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Thinking About an In-Home Ice Maker?

Updated: Apr 26

We get it–it’s hot. And what better on a blisteringly hot summer’s day than an ice-cold refreshment? Whether you’re sipping on a sweet tea, Dr. Pepper, or maybe even nursing something a bit stronger, every cold drink needs one thing: ice.

Although it may not seem like it, ice is a luxury. Everyone has had a period in their life where they’ve painstakingly popped individual ice cubes out of an immovable plastic tray, and later waited hours just to get a few more for the next round. The burst of satisfaction and absence of frustration when you’ve got your own ice machine at home stocked to the brim with all the ice you or your guests will ever need is a simple and attainable luxury.

What type of ice machine do I need?

When starting your journey of finding the right ice maker for your home, you’ve got a few avenues to go down. Generally, you can choose between three main types of ice machines: freestanding, built-in, and countertop.

What’s the difference between these three choices? Freestanding is exactly what it sounds like–it stands alone! These machines can be installed anywhere in the home, although they need to be somewhere within a waterline’s reach. Freestanding machines can be either front or rear venting, meaning that the direction in which they expel hot air (very important!) can vary.

Built-in ice machines can fit right into your kitchen and, depending on the brand, may be outfitted to match your cabinetry or other appliances. Built-ins also require a waterline and front venting in order to maintain the motor’s longevity.

Countertop machines, although more affordable, are not always the most convenient. With these machines, you’re required to manually fill it with water in order to get ice. Venting depends on the brand, and they generally do not produce the same load of ice that a larger, more professional machine might have the capacity to do.

Of course, the right machine for you depends on what you plan to use it for. A family of five may need a standalone, a frequent party hoster may need a built-in, and a bachelor can fare just fine with a countertop ice maker.

Where to put your ice machine

Finding the right place for your chosen ice maker isn’t too much of an arduous task. If you’ve chosen to go with a countertop ice maker, you can virtually put your machine anywhere there’s a power outlet. If going for a standalone or a built-in, there needs to be a bit of planning beforehand.

When placing standalone and built-ins, there are a few things to keep in mind: drainage lines, water lines, and venting. It’s extremely important to make sure your ice machine’s vents aren’t blocked to ensure that your machine doesn’t become overheated, which can cause a host of problems with the machinery.

drain pipes and drainage pump for ice machine
An at-home installation with drainage pipes and a pump,

The easiest and most logical place to install your ice machine is in your kitchen. Although the garage or back patio might sound like a good idea, running drain lines and waterlines in places where they’re usually not present can cost time and money. Opting to place your machine flush within the cabinetry or off the side in your kitchen as a standalone will be the best choice for time’s and dollar’s sake.

Ease of use

Having an ice maker in the home is convenient for sure. However, its convenience should encompass all aspects of the machine. Making sure that you get the machine that best serves you and your home is important.

With convenience and ease of use in mind, what features should you be looking for?

As discussed before, draining is something to keep in mind. Although many at-home ice machine models are outfitted with drainage pumps, not every model you look at will have this included. It’s important to know the drainage situation before settling on a machine.

Many machines feature gravity drainage options, which can work if you are able to place your machine close to a floor drain (something that many homes just don’t have). Buyers also have the option to buy drainage pumps separately. Getting into the world of installing drainage pumps on an already costly machine can be a headache, which is why we recommend opting for an ice maker that already has a drainage pump installed.

Call us

Although there’s much to be discussed about ice machines, we hope that this introduction to at-home ice makers can help you start off on the right foot when choosing a new machine. Have questions or need recommendations? 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


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