If you have just become a hotel or motel owner, you are most likely in the process of setting guidelines around your establishment to make sure guests have quality in every aspect of their stay. Guests rely on having an ice machine so they can cool down food products, put cubes in drinks, or use cubes for medical reasons while they are staying at your establishment. Making sure the ice machine doesn't experience downtime is crucial to the enjoyment of their stay, as is the quality of the ice you provide. Here are some steps to take in maintaining your ice machines so your guests can enjoy quality cubes when staying on the premises.
Consider The Water Supply
When you hook up an ice machine, the water it uses to make cubes will have a huge impact on the quality ice the machine makes. Using filtered water will help remove particles that cause problems within the mechanics of your machine. Hard water often has lime within the composition of the liquid, which can be introduced to a guest's beverage when cubes melt. These lime particles can also become trapped in the hoses and mechanisms within the machine, causing a buildup to occur which will restrict the flow of the water going into the machine to make more cubes. This reduces the efficiency of your machine. Have your water tested and add a filter if the results show you have high lime content in your water supply.
Clean And Sanitize Properly
To maintain quality ice cubes, your machine should be cleaned down completely to remove debris that may have become trapped inside the unit. Remove all ice from the hopper before doing a clean out procedure. Turn off the machine and disassemble portions where water flows through so you have direct access to them to clean. Each ice machine has their own set of instructions regarding cleaning procedures. Your ice machine handbook can give specifications.
A cleaner would need to be used to wipe down all parts to sanitize the machine. A liquid cleaner would need to be placed in the machine at the water's point of entry so it runs through the hoses and all components to remove lime scale from inside. Two cycles should be observed to make sure water is flowing through without restriction that alters the size or shape of the cubes. Throw away these cubes as they will still have remnants of cleaner within them. This cleaning procedure should be done at least twice a year.
Check Filters And Movable Parts
Take out the air filters and use a shop vacuum to remove any debris every few weeks to keep air flow strong. Replace your filter when it appears worn or appears to be a darker color that cannot be removed via vacuum. Do an evaluation of the sweep arm and sensors to make sure they are working properly. Check the ice catch pan and the floor under your unit for any leaking. When a problem is noted, turn off your ice machine so guests do not continue using it while it is not working correctly and make a call to a local service, such as Valley Refrigeration, for repair.