Troubleshooting commercial ice machines

Written by elizabeth sobiski
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Troubleshooting commercial ice machines
Troubleshoot icemaker problems before calling in a service technician. (ice cubes image by sheldon gardner from Fotolia.com)

Before calling in a service technician, try to find the source of the problem with the ice maker. Commercial ice makers vary, but they all do essentially one thing -- make ice. Depending on the brand and age, there may be error codes or indicator lights that give clues to what the problem actually is. It is also a good idea to reference the service manual that came with the ice maker, as it will usually have tips to fixing common problems.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Service manual
  • Scale remover

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Look for error codes or indicator lights on the ice maker. A service manual is usually needed to read these codes, as they are different depending on the manufacturer. Sometimes there will be a legend on the front cover or control panel area that describes the various codes and lights. This is especially true with newer machines. If this is not available, begin with a visual inspection.

  2. 2

    Inspect the catch bin of the ice maker. If the walls and other surfaces have a build-up on them, then the ice maker needs to be cleaned. The build-up is caused by minerals in the water that are left behind during the ice making process. If the interior bin is in need of cleaning, then chances are the rest of the machine needs a clean too. Sometimes, squealing or crunching noises will be emitted from the freezing cylinder when it has scale build-up. Use scale remover according to manufacturers directions.

  3. 3

    Check the water supply of the machine. Make sure that water flows freely through the tubing and is providing an adequate supply to the ice maker. If the machine is old, or the local water supply is heavy with minerals, the tubing may have a build-up of scale and restrict or prevent water flow. If this is the case, it is best to replace the tubing.

  4. 4

    Inspect the evaporator plate. If the plate is very discoloured, or is showing a lot of copper, this may be the problem. Without the plating over the copper on the evaporator plate, ice will not always drop off when it is supposed to, creating an ice jam. Also check for scale deposits on the evaporator plate. If all this is done and there is still a problem, then it is time to call in a service technician.

Tips and warnings

  • Many service manuals are available online at the manufacturers website. Have the make and model of the ice maker to be able to find the right manual.

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