7 Basics of Buying an Ice Machine
In previous weeks, we’ve discussed the different types of condensing units and ice available, as well as how much ice you’ll need for your particular business. This week we wrap things up by answering 7 questions regarding ice machines.
First of all, what brand of ice maker is best? At Prima Supply we sell four different brands: Hoshizaki, Manitowoc, Scotsman, and Ice-O-Matic. Hoshizaki is the world’s largest manufacturer of ice equipment and is known for making consistent, dependable products. Manitowoc has won numerous awards for their well-made products, including Energy Star Partner of the Year and the Kitchen Innovation Award. Scotsman produces some of the best flakers in the business. And, finally, Ice-O-Matic produces cost-effective, durable ice machines that feature AgIon antimicrobial technology, designed to eliminate unwanted bacteria for a cleaner, better tasting ice.
Second, do ice machines require a special power source? It depends on how the ice machine is electrically configured. If an ice machine is configured to a 115/60/1 setting, then it should work with a standard three-pronged outlet. But if an ice machine configured to a 230/50/1 or a 208~230/60/1 setting, then it will need a special plug and outlet. Make sure you thoroughly read the spec sheet on your ice machine to determine the electrical configuration. Also, consult an electrician to make sure your business is prepared for the machine before it arrives.
Third, are there environmentally friendly and energy efficient ice machines? Yes, there are. Most Energy Star compliant ice machines are going to be either air-cooled or remote-cooled. Water-cooled ice machines are non-compliant because they consume so much energy.
Fourth, is a water filter really necessary? Yes, it’s possible to run an ice machine without a water filter. Having a water filter, though, will remove bad tastes, odors, and sediments from the water, which results in having a cleaner, purer ice cube. If you do attach a water filter to your ice machine, it’s important to regularly change the filter. Water filters are not designed to last forever, and having an old filter will actually do more harm than good. Ice-O-Matic, in fact, has a program that if you change the water filter every 6 months, they will cover the parts and labor on the evaporator for 7 years.
Fifth, what is the warranty on ice machines? Nearly all ice machine manufacturers have the same warranty. They will usually cover parts and labor for 3 years on the entire machine, and they will cover parts on the compressor and evaporator for 5 years, with some manufacturers even covering labor for those 5 years. As mentioned earlier, Ice-O-Matic has a special program that will cover parts and labor on the evaporator for seven years if the water filter is changed every 6 months. Ice-O-Matic, therefore, has one of the best warranty coverage of any ice machine manufacturer.
Sixth, how long will an ice maker last? It’s hard to say for certain what the life expectancy of an ice machine will be. Factors such as how much it’s used and how well it’s maintained affect how long a machine lasts. Seldom, though, will an ice machine last longer than 10 years if it is used everyday. A safe estimate would be roughly 4 to 5 years, or within the warranty of the machine. But beyond the warranty there is no guarantee. To extend the life of your ice machine, make sure you perform routine maintenance and cleaning. It’s not uncommon for a machine to die early as a result of poor maintenance.
Seventh, if I don’t like my ice machine, can I return it? At Prima Supply, we know returns can be a difficult process, so we’ve tried to make the return process as simple as possible. Returned items must be in like-new (never plugged in, never used) condition and in its original packaging. There will be a minimum 25% restocking fee along with the cost of freight , but this restocking fee may be reduced or waived depending on the nature of the situation. Be sure to do your homework first before beginning a return. Our customers service reps are always here to help you. Start by calling first and they’ll guide you through the process.
If you’re wanting extra protection, our Try Before You Buy program allows you to test out a product for 14 days from the time of shipment. If the product doesn't fit your needs, you can return the product after it has passed inspection by our customer service reps. The program is subject to approval and to the terms of the agreement. Please see Try Before You Buy page for more details.
As this blog series comes to a conclusion, we hope that you’ve been enlightened about ice machines. If you still have any questions, you can always contact our sales team who are more than happy to help you out in any way possible.
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