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Can You Leave a Portable Ice Maker On?

Portable ice makers are a good way to keep the party going when the hot weather is not exactly on your side. It can make ice for you and your close ones in quite a short time, regardless of the type of ice that you need. Flavored ice, classic ice – it can all be done in just a couple of minutes.

That being said, considering that these units are “portable,” it makes you wonder whether you can leave them running or if you have to turn them off when you’ve made the ice that you need. Will it get damaged if you leave it running? This article should help you find more details in that regard.

Can You Leave the Portable Ice Maker Running?

Can You Leave a Portable Ice Maker OnThere’s no reason why you should not be able to leave a portable ice maker on. After all, it was designed to be easy to move around, not any less performing. It is intended to run without being stopped – and for that reason, there is the water reservoir that has been placed right under the storage bin for the ice. When the water from the ice bucket has melted, it will drip back into the tank – therefore, making even more water.

Bear in mind that even if your ice maker is fully capable of running non-stop, you should not let it on if it’s running low on water. This will make the water pump function particularly hard – which may eventually damage the device.

A portable ice maker is generally made to work continuously until it runs out of water, at which point it stops by itself. However, to preserve the unit in its best shape, you have to make sure that it has enough water to go on.

Turning Off The Unit When Gone a Long Time

Let’s say that you are planning to go on a vacation. Indeed, your ice maker can run continuously and make ice for you at all times – but why would you need ice when you are not even around to use it? Your ice maker would only consume a lot of power without any reason, raising your electricity bill for some ice you are not even going to use.

So, when you go on a vacation, you should unplug your ice maker, clean it, dry it off, and then place it into storage. If your portable unit can be used remotely, you may also take it with you. For example, if you like to go camping, then you might want to turn the unit off and take it with you wherever you might need it.

However, if you are leaving and not taking the ice maker with you, then you might want to turn it off and store it. It’s not a good idea to leave the unit at home, unattended and running its regular cycle. It can be very bad for the device and its longevity.

Check The Unit Upon Return

Check The Unit Upon ReturnYou may be tempted to run the ice maker immediately after coming home, but you might want to rethink that. Before you use the unit again, you should first check that it has not developed any mold around the cover. This might happen even if you have only left on a one-week vacation. Regardless of how well you clean and dry the unit before storing it, there might still be humidity left.

Aside from the exterior, you might also want to check the interior. If you do see that there is mold growing, you have to clean it first. Still, if there aren’t any issues, it is good to go.

Whining Sound When the Portable Ice Maker Is Running

You’ve left the portable ice maker running continuously – but now you notice that there is a strange whining sound coming from it. Is this the end of your unit? Should you have not left it running? Is it broken now because you dared to leave it running at all times?

Worry not, your portable ice maker is ok; it’s just unhappy that it doesn’t have enough water going through the pump. This is why it keeps whining – and the solution to this is to add more water.

The whining sound from the ice maker may come and go as the device is running, but this is completely natural. This may happen when it is gathering water from the melting 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. You may leave it running continuously, but you must make sure that it has enough water to draw from.

What Happens When the Ice Tray Is Full?

What Happens When the Ice Tray Is FullLet’s say that that you have decided to leave your portable ice maker running at all times. What happens when the ice tray gets full? Will this not damage your unit? Well, this is where you might want to chill yourself – because most of the time, nothing will happen. Nothing bad, at least.

This is because every ice maker should feature a sensor – and when the ice reaches the level of those sensors, the ice making will stop. A light will indicate that it’s time to empty your ice bucket, and if you decide to leave the ice there, then the melting water will start dripping back into the reservoir. Once the ice level is down, the unit will start freezing again – making it safe to run continuously. Not every unit has a similar sensor, which is why you might want to read some reviews first and make sure you get one with this feature.

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. is a library of researched topics regarding all things ice he made along the way.

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