going away from home. Leaving an ice maker on when not using it for a couple of days can affect the unit’s longevity negatively.

Check The Unit Upon Return

Do not use the ice maker immediately after coming home. Check whether it has developed any mold around the cover before using the unit again.


Aside from the exterior, check the ice maker’s interior as well and clean it thoroughly to prevent or stop mold from growing on its surface.

Whining Sound When the Portable Ice Maker Is Running

When a countertop ice maker is left running continuously, there will be a strange, whining noise coming from it. Fill the water reservoir to stop these sounds.

The whining sound from the ice maker may naturally come and go as the device is running, especially if it is gathering water from the melted ice. Occasionally, there will be times when the unit will try to “grab” water from the reservoir – and if there is not a lot of dripping water, then it won’t have where to pull from.

What Happens When the Ice Tray Is Full?

What Happens When the Ice Tray Is Full

When ice tray is full, the light on an ice maker will turn on, indicating that the bucket should be emptied.

An ice maker that is running at all times will quickly fill the whole ice tray (provided the water reservoir is full), which won’t necessarily hurt the unit.

Most ice makers come with sensors that prevent the unit from making new ice for as long as the ice tray is full. A light will indicate that it’s time to empty the ice bucket. If there is any ice left in there, it will start melting and the melting water will start dripping back into the reservoir. Once the water reservoir is full, the unit will start freezing new ice cubes, which is not harmful to the device in any way.

Some ice makers come with no sensors, which is why occasionally checking on the ice bucket and water reservoir is mandatory.

Final Thoughts

Portable ice makers can easily be left running, without worrying that you might damage the unit. Just make sure that the ice maker always has plenty of water if you plan on running it continuously.

About Aaron Walters

Aaron Walters is a code writer by day, and a cocktail enthusiast by night. Once he realized that high-quality ice is equally important as other ingredients, he started researching ice machines of all types and sizes. Icemaking101.com is a library of researched topics regarding all things ice he made along the way.

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