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buying an ice machine

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I didn't find any other threads on ice machines, odd.

Anyhow, I need to buy an ice machine for our restaurant. Like, right now.

We have a 800 and a 200 right now. The idea is to move the 800 and replace it with a 1000 because during the busy summer months we sometimes have to run to cash and carry for ice, which can get expensive. The 800 will get a good home, don't worry.

My questions are:

1) Air cooled or water cooled? As I hear it, air cooled is more efficient, water cooled is quieter. I'm not really concerned about the noise.

2) What size bin do you put underneath it? The catalog shows a 430lb bin under the 1060lb machine. Would getting a larger bin be a bad investment?

3) And if we do go with air cooled, should we go remote with the condenser? Why? Why not?

The area we plan on putting it in gets into the 90 degrees area in the summer with a water temp somewhere in the 60's. Not ideal, but that's where it is going.

Got bids on various Manitowoc sizes. Committed to the idea of dropping the $$$, just need more info.

So if anyone wants to bend my ear a bit, I'd be grateful.
post #2 of 14
Air cooled machines are less-efficient. All ice machines have lots of waste heat, both from the refrigeration equipment, and from the heaters used to get the ice out of the molds. Air cooled machines reject that heat into their surroundings; water cooled into water. The lower the temperature of the medium into which heat is rejected, the more efficient the system is. Water is almost always colder than the air. Depending on what you pay for water and electricity, either can be cheaper to operate. Local suppliers may have an idea; the manufacturer can provide numbers on power and water consumption, which will let you figure out your operating costs where you're at.

Disadvantages of water cooled are that they're more expensive, can be harder to install, have more moving parts (so more things to break), and if you've got hard scaly water, you'll need to deal with that. (But you really do anyways...) Air cooled are typically cheaper, louder, generate more heat into the space they're in, and production goes down as air temp goes up.


Bin sizing depends on your practices. Is the ice maker the primary storage point, or does ice get moved from there to beverage stations, bar, salad bar, where ever else you use ice from? Bigger is better, to a point, but too big is harder to clean, and if you ever have to dump all the ice in the bin you can lose lots of ice. I wouldn't go much bigger than the projected production from close to open, unless it's the only place you use ice from.
post #3 of 14
Not as big fan of water cooled, especially if it's an open system--warm water goes down the drain. Many municipalities are bannig this type of cooling, and sooner or later they'll start metering the water anyway.

Go with a remote compressor if possible, it's worth the hassle. Less heat, less noise in the kitchen, and go with a bigger ice bin. In the slow months you can always stuff a closed picnic cooler in the bin to "fool" the machine to think it doesn't need to make anymore ice. You won't be sorry with a Manitowac or Hoshizaki.
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Kinda what I thought.


1 Manitowoc 1060# ice cuber, air cooled
1 710# ice bin
2 picnic coolers

.....add to cart


If you have any horror stories about buying used ice machines, it would make my GM feel better about spending the money on a NEW machine.
:)
post #5 of 14
This one is right up my ally. I manage a restaurant supply store. We sell and lease ice machines and our sister company is a refrigeration service company. Too bad I'm so far away from you. Oh, well...a little free info for you...

There are too many variables for me to answer based on what you've said, so I'll give you the main differences and you can decide what's best for your situation:

Purchase price: Air cooled and Water cooled should be the same. With ice maker and condenser for a remote unit, it will be a little more expensive (10-20% depending on suppliers)

Installation: Water might be slightly more expensive than Air (little bit extra tube work). Remote is much more expensive to install can be 2-3 times as much depending on the ease of access to where you want the condenser to be located.

Production: Based on your room temperatures, air cooled will loose a little production when it's hot. Water would not be effected. Remote will be effected by the temps where the condenser will be located.

Cost to operate: Air requires less water, but since it uses room air to transfer heat away from the machine, it will put off heat into the room making your A/C run more. Water will run much more water through, which costs. The remote unit will requires less water and the hot air will discharge wherever you put the condenser.

Costs to repair: Remote units also have more equipment, so there is more opportunity for things to go wrong. Air and water are about equal in repair cost except that the air cooled unit has a fan motor than can go out and air intake that must be cleaned. One of the top 10 reasons for service calls on air cooled and remote ice machines is traced to air flow problems from either clogged filters or fans not working.

Other things to consider:
A water cooled unit will overflow a septic sewage system (expensive plumbing call, shuts down your business, and it's yucky).

Air cooled will be make the area where the ice machine is located noisier than either of the others, but a remote unit will just move the noise to where the condenser is placed.

No matter what unit you go with, invest in a good water filtration unit (you'll replace filters more ofted with a water cooled unit, but it's worth it)and get the machine serviced every 6 months. We do this with the units we lease. Amazingly enough, we have several units out there that we placed in the early 90's...they are 15-18 years old and still working great! (Typical life expectancy is 6-8 years)

Finally, invest the money up front in an excellent quality ice machine. As someone else mentioned, Manitowoc and Hishizaki are the best.

