Ice is vital to restaurants and any other business that serves beverages such as juice bars, pubs and cafes.That’s why it’s important to keep your ice machine in good working condition. Like any piece of equipment, it must be maintained regularly. Here are some basic things to look out for :
Ever read a story about a restaurant that got shut down for slime or mold in the ice machine? Ice machine bins are prime places for bacteria to grow. The cold slows them down, but they love all that water. Follow your manual’s recommendations for cleaning and sanitizing procedures. The manual or local regulations will tell you how often it needs to be cleaned.
The air filter must be cleaned regularly to keep the machine in good order. A clogged filter will cause heat buildup that could lead to damage. It will also make the cost of operating the machine higher. It’s an easy fix, but one that can be missed.
Ice must taste fresh, but ice must also be made with soft water. Hard water does more than put impurities into ice. It can build up scale on components. Too much scale can wreck a machine. Filtration also removes chlorine and other chemicals, and provides an extra layer of protection against microbial invasion. Change your water filters regularly to keep your ice and your ice machine in top condition.
Give the machine an inspection at regular intervals. Does anything look loose or corroded? Do you see any leaks anywhere? Does the compressor sound like it’s running properly? Does your ice look good and in proper shape? Refer to your owner’s manual for other things to look for during a routine check.
There are many things that you can do in-house to keep your ice machine well maintained. The service manual for the machine will detail any specialised maintenance you may need to perform. Keep your machine maintained and you’ll always have the ice you need, when you need it.
Choosing the right icemaking machine for your business is often complicated and confusing. Hopefully this article will make your job a bit easier. A few brief calculations and a bit of jargon is all you need to know. By the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll have a fairly good idea of what to look for when you’re shopping around for a machine.
There are three main types of ice: cubes, nuggets, and flakes. Different manufacturers will have different names and sizes, but most break down into these three broad categories. The larger the piece of ice, the longer it takes to melt and the slower it will cool things down. Cube ice is the standard for general cooling and for water. Half-cube ice machines make smaller cubes. Nugget ice is softer and easier to chew, but melts faster. Many fast-food restaurants use it. Flake ice is used for store displays and certain hospital applications
The first thing is to know how much ice you need for your business. The rule of thumb for choosing an ice machine is to have enough ice for a full house plus 20%. You don’t want too much or too little ice on hand. Ice machine production is measured in kilos of ice generated per day. Bins are rated by how many kilos of ice they can hold. If you already have an ice machine, you can estimate how much more or less you need by measuring your current demand.
The next thing to choose is what type of cooling you need. Air-cooled machines use more electricity but much less water. Water-cooled machines are the opposite. They use so much more water, but in places where the surrounding air temperature is too warm a water-cooled system is required.
If you need to make a very large amount of ice daily, remote-cooled systems separate the condenser and place it on the roof. This allows for greater cooling capacity without taking up a lot of space. However, the installation costs of this method are very expensive. Most businesses will use an air-cooled or water-cooled machine.
The next thing to consider is the amount of space the bin and the ice machine head, the part that makes the ice, will take up. If you order a stand-alone ice dispenser where the two parts are combined, then it’s just a matter of measuring the installation space and adding the recommended air gap around it. However, if you are ordering a separate head and bin, you have more options. Heads and bins come in several standard sizes. If you want to mix and match, make sure the parts will work together and fit inside the allocated space.
If you are looking for a smaller machine for a bar, look for an under counter ice machine. These are made for bar and refreshment businesses that don’t need a large stand-alone machine.
Once you know how much ice you need, the type of ice you need, the amount of space you have, and the type of cooling you need, you’re ready to start shopping for an ice machine.
Ice makers for restaurants, juice bars, pubs, cafes and more. There is one just right for your business.