For people who own bars and restaurants, it can prove cumbersome to refill their ice storage bins with ice coming from large commercial ice machines at the back of their establishment. They would need an ice machine directly within their reach at the bar so that they can keep all those cold drinks flowing. For this purpose, it is advisable to get an undercounter ice maker.
Advantages of Under the Counter Ice Maker
The primary advantage of an undercounter commercial ice maker is its compact size. You only need a very small space in which to put it. It is the ideal backup especially if your ice source is located far from the bar. Naturally, you cannot tell your customers to wait while your helper gets ice from your larger ice machine. These type of ice machines will keep making ice for you until more is delivered to you from your primary source.
Factors to Consider When Buying
First of all, you need to be sure that you have a potable water supply. For added safety as well as to extend the life of your ice machine, you need to buy a good filtration system.
You also need to have a good AND protected electrical supply source. Since ice melts, you need to take the necessary precautions and measures to prevent yourself from getting electrocuted.
Some brands of ice makers would require the construction of a floor drain. If this will prove to be a problem, get an ice machine with an opening side drain. Just flip the panel open and catch the water draining out with a basin.
Most types of undercounter ice machines produce ice cubes in various sizes. Because they are primarily used in bars, the ice cubes that are produced would fit all sizes of glasses, including shot glasses.
There are also certain brands of ice makers that produce nugget ice for fountain drinks. Some hospitals and clinics would have an undercounter ice maker at their Nurses Stations in case of emergencies. If you want to ensure the safety of your ice machine, make sure that you change the water filters every 6 months.
Home Depot, Sears and other local and online distributors are sure to have under counter ice makers in their stock. Popular brands to look for include Ice-O-Matic, Scotsman, and Manitowoc. For bar use, the best machine is the Manitowoc SM-50A undercounter ice machine which has a daily yield of 53 pounds. Hotels, restaurants and hospitals would benefit more from a larger-sized undercounter ice maker. A good example is the Ice-O-Matic ICEU300FW which has a yield of 356 pounds within a 24 hour period.
Check out the video below. How to repair a specific undercounter ice maker: