An ice machine is supposed to produce ice, but if it’s showing problems, it can put your customer satisfaction at risk. So, you need a commercial ice maker repair technician who can arrive quickly on call and fix the problem. However, if you want to give it a go yourself or instruct a staff member to try their hands at repairing the appliance, here’s how to fix a commercial ice dispenser that’s not making ice.
Check If The Ice Maker Is Switched On
This is obvious but during the rush hours, a simple thing like checking if the ice machine is on or not can be overlooked.
Firstly, check the power cord of the machine. Is it plugged in? Then, press the ON button or switch the ON/OFF toggle and make sure it’s ON. Sometimes, the button or switch is broken. It won’t turn on the machine even if it looks like the button is in the ON position. So, have the button checked.
If the power button is fine and turned on and it doesn’t turn on the machine, you must check the circuit breaker because it may be tripped. Access the place where the breaker board is located, find the circuit breaker that is for the ice maker, and flip it on if it’s off.
However, if the appliance turns off again and the circuit breaker flips off, then a problem is causing it. Therefore, an expert should inspect the ice maker and the circuit breaker.
Give The Ice Machine Space To Operate
Ice makers require ventilation to operate properly. If they are placed closely with other items that are blocking its vents, the machine may not produce ice or produce less amount of ice because its airflow is disturbed.
So, make sure there is at least 6 inches of clearance between the ice maker and the nearest appliance, boxes, or wall.
Additionally, this rule is followed in every commercial kitchen, but it’s good to remind you that ice makers, refrigerators, and similar appliances should not be placed in close vicinity to heat-producing appliances such as ovens, steamers, etc.
Make Sure The Ice Maker Is Not Placed In The Hot Area Of The Kitchen
Even though the best location for an ice maker is outside of a kitchen, commercial kitchens are big enough to have sections of related appliances. So, if your ice machine is in the kitchen or any other place, make sure the room or kitchen is not too hot because warm temperatures can affect ice production.
In this case, you should move the ice maker to the part of the kitchen that’s cooler or to another part of the facility that’s easily accessible for the staff.
Ensure That The Ice Machine Is On A Level Surface
If you have just installed an ice maker in your commercial kitchen and it’s not producing ice, it has something to do with the leveling of the machine. If the surface is not level, the ice maker will either not function properly or won’t function at all. So, move the ice maker to a level surface.
Sometimes, leveling issues can arise in older machines with damaged feet. Therefore, if you have an old ice machine, check its feet.
Check The Water Supply
Another common cause of a commercial ice maker not producing ice is the disconnection of the water supply. No water, no ice. So, check the water supply if it’s turned off by somebody or if the water supply hose is disconnected.
The Water Pressure Must Be Appropriate
Water pressure matters for many appliances that depend their functioning on it like ice makers and dishwashers. Facilities, where the water pressure is generally low, will cause ice maker problems because low water pressure will lead to low or no production of ice. So, check with your local water company to solve this problem.
Check The Water Level
Neither too high nor too low water level is good for ice machines. If the water level is low, the machine won’t produce enough ice, or the quality of the ice will be impacted. On the other hand, a high water level will lead to too much ice, clogging the ice maker, and/or freezing up of the ice machine.
The Pause Feature Is Activated
Ice machines have a pause feature that stops the production of ice even when the machine is turned on. You can easily pause ice production whenever you feel there is enough ice. However, the pause feature can be activated accidentally too.
The pause functionality is activated from the control arm. You can move the control arm to pause or resume the ice production. This control arm can be unintentionally moved to the pause setting when taking ice out of the machine.
So, have someone with you who knows which position of the control arm is for resuming ice production and which one is for pausing to make sure it’s not at the pause position.
Defrost The Ice Machine
Many times, the reason behind no ice is a frozen water line. So, water can’t reach the ice maker for ice production. You need to defrost your commercial ice maker to fix this.
There are two methods of defrosting an ice maker. The first one is the normal method which takes two hours. You will unplug the ice maker and let it defrost. After two hours, plug it in again, and start using it.
The second one is a quick method when you need ice immediately. This method can still take 15 minutes. Unplug the ice machine, close the shutoff valve, and put warm water in it or use a hair dryer for melting the ice formed in the water line. Once you notice water is flowing freely in the water line, plug it back in, and start using the ice machine.
Clean The Condenser Coils
Ice makers have condenser coils on the back that help remove the heat that’s formed during the operation of the machine and the refrigeration process. If the condenser coils are not cleaned for months, a thick layer of dust will be formed on the coils which will reduce the heat removal ability of the coils.
The removal of heat is critical. If it’s not occurring properly, the ice maker may show problems like no ice production, low ice production, murky ice, and others.
Use a cleaner made for cleaning condenser coils of refrigeration units because grease is difficult to remove from the coils.
Properly Clean The Ice Machine
Cleaning the condenser coils can help you fix the issue, but if your ice maker has not been cleaned thoroughly for some months, it might not work even after wiping off the coils.
Check the maintenance logs of the machine for that and if it hasn’t received a deep clean in six months, you may have to perform it now or schedule it for the next few days. This should be done by an expert. However, you can perform daily cleaning as usual in the meantime.
A commercial ice maker that is not producing ice is of no use. So, follow the above tips to make it useful again. For proper inspection, maintenance, and repair, hire an ice dispenser repair Fairfax expert.