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Advice on mid-size ice machine

Old 06-25-2020, 01:41 PM
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Default Advice on mid-size ice machine

Hi,

I'm interested in getting an ice machine, but I really don't think I need one of the big ones that cost thousands of dollars.

I see that a common mid-size unit seems to make about 100 lbs a day and have a bin of 33lbs. Looks like I can get one of these units new for $425 to $450.

I'm fine with the 100 lbs a day, but the 33 lbs bin capacity seems low.

I'm not going out on fishing trips where I need 200 lbs a day, but it would be nice to be able to grab 60ish lbs in the morning on the way to the boat.

Does anyone have any suggestions on units that may hold more ice? Or ones that are slightly more expensive and better?

Thanks in advance!

Jeff
Old 06-25-2020, 01:46 PM
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We have a smallish one, and you are right about the amount a bin will hold....They really are not refrigerated and the ice just slowly melts while the ice maker part continues to keep it full
I had a big sized one once, and it really is loud , but works on the same principal, just way more ice is make at a time,,and can keep up with a pretty big party...you really have the problem of taking the ice out and putting in a freezer to store Tony
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Old 06-25-2020, 01:47 PM
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Get a chest freezer. Then you can keep your ice at zero degrees, compared to the 30 or so degrees that the ice maker's bin is at.

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Old 06-25-2020, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by jCane13 View Post
Hi,

I'm interested in getting an ice machine, but I really don't think I need one of the big ones that cost thousands of dollars.

I see that a common mid-size unit seems to make about 100 lbs a day and have a bin of 33lbs. Looks like I can get one of these units new for $425 to $450.

I'm fine with the 100 lbs a day, but the 33 lbs bin capacity seems low.

I'm not going out on fishing trips where I need 200 lbs a day, but it would be nice to be able to grab 60ish lbs in the morning on the way to the boat.

Does anyone have any suggestions on units that may hold more ice? Or ones that are slightly more expensive and better?

Thanks in advance!

Jeff
Man do I miss my ice machine!!!!!!!!!!! I had one of the small under the counter machines they had designed to replace the old under the counter trash compactors. Mine made 50lbs a day so when i needed a lot of ice i'd bag it and put it in the feezer. If you are getting an ice machine make sure you get one that needs a drain. Some machines work just like the one in your refrigerator, water goes in the tray and freezes then dumps in the bin on a timer. A quality ice machine like the one i had constantly runs water over a freeze plate until it gets to the thickness you set and then it slides off onto a cutter grid. Do your research, $400-450 seems little low, when i built my house in 2000 and put my ice maker in it was $1200.
Old 06-25-2020, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by tony cecil View Post
We have a smallish one, and you are right about the amount a bin will hold....They really are not refrigerated and the ice just slowly melts while the ice maker part continues to keep it full
I had a big sized one once, and it really is loud , but works on the same principal, just way more ice is make at a time,,and can keep up with a pretty big party...you really have the problem of taking the ice out and putting in a freezer to store Tony
Right. I'm not concerned about keeping up with a party, really. I think 33 lbs into a cooler to start, plus my regular fridge's 10lbs or so, plus whatever the machine can make as the party goes on is plenty.

It's really the boating and fishing that makes me think I need a bigger bin size.

Originally Posted by Jus Teasin View Post
Get a chest freezer. Then you can keep your ice at zero degrees, compared to the 30 or so degrees that the ice maker's bin is at.
I already have one haha. What I do now is either buy ice at $4.50 per 20 lb bag and shlep 6-7 bags from Publix homr at a time and/or dump the ice my normal fridge/freezer makes into plastic Publix bags and freeze those.

The ice from Publix gets (relatively) expensive and harvesting it from my freezer 10 lbs or less at a time is tedious. And the fridge/ freezer probably only makes 5 lbs a day. Not to mention the wife is annoyed when she goes to get ice and I already emptied it all out lol.

