As stand-alone appliances, ice machines are especially popular in the catering industry. Ice machines are used in restaurants, bars, cafes or in any other setting, where ice production is needed on a larger scale. The refrigerator in your home can also be fitted with an icemaker, and it can dispense ice on-demand.
Both commercial ice machines and ice makers can benefit from an ice machine water filter, which can remove tap water contaminants like sediments, chlorine, taste and odour problems, and bacteria, thus improving the quality of the ice being produced.
An ice machine water filter can not only make the ice produced by your ice machine look clearer and taste better, but, as we will examine in this article, water filters for ice machines can also prevent many appliance-efficiency related issues.
Benefits of Ice Machine Water Filters
In the absence of a water filtration system — whether one that pre-filters tap water before it reaches the ice machine, or one built into an ice machine — most ice machines connected to the tap water supply will experience operational issues caused by the contaminants present in tap water.
Limescale is probably the biggest threat to most appliances that use water. Ice machines are no exception as limescale can build up in these devices as well. Limescale can disrupt the capability of your ice maker to produce ice and to operate at peak performance.
Limescale build-up can also lead to the build-up of bacteria, while sediments found in tap water can clog the system. The ever-present chlorine can cause corrosion, make ice taste or smell bad.
A water filter system built into your ice machine can:
- Reduce the occurrence of unexpected failures due to corrosion, sediments or scale build-up;
- Reduce chlorine related corrosion and eliminates chlorine taste and smell;
- Reduce maintenance costs related to scale build-up on evaporator plates;
- Prevent clogging issues caused by sediments in solenoid valves and distribution tubes;
- Prevent bacterial growth within your ice machine.
A water filter and regular cleaning of your ice machine can prolong the life of this appliance and keep it working at peak performance.
The ice maker in your fridge can also benefit from a water filter. Fridge filters offer the same protections offered by an ice maker filter including scale inhibiting, chlorine reduction, taste and odour improvement, and antibacterial protection.
How Do Ice Machine Water Filters Work?
Just like refrigerators that have in-built water filters that easily snap in and out, some ice machines also have built-in filtration system. With some models, filters are installed on the water supply line that’s connected to your ice machine. These are the so-called in-line water filters.
In terms of the filter media present in these filters, almost all contain activated carbon either in granular form or as a carbon block. Activated carbon is widely used in the water filtration industry for its chlorine reduction capabilities and its ability to eliminate strange tastes and smells from water. Activated carbon is also great at reducing disinfectant by-products, volatile organic compounds and some sediments.
Besides activated carbon, water filters for ice machines will also contain a scale inhibiting filter media (e.g. phosphate) that prevents hardness causing minerals from sticking to surfaces and forming deposits.
These filters will also prevent corrosion on metal surfaces by creating a protective coating that defends against acidity, chlorine, hardness and other factors that cause corrosion and lead to rusting of pipes and metal surfaces.
Filters that contain an integrated membrane are also common. These usually offer sub-micron level filtration and remove cysts, bacteria, sediments, and abrasive particulates.
Filters for ice dispensers, vending machines, water coolers, etc. are usually a combination of the above filter media. Often you will find granular activated carbon filters with phosphate crystals, or carbon filters with sub-micron filtration membranes, but other combinations can also exist.
Usually, these filters are designed to last between 3 to 6 months. It’s a good rule of thumb to also clean your ice machine at the same time when you replace the filter.
Fridge filters usually contain granular activated carbon and activated ceramic spheres, which offer scale reduction, chlorine reduction, and taste improvement.
Ice Machine Maintenance Tips
Even though a water filter can help reduce and prevent machine failures due to limescale deposits and sediments, routinely cleaning your ice machine should still remain a priority.
With regular filter replacement and cleaning, your ice machine can continuously operate at peak performance.
Sometimes, however, changes in the quality of the water you use in your ice maker means that you’ll have to replace your filters more often. If you notice any of the following signs, you should clean your ice machine and/or change the filter in it:
- Ice dispensed by your ice machine is smaller in size than normal;
- Ice cubes are cloudy in appearance;
- Ice cubes melt faster and are not as solid as they used to be;
- Ice tastes or smells strange.
While you should have no issues cleaning your ice maker at home, commercial ice machines are held to strict cleanliness guidelines. Commercial ice machines need professional cleaning, descaling and sanitization, usually done by a team of professionals.
Extended downtime due to cleaning can be avoided if you use a water filter in your ice machine. With less clogging and scale deposits, unexpected malfunctions and energy inefficiencies are virtually eliminated.
Ice Maker Water Filters
Our water filter shop carries a selection of ice maker water filters with multiple applications. These filters can be used not only with ice machines, but also with coffee machines and vending machines.
A good ice maker water filter will offer:
- Chlorine removal including removal of off tastes and odours caused by chemical disinfectants or other contamination issues;
- 5 micron or below particle reduction;
- Scale deposits prevention;
- Corrosion prevention;
- Antibacterial properties.
With these issues taken care of, the ice produced by your ice maker or ice machine will look clearer and taste better.
Here are our top picks for ice machine filters:
With a capacity of 11,300 litres, the Insurice i500 is a powerful ice maker water filter that delivers premium quality water for ice applications.
The filter comes at an affordable price and offers scale inhibition, off tastes and odours removal, sediment reduction, cysts reduction thanks to its sub-micron level filtration. The antibacterial filter media within the filter prevents any bacterial growth.
The Everpure Claris Calcium Treatment Unit is a quick-change filter can be used with vending machines, ice makers, and vending machines. The filter offers a 5-micron sediment filtration through its carbon membrane, protecting appliances from abrasive particles.
The ice maker filter also combines limescale protection with corrosion prevention, thus solving the two most common issues encountered by these commercial appliances.
The filter is rated for 2,500 litres based on water hardness levels of 180 ppm. It can be mounted either vertically or horizontally.
The Everpure Claris eliminates scale and bio-film formation and eliminates those hardness-causing minerals that cause soft ice.
The DuoBlend valve of the filter maintains an optimum bypass control, while mineral stabilization ensures perfect pH balance.
Designed to deliver outstanding quality water in ice makers and ice machines, the Everpure Insurice is rated for 34,000 litres before it needs replacement.
The 0.5 micron filters out sediments and reduces cysts and other possible health-related contaminants, while the Micro-Pure II media with AgION™inhibits any bacterial growth within the filter.
The filter is excellent at reducing scale and chlorine taste and odour, ensuring that your ice maker operates in top shape.
Besides Everpure, 3M is another reliable manufacturer of water filters designed for commercial applications. Their line of ice maker water filters reduce corrosion, sediments, scale build-up, chlorine and water taste and smell problems due to chlorination.
Sediments, chlorine, scale and other undesirable water ingredients can wreak havoc in expensive appliances, leading to energy inefficiency, costly and unscheduled repair works or replacements, and unexpected downtime.
All these issues can be prevented with a water filter designed for ice applications. These filters are easy to replace, come with a long service life and offer a reliable filtration against common water contamination issues.
Commercial water filter manufacturers like Everpure or 3M offer a varied selection of filters designed to work with various appliances that use water.
These filters reduce operational costs, prolong the life of your appliances, and prevent unexpected breakdowns, all the while ensuring premium quality water for ice makers, coffee makers, or water coolers.