Should I Winterize my Ice Machine?
Updated: Dec 12, 2022
Winter. Cold. Ice. Icemaker. Cold. Ice. Sounds like a good match, right? Wrong! Although it may seem ironic, cold winter temperatures can actually have a pretty detrimental effect on your ice machine if it’s not properly winterized.
In order to ensure that your ice machine survives the winter and can further serve you and your business, it’s crucial that you take the measures to properly winterize it before the cold temperatures arrive. Whether you’re looking to shut down your ice machine during the winter months due to lower demand, or you’re looking to secure its health before the cold temperatures, below we have outlined why and how you should be taking this extra step this winter.
Why should an ice machine be winterized?
Of course, ice machines have many components which either contain water or have contact with water. This means that in the case of freezing weather (below 32 degrees Fahrenheit), there are many different parts of an ice machine that are at risk for failure. Since ice expands when it freezes, parts of an ice machine that hold water or that touch water run the risk of succumbing to cracks due to the expanding ice in frozen temperatures. This means crucial components of your ice machine like the water reservoir and water pumps can be rendered completely useless due to winter temperatures.
Other parts of an ice machine that are at risk when temperatures drop also include:
Water supply lines
The process of winterizing an ice machine
Winterizing an ice machine is a relatively simple process that can save you a lot of headaches and coins in exchange for just a bit of time and effort. In any case, it is recommended to have a tech come out and perform this for you to make sure that everything is done safely and properly. In order to properly winterize an ice machine, it is absolutely necessary to fully understand the ins and outs of ice machines, as well as the use of CO2 bottles in the process.
Step 1. The ice machine must be turned off in order to ensure that your machine isn’t damaged during the process and to ensure the safety of the technician.
Step 2. The technician will use a bottle of CO2 to force all water out of all the components of the ice machine to ensure that no water is left behind to be frozen when the temperature drops.
Step 3. The technician will then disconnect all water lines.
Step 4. The technician will remove the water filters.
Step 5. The technician will then drain the housing and all the water reservoirs.
Step 6. For water-cooled condensers, a technician will take the extra step to blow the condensers out with the CO2 bottle as well.
Outdoor ice machines
Although we would never recommend the outdoor placement of an ice machine, we do recognize that sometimes there might not be another option. If you have an outdoor ice machine, we highly recommend that the unit be brought inside if possible. If the machine has direct contact with freezing temperatures, the risk of damage runs even higher, even if the unit has been winterized. Not to mention that ice machines also contain valuable copper–something that many thieves would love to get their hands on.
Likewise, if you are in an area with a likelihood of snowfall, an outdoor ice machine is at an even greater risk for internal and external damage due to the swirling snow.
Have questions or need guidance on getting your ice machine ready for the winter? Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Tri-Point Refrigeration so we can help you along the way. We’re excited to hear from you, and with regular servicing, we can keep your equipment running smoothly and healthily, while also extending the reach of your dollar.
For a direct line to any of our employees ready on the line to help you, please call…(512) 651-4565 for our Austin, Texas community (806) 686-0050 for our Lubbock, Texas community.
Or check out our website at www.tripointrefrigeration.com