Your ice machine is an important part of your business. Especially in the hot summers of Austin, Texas, customers expect ice to keep their drinks cool. Forgetting maintenance for the commercial ice machine is a mistake you don’t want to make.
The Importance of Ice Machine Maintenance
Many people think they can just set up the ice machine and forget about it. As long as it’s making ice and everything seems fine, you shouldn’t need to do anything, right? Well, this approach can lead to a lot of problems.
The FDA defines ice as food and strictly judges its quality for good reason. Bacteria and mold can easily build up in an ice machine and contaminate the ice if the equipment is not properly maintained with sufficient cleaning procedures. Not only will neglecting to look beyond the surface and maintain the sanitatiness of your ice machine get you a poor health inspection score, but it can really make customers sick. A lack of maintenance to the ice machine is a risk to people’s health and to your restaurant.
Preventative maintenance may take a bit more effort for you to remember and commit to it, but it is worth it to keep your equipment functioning properly and avoid a big problem later. Just because everything may seem fine doesn’t mean you don’t need maintenance. If you don’t get the routine work done, you may instead have to deal with a large repair
that could have easily been avoided.
A commercial ice machine should be regularly maintained to avoid customer illness and equipment breakdown. The following tips can help you stay on top of important ice machine maintenance.
Follow a Maintenance Schedule
The frequency that maintenance tasks are required depends on the model of your commercial ice machine. You should schedule maintenance at least two to four times a year, but check your owner’s manual for specific information on your machine. Make sure to take note of the dates that maintenance will take place so that it is not forgotten.
Clean and Sanitize
Ice machines need more than regular equipment maintenance to keep them in good shape. These particular pieces of restaurant equipment are very important to clean and sanitize. A neglected ice machine will develop scale, slime, or mold, which can contaminate the ice and make customers sick.
To avoid a health risk disaster, make sure your commercial ice machine frequently undergoes a cleaning and sanitization process. Even if it doesn’t look dirty, once you start inspecting the machine, you may find it’s filled with bacteria. Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean that it’s not there and ice machines are often dirty long before you could easily tell. A commercial ice machine should be cleaned every month.
Get all the ice out before you begin the cleaning process. If your model has it, put the machine into cleaning mode. This mode keeps the machine running to cycle water through without making ice. You can replace the water the ice machine normally uses with a cleaning solution. Also, wipe down the exterior and scrub the ice bin with the solution. After cleaning, it will take some time for the cleaning chemicals to clear out, so the first batch of ice will need to be discarded.
Most commercial ice machines contain two types of filters: air and water. Both of these filters need to be regularly checked to make sure everything works right and stays clean. There will often be nothing wrong with filters, but when you check, you may find that they need to be cleaned or replaced.
Though there are different types of ice machines, air-cooled models are the most common and the air filter on these should be regularly checked. They are used to keep dust and debris from entering the machine. After extended use, dust and grease may clog the filter, causing heat buildup that will damage the machine. Prevent this by checking ideally every month and either cleaning a reusable filter or replacing one that’s disposable.
A water filter should also be used for every ice machine. Water filters trap common impurities in water and remove chlorine and other chemicals that tap water may contain. Pure water will give you higher quality and safer ice, but the filters have to be taken care of. Change a commercial ice machine’s water filter at least every six months, before it has a chance to get clogged up.
Get Thorough Inspections
Beyond the tasks that must always be completed, a thorough inspection can reveal if any additional maintenance may be required for your commercial ice machine. A professional that understand the workings of this equipment should be the one to perform this inspection. They know which tests to run and what the signs
are that mean something is wrong.
A maintenance professional will check for loose or corroded parts, the right or wrong sounds, issues with electrical wires, proper water quality, and signs of oil spots or leaks. Any of these issues can be very bad for your commercial ice machine if not taken care of. If you’re keeping up with your maintenance schedule though, a qualified ice machine professional will have no problem getting things back in shape. If you notice any problems when checking your commercial ice machine yourself, make sure to schedule a maintenance appointment with your trusted service company to ensure everything stays in working order.
Our professionals at 512 Refrigeration
are qualified and trusted to provide service for commercial ice machines. If your ice machine requires repair or maintenance services, our expert technicians can help. They are available 24/7 to provide you with high-quality service. Give 512 Refrigeration Services a call
for any of your Austin, Texas commercial refrigeration needs.