Originally Posted by default_user8 View Post
Man do I miss my ice machine!!!!!!!!!!! I had one of the small under the counter machines they had designed to replace the old under the counter trash compactors. Mine made 50lbs a day so when i needed a lot of ice i'd bag it and put it in the feezer. If you are getting an ice machine make sure you get one that needs a drain. Some machines work just like the one in your refrigerator, water goes in the tray and freezes then dumps in the bin on a timer. A quality ice machine like the one i had constantly runs water over a freeze plate until it gets to the thickness you set and then it slides off onto a cutter grid. Do your research, $400-450 seems little low, when i built my house in 2000 and put my ice maker in it was $1200.
What's the advantage of the draining style one?

And I'm guessing the one you bought 20 years ago was better quality and less mass produced than what I'm looking at now on amazing for $450 lol.




If anyone else has ideas or recommendations, I'm still all ears.

Thanks,

Jeff
Old 06-25-2020, 05:08 PM
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You’ll be disappointed. If you keep it outside, it’ll struggle to keep up. If you keep it inside, they generate a ton of heat.

if you are getting a machine, get a real machine. Nothing worse than having and ice machine and not enough ice.

otherwise, buy a big chest freezer and find a place with cheaper ice than Publix. Bought 40# bags for $5 at a local icehouse today.
Old 06-25-2020, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazy Bones View Post
You’ll be disappointed. If you keep it outside, it’ll struggle to keep up. If you keep it inside, they generate a ton of heat.

if you are getting a machine, get a real machine. Nothing worse than having and ice machine and not enough ice.

otherwise, buy a big chest freezer and find a place with cheaper ice than Publix. Bought 40# bags for $5 at a local icehouse today.
Interesting points.

My plan is to keep it in my garage which is partially air conditioned. So, on a summer day, it's probably 78-80 degrees in there.

I hear what you're saying about a real machine, but it's hard to justify dropping $1,500 plus when I don't commercially fish or anything like that.

Do you have a specific unit in mind?

I don't know of any cheaper ice options around here, but I guess I've also never looked that hard.

I don't think I'd drive very far to save a few bucks. Part of the whole reason I'm looking for an ice machine is because I don't want to shlep the bags of ice from the store.

Thanks
Old 06-25-2020, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Lazy Bones View Post
You’ll be disappointed. If you keep it outside, it’ll struggle to keep up. If you keep it inside, they generate a ton of heat.

if you are getting a machine, get a real machine. Nothing worse than having and ice machine and not enough ice.

otherwise, buy a big chest freezer and find a place with cheaper ice than Publix. Bought 40# bags for $5 at a local icehouse today.
This man tells the truth. A 100# machine might make 30 #s in 24 hours but you've got to calculate the wastage into what you'll actually harvest.

Personally my minimum is a 400 # two plate machine with a 400# bin.

Keep in mind the machine has to have a gravity drain available in the location you want to put it.
Old 06-25-2020, 06:34 PM
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What's the advantage of the draining style one?
The advantage is the overall quality of the ice. Is the ice you get out of your freezer crystal clear, if it is then you've got a pretty good water supply. The way an ice machine with a drain works is it fills a tank with water, then it pumps that water over a freeze plate, as the water runs over the plate the water that is "pure" freezes, and any contaminates gets washed off back into the tank. That process runs until it reaches the desired thickness based on where you set it or a predetermined thickness depending on your machine(mine had a dial on it to set the thickness). What you end up with is a sheet of crystal clear ice with very little impurities that will last longer and should have very little to no taste. At the end of the cycle the freeze plate heats up enough to let the sheet of ice slide off onto a wire grid that cuts the ice as it melts through the grid, the pump then pumps out whatever water is leftover in the tank since it's high in impurities, and refills the tank with fresh water and the cycle starts all over. No matter what you think you need, a good quality ice machine is kinda like a chainsaw, once you get one you don't know how you survived without it. Any refrigerated device puts out heat, but if you have an air conditioned garage that is a good place to put it, I had mine under the folding table in our laundry room. One of the only reasons I haven't replaced mine is ice is relatively cheap where I live, I can get 20lbs bulk for $2 from the machine right down the street from my house and I pass there just about every single day so it's not a big deal to stop and get ice if i need extra.

