I was looking for air conditioner service photos on my laptop and found this gem instead. I thought I will share this with my readers because many of my regular customers use ice in drinks service and some of my customers use ice to display the produce. But first, let’s see how ice was used for hundreds of years before mechanical refrigeration was invented.

Historically, ice was the very first media to maintain below ambient temperatures in cellars to preserve perishable goods. Of course, only wealthy people like kings could afford such luxury because harvesting and transporting ice was an expensive job. The way it worked, was that ice was harvested by peasants and maybe slaves from the mountains and transported to castles. Or icebergs that were found in the northern hemisphere seas were towed to the ports by ships. Once an iceberg was towed to the shore, it was then cut into suitable size blocks. These blocks were stored in the cellars alternately with foods, keeping the foods fresh for a longer period of time.

This is enough of the history lesson. let’s talk about modern ice makers instead. I was recently called to a popular venue in London. The job was to fit a water filter on the ice maker and do general maintenance on the ice maker. Ice machine maintenance and water filter replacement is a common job for a refrigeration engineer. Nothing that day predicted I’m about to meet my worst ice maker so far. Indeed during my career, I have seen many filthy ice makers but this one was the filthiest ice maker I have ever seen.

The filthiest ice maker I ever seen

One of the issues the owner was having was that the ice was of poor quality. I don’t really know and cannot say for sure, but from this, I can assume this ice maker was currently used by this business. Besides, ice buckets and ice scoop was next to the machine suggesting to me that ice harvesting was taking place there. But I may be wrong and the venue was using some other ice maker or buying ice from the shop.

Besides lack of general cleaning, disinfecting and maintenance, ice makers may be plumbed incorrectly. Incorrect plumbing may cause phenomena known as faeces and urine in the ice bin. Yes, it is true, I’m not making this up to scaremonger ice maker users. The said problem may occur when the toilet is flushed, or the dishwasher goes into the drainage cycle, the wastewater is then pushed in every direction in the waste pipe. Should the ice maker drain be plumbed into the same sewage, the water rushing in the pipe may be pushed into the ice maker drain and straight into the ice maker bin.

To prevent problems with your ice maker it has to be wiped down daily, disinfected weekly, descaled every two to three months depending on the hardness of the water in your area, condenser cleaned in every three-month interval, water filter replaced every three-month interval. Besides the above routine, you need to follow manufacturers maintenance guidelines.

Should you need further assistance with your ice maker(s), please feel free to contact me any day of the week to discuss the service options I can offer you.

Best regards


Milton Keynes local refrigeration and air conditioning technician.

078 63 63 17 91