So, you’ve cracked open your ice maker only to discover that your evaporators are bent and bowed, which is, unfortunately, not a great diagnosis. Is there any coming back from this, and how can we prevent this from happening in the future?
First, let’s go over the why?. No matter what the core reason as to why your evaporators are bowed out, the reason for the physical bending of the evaporators is always the same: brute force from ice buildup. In these cases, ice is continuously being produced, but the ice is not falling. Of course, this can cause a dangerously powerful backup of giant blocks of ice inside the machine. As more ice is being produced, water is expanding, and ice sheets are getting thicker and thicker without any sort of release.
Now, ice is an extremely strong force and will push eternally against anything that it’s up against, and in this case, it’s the evaporators. Thus, the evaporators will inevitably bend to the will of the sheer force of the ice.
Why doesn’t the ice fall off in these situations? What is keeping the ice from falling like any ice in an ice machine should? Well, there can be a few reasons for that, ranging from improperly filtered water to insufficient cleaning methods. No matter if the water isn’t filtered well or if the machine is not being cleaned well or often enough, the outcome is the same for this as well: calcium buildup. As calcium builds up on the evaporators, it makes it harder and harder for the ice to fall off as it should. The ice will hold onto that calcium, thus creating huge backups of ice inside the machine.
As ice sheets build up, the weight will eventually cause the sheets to finally fall down to the ice diverter. However, the ice diverter is not built to withstand the impact of a giant sheet of ice. Thus, the ice sheet will very often break off small pieces of the ice diverter grate, called tines, which inevitably end up inside the pump, which can cause malfunctions inside the pump as well. This means more maintenance, more repairs, and of course, more money.
If the tines make it through the pumps, they end up being spit out into the distributing tubes and end up in the evaporator. Not only can this severely damage the machines even further beyond the fact that the evaporators are bent, but this can also become a health hazard, as small pieces of plastic become sprinkled within the ice machine.
We’re sure you’re asking yourself one big question: can’t I just fix the evaporators?
Unfortunately, once the evaporators are bent or bowed, they’re not necessarily fixable and are a lost cause. The only solution to bent evaporators is to simply buy new ones to replace the ones that have been ruined. However, evaporators can run quite pricey, and if you have to replace multiple (there’s almost never only one bent evaporator), the cost can be nearly the cost of buying a brand new machine. In fact, the evaporators are the number one most expensive part of an ice machine to replace. We wouldn’t wish this on anyone. Bent evaporators can not only be a headache to deal with, but they can also be entirely avoidable.
Want to know more? Allow Danny to explain…
If it wasn’t already clear before, the cold, hard truth is that the best way to keep your ice machine running smoothly and keeping the evaporators healthy is prevention. Getting in front of the problem before it starts by installing great filters and enrolling in a servicing plan with our trusted technicians is the best form of medicine your ice machine could be prescribed.
In embarking on your new ice-machine-care journey, Tri-Point is excited to help you along the way. Putting your ice machine on a service plan to be checked, maintained, and cleaned by one of our professional technicians will keep your machine running smoothly and healthily, while also extending its life and the life 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
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