A commercial ice machine is usually one of the hardest working pieces of equipment in your bar or restaurant. There are a few simple care and maintenance procedures you can do to get the most out of your commercial ice machine and protect your investment.
Water Filter Replacement
Water filters are extremely important to extending the life of your machine. A water filter will remove or reduce the amount of sediment and minerals from the water, keeping the ice clean and clear, it will remove odors and bad taste. Some manufacturers may even extended warranties for ice machines that have a filter on their water line.
Working water filters will also slow scale build up which reduces ice production.
Some commercial ice machine manufacturers like Hoshizaki have begun making machines that have cleanable removable antimicrobial protection filters built-in to protect the components from dust, lint, grease or flour. Scotsman has a patented water purging system called WaterSense to reduce scale build up in the machine. These filters and designs help to inhibit the growth of slime and mold for the life of the machine.
Slime and mold not only taste bad but are a health hazard for anyone consuming the water. Cleaning an ice machine and keeping it free of slime, mold, dust, or other growth is incredibly important.
You should also have a dedicated ice scoop that only comes in contact with the ice in the machine. Newer health regulation have different requirements for location, size, material, and sanitation of ice scoops. This will help keep your ice bin clean and free of any residue.
Sanitizing Your Machine
If you change your water filter regularly and invest in an anti microbial agent you are well on your way to extending the life and performance of your ice machine. Your ice machine should be emptied and thoroughly cleaned every six months. You can clean your ice machine with a nickel-safe scale remover and an ice machine sanitizer.
By taking the time every six months to clean your machine and change water filters and antimicrobial devices, you can greatly increase the life and performance and power usage of your commercial ice machine. These preventative measures will not only enhance the experience of your patrons but regular maintenance will also guarantee the terms of your warranty in the unlikely chance something happens.