How Long Should a Commercial Ice Machine Last?

When it comes to relying on a dependable commercial ice machine for your business, explore ways to maintain and extend the life expectancy of your machine.

If your business includes a kitchen, you need to invest in a commercial ice machine.

An ice machine provides frozen cubes, nuggets, or flakes that assist in cooling beverages, produce, or other foods, as well as providing cooling for first-aid or healthcare situations.

cube ice in ice making machine

An ice machine is a necessary investment, so keeping it in pristine condition is important to extending its life. While a standard commercial ice machine has an average life of 4-5 years, regular cleaning and maintenance can give your machine as much as 10+ years of ice production.

Explore ways to extend your machine’s life span here.

Extend Life by Cleaning Your Commercial Ice Machine

Ice is considered food as far as the Food and Drug Administration is concerned, so when the food inspector comes to call, your ice machine will be checked along with the rest of the kitchen.

Keeping your ice machine inspection-ready includes basic cleaning tasks such as:

  1. Using water filters in your machine to reduce mineral buildup
  2. Adding a UV light bulb that can kill bacteria
  3. Removal of all ice before cleaning
  4. Using the cleaning function on your ice machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions
  5. Wiping down all exterior surfaces, including around the machine
  6. Washing and rinsing internal, removable parts
  7. Sanitizing the machine according to directions
  8. Blowing out dust and dirt from the compressor with compressed air
  9. Cleaning water filter, or replacing if needed

How often do you need to clean your ice machine? Consult your manufacturer’s instructions, but don’t let it go for longer than 6 months at the most. Machines with heavy use may need cleaning as often as once a month.

If you notice problems with your ice, such as an odor, or the ice is slow to harvest, then you may be due for a thorough cleaning, or maintenance from a professional.

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Common Maintenace Items to Prolong Ice Maker Life

Besides the cleaning routine above, you should make sure to regularly change your air filter, if you have one for cooling purposes, as well as the water filter when required.

If your machine becomes clogged, first make sure you have cleaned it recently, and if not, do so. Even clean machines can become clogged with small ice chunks, so after cleaning, check the temperature of the system.  If it is too warm, ice will melt and refreeze, clogging the line, so adjust the temperature, if needed.

Keep your ice free from contaminants by only using an ice scoop to distribute ice, if you don’t have an automatic dispenser. Never scoop ice using a glass—not only can the glass break into the ice, but the glass may be unsanitary.

Commercial Ice Machine Warranties

When you buy your ice machine, be aware of the specific terms of your warranty.

Most commercial ice machine makers offer a warranty of 3 years for parts and labor, with 5 years for the compressor and evaporator. Some companies offer warranty incentives for regular maintenance.

Shop around for the best warranty, as well as the machine that will best meet your business’s needs.

Maintain Your Machine for Optimal Use

Keeping your commercial ice machine clean is a must for both compliance and safety. Stay current on the upkeep of your ice maker, and it will provide you with clean, sanitary cooling for a long time.

If you are interested in purchasing a commercial ice maker, contact us for a quote and for options to buy, rent, or lease.

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