Also forgot to mention, be careful which one you end up getting. This is going to sound stupid but get a machine that makes cubes based on how you intend to use the ice, are you just planning on using if for drinks, or are you planning on packing ice chest with it. Mine made cubes that were 5/8x5/8 squares and i set it to be 1/4 inch thick. That was good for drinks and still worked good in an ice chest. If you get one that makes the hollow boxes, that's good for drinks, but those melt pretty fast in an ice chest because they aren't very dense. Main thing is do your research, and good luck. You won't be sorry no matter which one you end up getting.

Last edited by default_user8; 06-25-2020 at 06:42 PM.
Old 06-25-2020, 06:34 PM
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I bought and installed a commercial machine back in October of '19. The unit I got was a Manitowoc under counter made for restaurants and bars, it produces 130lbs daily and has a 90lb storage bin.

I installed it in my indoor laundry room and its about the same size as a home washing machine.

I soon found out it's fan is noisier than my spouse likes and the exhaust heat warms the room too much with the door closed to cut down on the noise.

I have to keep the room door open when the machine is running because the bin is not well insulated and the ice melts rather quickly.

Ended up buying a chest freezer and some 10lb plastic ice bags and now I will make a batch, fill the bags and put them in the freezer then shut the machine off until I need more.

I would say that even with the initial investment I have already recouped what I would have spent buying ice from Publix or the marina.
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Old 06-25-2020, 08:14 PM
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I've looked hard at this and a big chest freezer and twice the ice was by far the best solution.

Chest freezers are ~0F and super reliable. Ice makers have 32F ice and have maintenance overhead.

$1.50/16lb bag here and I don't have to maintain a thing, I put 2 big coolers in my truck, get 10 bags for $15 and put them in the freezer. When it is time to fish, I pull the bags from the freezer.

I consider it like being a member of an "ice machine club".



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Old 06-25-2020, 08:49 PM
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Links on these under $1500 ice makers?
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Old 06-25-2020, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ibewerik View Post
I bought and installed a commercial machine back in October of '19. The unit I got was a Manitowoc under counter made for restaurants and bars, it produces 130lbs daily and has a 90lb storage bin.

I installed it in my indoor laundry room and its about the same size as a home washing machine.

I soon found out it's fan is noisier than my spouse likes and the exhaust heat warms the room too much with the door closed to cut down on the noise.

I have to keep the room door open when the machine is running because the bin is not well insulated and the ice melts rather quickly.

Ended up buying a chest freezer and some 10lb plastic ice bags and now I will make a batch, fill the bags and put them in the freezer then shut the machine off until I need more.

I would say that even with the initial investment I have already recouped what I would have spent buying ice from Publix or the marina.
I recently bought a cheap 100#/day machine off Amazon. I have a chest freezer too. Ordered 10# bags off Amazon. I run the machine and fill the 10# bags of ice, then keep them in the chest freezer. I've had the machine since Feb, and have already recouped half the money I spent on the machine. Every time I go fishing I turn the machine back on and refill the freezer. It is so worth the money, it unbelievable. If you fish as much as I do you never realize how much you spend on the bulk ice machines. The convenience is also out of this world. I provided the link to the one I bought. I figure if it lasts me a year, I'm good. When it does break, I'm gonna replace it with a quality Japanese brand.

https://www.amazon.com/Vremi-Commercial-Grade-Ice-Maker/dp/B07YDZ16Z5/ref=sr_1_6?crid=1QSB2ANX6UXV2&dchild=1&keywords=commercial+ice+maker+machine&qid=1593140316&sprefix=comm%2Caps%2C189&sr=8-6 https://www.amazon.com/Vremi-Commercial-Grade-Ice-Maker/dp/B07YDZ16Z5/ref=sr_1_6?crid=1QSB2ANX6UXV2&dchild=1&keywords=commercial+ice+maker+machine&qid=1593140316&sprefix=comm%2Caps%2C189&sr=8-6
Old 06-25-2020, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by jCane13 View Post
Right. I'm not concerned about keeping up with a party, really. I think 33 lbs into a cooler to start, plus my regular fridge's 10lbs or so, plus whatever the machine can make as the party goes on is plenty.

It's really the boating and fishing that makes me think I need a bigger bin size.