Now, your bin...
It depends on how you use the ice..
strong, but steady throughout the day: 400 lb bin would be adequate
a few higher-demand periods with a little recovery time (most likely in a busy restaurant): 600 lb bin would work
extremely high, once or twice a day demand with a long recovery time (filling many coolers all at once): 800 lb bin or bigger
post #6 of 14
It depends on where you buy it. Our company has our service company check out every piece of equipment before we put it on the floor. As a result, the prices are a little higher on our used equipment. There is another company in town that has an in-house "service" guy. He's not a certified journeyman and all he does is patch up the used machines long enough to make them live past their 30 day warranty. They sell their machines cheap and fast.

Installation can be more expensive with a used unit if there were modifications made to the unit before.

If you find one that is in use and you are buying from an individual, invest in having someone check out the machine or ask for service records.
post #7 of 14
Nice thread.
Great info!
bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
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bake first, ask questions later.
Oooh food, my favorite!


Professor Pastry Artswww.collin.edu
Reply
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
I was also reading somewhere about Washington, California, and Nevada(?) having to deal with some new 'star rating' laws beginning in 2010 concerning ice machines. Fuzzy memory. I think maybe Washington had already introduced the laws. Should probably investigate that. That may be a good reason not to buy a used unit.

Sorry I wasn't more descriptive with my needs, but it's probably better for others who wish to glean (as I said, I didn't find another thread about ice machines).

Well, you're never too far away if you offer free freight! :lol:


Indeed! A wealth of information that I can use. Thanks guys.
post #9 of 14
Buying used refrigeration is always a crap-shoot, if you can afford it, always buy new, this goes for anything mechanical, not only just refrigeration. Save money with used s/s ware, sinks, tables, pots, pans, etc, gas ranges are petty safe too, but always strive to buy new refrigeration.

Old machines ran on r-12 gas, which was an excellent gas for refrigeration/a/c purposes, but not very good for the ozone layer. Many machines are still out there running on this gas, which has been banned for quite some time now. 134a and 410 are more modern gasses, but are much thinner and pumped at higher pressures.

If an ice machine hasn't been properly maintained, there will be a lot of scale and crud build-up, and if a fridge has been used to store UNCOVERED salad dressings, pickles and that kind of stuff, yeast/yeast products, tomatoes, or spicy foods, odds are the condensor already has a series of tiny holes in it from these items.

The best thing you can do for a car is to change the oil religously, best thing to do with any kind of refrigeration is to keep the cooling radiator fins free of dust build up. Sounds simple enough, two minutes with a vacuum cleaner and dust brush, but hardly anyone does it, and if it's not done frequently it puts a lot of stress on the compressor--which shortens the compressor life dramatically.

Oh yeah, most refrigeration guys charge from $65 to $80 per hour, and extra on top of that for driving time....

Always strive to buy refrigeration new. There is no true way to describe the feeling you have at 11:53 pm with the wife waiting in the car and you turning off the lights in walk-in only to find it "kinda warm" in there--or noticing that the new salad guy's dressing seems split, and when you investigate, you find his low-boy blowing hot air at you--after a busy night.....
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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post #10 of 14

suggestion

Different types of ice makers.

They are commercial, industrial, portable.Portable Ice Maker is mostly used in home with small prduction capability of 20KG/24HRS. Commercial Ice Maker & Portable Ice Maker are with self-cleaning function. The Commercial Ice Maker is with vertical evaporator to save power and water consumption.Air cooling icecube maker uses less water.
post #11 of 14
Also, part of the Economic Stimulus Act allows small business some added benefits for their 2008 taxes. Most Manitowoc air cooled and remote ice machines are energy star compliant. You can get the full list of compliant machines, and links to the details and examples of the economic stimulus act at the Manitowoc website. I would post the address, but I evidently don't have enough posts yet.
post #12 of 14
Well, it says I need 5 posts and my info shows I've made 14 posts, so I'm wiggling around the restriction. Hope I don't get in trouble for it.
www(dot)manitowocfsg(dot)com/stimulus/
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post

Not as big fan of water cooled, especially if it's an open system--warm water goes down the drain. Many municipalities are bannig this type of cooling, and sooner or later they'll start metering the water anyway.

Go with a remote compressor if possible, it's worth the hassle. Less heat, less noise in the kitchen, and go with a bigger ice bin. In the slow months you can always stuff a closed picnic cooler in the bin to "fool" the machine to think it doesn't need to make anymore ice. You won't be sorry with a Manitowac or Hoshizaki.
Going with a remote compressor is really hassle.I want irritation free cooking with no noise and less heat.
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by peterflemg80 View Post



Going with a remote compressor is really hassle.I want irritation free cooking with no noise and less heat.


You're not making much sense, a remote compressor WILL give you noise free and less heat service.  The compressor can be as close as 4 feet away.  Odds are that yor walk-in compressor is remote and probably your A/C compresor too.  And I don't see why a remote compressor can really be a hassle other than costing a bit more--which is offset by lower a/c costs.
 
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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