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Best Practices for Ice Machine Planned Maintenance

How much ice have you consumed today? Was it crescent-shaped, or did you enjoy the legendary Sonic ice?

Regardless of your preference, it’s easy to see why the comfort, safety, and productivity of facility occupants are contingent upon efficient ice machines. Failure to maintain ice machines can put occupants at risk for illness, and your business at risk, a danger you don't want to ignore. 

A recent study found contaminated ice machines are linked to transmission of pathogens in healthcare facilities. Another study found restaurant ice machines contain more bacteria than toilet water.

Just because an ice machine looks clean on the outside, doesn’t mean it’s properly maintained inside. Frequent interior cleaning, sanitation, and maintenance is critical to providing clean and sanitary ice. At peak seasons for kitchens, this becomes all the more important.

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Planned maintenance for ice machines is essential to extending the lifespan and ensuring the efficiency of your equipment during peak seasons. If you’re wondering where you should get started to protect your business and your customers’ health, keep these primary items for ice machine maintenance in mind:

  • Clean and sanitize the water system
  • Inspect external filter system and change cartridges as needed
  • Examine air filters on air-cooled models
  • Conduct bearing and auger inspection on extruded icemakers
  • Inspect intake water valve screens 
  • Clean the bin interior and unit exterior
  • Perform a visual inspection of components, controls, and wiring for oils spots, loose wires, loose fasteners, corrosion, etc. 

In between planned-maintenance service visits, follow these steps to keep your ice machine running smoothly and safely:

  • CONTINUALLY make sure the ice machine is protected from severe temperatures (no less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit and no higher than 90) and ensure the equipment has unrestricted air flow.
  • WEEKLY clean the exterior surfaces with diluted bleach to restrict mold production.
  • REGULARLY rinse out ice machine air filters, but do not bang or tap the air filters — this will damage the filter. 
  • PERIODICALLY inspect both the icemaker and the bin drainpipes at the floor drain to ensure it is free of debris.

What Happens When You Don't Maintain Your Ice Machine 

A Pittsburgh hospital is raising awareness about ice machine protocols after one patient died and two were sickened by Legionnaires’ disease.

Legionella bacteria typically spread quickly in warm water, and it wasn’t until they tore apart the ice machine that staff discovered the culprit: A compressor next to the water reservoir heated up the water in the reservoir and allow the growth of Legionella.

Ice Machine Planned Maintenance with Commercial Refrigeration and Food Equipment Services

Some facilities let in-house maintenance teams service ice machines, but companies are increasingly turning to contractors that specialize in Commercial Refrigeration and Food Equipment Services . In return, companies can focus on their core business while relying on the exponential resources of highly-trained, licensed technicians with strong vendor partnerships. 

TDIndustries CRFES

How Commercial Refrigeration and Food Equipment Services Delivers Benefits for Your Facility 

In keeping with our commitment to serving the life-cycle of a facility, TDIndustries provides comprehensive emergency service and planned maintenance for non-residential markets during the holidays (and other times of the year).

We stock our service trucks with repair parts so your equipment is up and running as soon as possible. We also offer comprehensive inspection and maintenance plans for equipment of all makes and sizes, including: coolers, beverage dispensers, ice makers, water fountains, batch freezers, fryers, ovens, grills, grease traps, and restaurant venting. If you can, try to check off all of your maintenance boxes before the biggest holiday crowds arrive.

Protect your investments with commercial refrigeration/food and beverage equipment technicians who will respond quickly and efficiently. Our TDPartners in the service contact center are available 24/7/365 to advise you – no answering machines, no outsourcing, no hassle. Call us at 1-800-864-7717.

Are you responsible for facilities management or mitigating operating costs? Please take advantage of the e-book below to gain a better understanding of your facility's risk factors.

risk evaluation checklist facility maintenance

Related: Best Practices for Commercial Planned Maintenance

Related: Here's What Happens When You Don't Maintain Your Commercial Refrigeration / Food and Beverage Equipment


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