How to Know When to Replace an Ice Machine

Well-maintained ice machines can last ten years or more. Still, foodservice operators may need to replace their ice makers for a variety of reasons.

Here are five triggers that would prompt a foodservice operator to replace an existing ice machine or add a unit to their foodservice equipment package.

Reliability: If the unit breaks down so frequently that it interrupts the foodservice operation's ability to serve customers it might be time to replace the ice machine.

Changes in Ice Capacity Requirements: If the restaurant's customer counts are growing or menu mix is changing, the foodservice operator may need to consider replacing the ice machine or adding a unit. For example, smoothies continue to grow in popularity and more operators are adding them to their menus. Ice tends to be a key ingredient in smoothie production, which may require the operator to reconsider its ice needs.

Work Flow and Efficiency: If staff is losing valuable time by making multiple or long trips to an ice maker, the foodservice operator may consider adding a unit to improve workflow and make its personnel more efficient.

Green Issues: Foodservice operators may want to lower their operating costs, specifically electricity bills. Specifying Energy Star-rated units may be able to reduce electricity consumption by as much as 15 percent. In addition, specifying Energy Star-rated units can help the foodservice operation earn U.S. Green Building Council LEED credits.

Evaporator Wearing Down: An ice machine's evaporator warping or losing its plating can keep the unit from properly producing and harvesting ice. And the cost of the evaporator is so high that when this component fails, many operators simply choose to purchase a new ice machine.

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