Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ice Machine 101

An ice machine is a great thing to have around. Having tons of fresh ice is always a plus here in the swamp. An ice machine is a dedicated contraption for doing one thing good. That is making ice cubes. How? Manufacturers have cleverly devised a way to make ice. They use a pump to circulate water over an evaporator plate with dimples. As the water pours over the plate ice cubes begin to form. When the thickness is ok the machine diverts the high side discharge gas into the plate and this loosens the ice cubes. They drop down into the bin. The ice maker does a little dance and kicks back in to start another batch. When the bin get full a simple mercury probe opens the power circuit, killing the production until the need again arises. As long as ice is touching that probe she is dead in the water resting and getting ready. When that ice is gone the probe powers up the machine to get at that ice production again. The End.
Not so fast Mr "So what can go wrong"!!! What does go wrong on these machine? Dust builds up in the condenser making the ice production suffer. From time to time Ice machine cleaner must be applied to the machine to clean up the plates. Fan motors go out. Water pumps too. Controls go haywire and the whole shebang can get a big fat freon leak which kills ice production. One thing you may not know is: Ice machines are very fickle. They don't dance when ordered to . Everything gotta be alright fer that heifer to dump ice cubes. You go monkeying with the freon charge in an ice machine and you has troubles. You must ALWAYS add in the correct amount of freon. Very critical. That's all of the smart pills for today folks.

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