Sediment, chlorine, and lime scale are the main contaminants affecting ice-machine performance. Each has significant economical implications for the foodservice operator. Treating the inlet water may result in fewer service calls, lower maintenance costs, improved energy utilization, and longer machine life. With proper inlet-water treatment, annual savings of hundreds or even thousands of dollars may be possible.
Sediment may cause cloudiness in ice cubes and may also clog water-distribution systems, cause wear and tear on pumps and seals, and cause improper float operation in cubers.
Newer machines are constructed with more plastic and stainless steel parts that reduce the potential corrosion problems caused by chlorine. If left in the water, chlorine may offer large benefits in helping to control biofilm formation and reducing the number of associated cleaning/sanitation cycles. With vertical-plate evaporators, chlorine is thermodynamically excluded during the freezing process and does not remain in the ice.
According to several studies, 1/8th inch of lime scale from calcium and magnesium salts deposited on evaporator surfaces from “hard” water may cause a 25% reduction in energy efficiency.
Consider a variety of water filtration products on the market that will provide a choice of water-treatment solutions for improved ice machine operation. Your ice machine will thank you.
Peter Meir is a senior marketing manager for 3M Water Filtration.