I already have one haha. What I do now is either buy ice at $4.50 per 20 lb bag and shlep 6-7 bags from Publix homr at a time and/or dump the ice my normal fridge/freezer makes into plastic Publix bags and freeze those.

The ice from Publix gets (relatively) expensive and harvesting it from my freezer 10 lbs or less at a time is tedious. And the fridge/ freezer probably only makes 5 lbs a day. Not to mention the wife is annoyed when she goes to get ice and I already emptied it all out lol.




What's the advantage of the draining style one?

And I'm guessing the one you bought 20 years ago was better quality and less mass produced than what I'm looking at now on amazing for $450 lol.




If anyone else has ideas or recommendations, I'm still all ears.

Thanks,

Jeff
I think you might have missed my point.
Bag the ice from your "smaller" ice machine and put it in the chest freezer. 0 degree ice from the freezer will last a lot longer than 30 degree ice from the ice machine's bin.
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Old 06-25-2020, 11:06 PM
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I picked up a used 450# ice machine for under $400, a used full size commercial fish tote catch the ice and a chest freezer to store it. Works for me.
Old 06-26-2020, 06:06 AM
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I have a small freezer in my garage I use just for bait and ice. Picked it up uses for $200
I just fill every empty milk carton, deli container, chinese food container, quart yogurt cups and anything else that will hold water and freeze well. Tapered containers work the best as the ice slides right out and I can put it back into "production" . LOL

Blocks last a lot longer, and if I need to make a ice slurry, I just smash the ice and mix with sea water.
Old 06-26-2020, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Jupcv View Post
I recently bought a cheap 100#/day machine off Amazon. I have a chest freezer too. Ordered 10# bags off Amazon. I run the machine and fill the 10# bags of ice, then keep them in the chest freezer. I've had the machine since Feb, and have already recouped half the money I spent on the machine. Every time I go fishing I turn the machine back on and refill the freezer. It is so worth the money, it unbelievable. If you fish as much as I do you never realize how much you spend on the bulk ice machines. The convenience is also out of this world. I provided the link to the one I bought. I figure if it lasts me a year, I'm good. When it does break, I'm gonna replace it with a quality Japanese brand.

https://www.amazon.com/Vremi-Commercial-Grade-Ice-Maker/dp/B07YDZ16Z5/ref=sr_1_6?crid=1QSB2ANX6UXV2&dchild=1&keywords=co mmercial+ice+maker+machine&id=1593140316&sprefix =comm%2Caps%2C189&sr=8-6
Right, so those are the style machines I am looking at.

Interesting that you have done exactly what I was thinking in terms of a combo of using the "fresh ice" the morning of and supplementing with ice you've bagged from the machine throughout the week.

Question: when you bag the ice from the machine, do you take all of it or only if the top? I'm wondering if the ice at the bottom is "wet" and therefore becomes one big blob when you bag and freeze it?

Also, I'm trying to figure out if the bin size claims on these units are actually legit. The one you posted says 29. Most say 33. I found one on Walmart.com that says 44 lbs.

29 to 44 lbs is a significant difference in my opinion.






Old 06-26-2020, 07:11 AM
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If you buy the above shown unit, you will be disappointed. I had one for my motorhome and it was basically a waste of space. The scoop will fill a cocktail glass.
Old 06-26-2020, 07:30 AM
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I like this guys idea best and still think about doing this one day.

Chest Freezer Ice Machine conversion,,,


Old 06-26-2020, 08:29 AM
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I have a smaller version of the above ice maker, had a lot of buyer's remorse before receiving and installing it but it has done great so far. Bin on mine is a little under 20 pounds, I can fill two bags from the bin, which will refill in about 5-6 hours. I think the bin was advertised as bigger.

Unit is in our garage and runs full time, hasn't missed a beat and it's been great having on hand.

I keep 40 pounds bagged in our garage feeezer next to it, and the bin is enough to pack our 20 quart drink cooler for boat rides. The bagged ice can fill the kingfish bag or a 65 quart cooler for fish or bigger trips, and if I'm paying attention can replenish it in about two days.

Given cheap nature, big your mileage may vary disclaimer applies, but I've already gotten money's worth out of it.

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