Ice-O-Matic 30" 115V Air Cooled Elevation Series Ice Machine Blog
Dehryen Williams with Donastar here filling in for Mike this week. This week’s blog depicts a recent case study for a new Ice-O-Matic 30″ Air Cooled Elevation Series ice machine we installed at a fuel store location in Council Bluffs, IA. For some context, the location initially reported having issues dispensing slushy-like ice and periodically freezing over.
The 30″ Air Cooled Elevation Series unit was chosen as the replacement for a few reasons. Air-cooled units are the most affordable type of ice machine for commercial establishments. This is because they do not require an extensive, refrigerated line run that connects to a condenser fan usually mounted on the roof. These units are also self-contained and have two vents, on the top and right of the machine, that help moderate the temperature internally and keep the ice cool during the formation process.
Once we swapped in the new ice machine, the customer continued to report similar issues with the quality of the ice and the machine freezing over, so we had to consider a lot of different possibilities to tackle. When dealing with the quality of ice from an ice machine, it is important to ensure a water filtration system is installed and changed regularly. We recommend a BevGuard BGC-3200S model filtration for your ice machine should you choose to have one installed in your establishment or residence. In this case, the customer had confirmed that they did have the water filtration installed and that it was recently changed.
So, in order to troubleshoot the issue we first made sure an ice bin stat was installed properly to the new ice machine. The ice bin stat is like a thermometer for the ice machine.
Once the machine generates enough cycles and the ice reaches the sensor, the machine will kick off until the temperature of the bin rises indicating a lack of available ice for dispensing.
Second, we investigated the drain lines for both the ice and fountain machines to rule out any clogged lines or residual water running back through the lines and into the ice bin. Furthermore, we worked with the location to get a PVC drain pipe installed that would allow a clear path for the ice and fountain machines to flow down into the floor drain to confirm lines were an issue.
Third, we ensured that both the ice and fountain machines were level on the beverage counter by adjusting the length of the legs on the fountain machine. We made sure that the float adjustment settings to the actual ice machine were set to have the bridge thickness, or size of your ice cube, to 1/8″. Also, we ensured that the agitator to the ice bin were tuned to not shake up the ice too frequently to prevent choppy, slushly-like ice from being dispensed.
Finally, with the advice of Josh Wilcox & Dusty Gordian from Ice-O-Matic, we learned that the water curtain supposed to catch ice once agitated from the evaporator at the end of a cycle has tabs that hold it in place. If these tabs break, then the machine may have a hard time regulating the amount of ice that goes into the bin at a time, which can cause the machine to freeze. Knowing this, we were able to order and install a replacement water curtain to the machine. Ultimately, the result of our troubleshooting steps helped resolve the issue and leave the customer happy. We hope this case study can help you should you run into similar problems with your Ice-O-Matic Air-Cooled ice machine.