Ice Maker Installation

One ice maker installation shortcut you should avoid is connecting the cuber drain to the bin drain with a simple horizontal tee fitting.

The reason is that when the cuber drains, the water can back up into the bin and melt some of the ice.

The draining water may not back up often but when it does, it reduces the efficiency of the machine, and increases the cost of making the ice.

I've seen bins with several inches of water in the bottom because something plugged the drain line, and cuber drain water backed into the bin.

It's best to run the drains separately.

Don't forget the vent for the cuber drain, and it's a good idea to trap the drain lines.

When you're preparing for an ice maker installation, be sure to read the manufacturer's installation guide, and then be sure to follow their recommendations.

If the supply water isn't filtered, installing an ice maker filter will help keep the ice maker's water distribution components clean, and will help the machine produce clearer, better tasting ice.

Make sure the water filter and piping can deliver the rate of water flow the machine needs.

Some machines require a strong flow of water during part of the cycle, so check the installation manual, and verify that you'll be supplying enough water.

Another important aspect of ice maker installation is verifying that the electrical circuit, from the breaker to the final connections in the machine, are correctly sized to handle the load of the machine.

If the wiring is undersized, it can get hot enough to melt the insulation, then the bare wire can ground out and trip the breaker.

Undersized wiring can also cause the compressor to run at a higher amperage, which increases the power consumption, and increases the cost of making the ice.

If you're installing a machine with a plug to use in a wall outlet, make sure the plug and outlet are sized for the amperage of the machine.

The concerns are the same as for undersized wiring.

Avoid installing the machine in direct sunlight.

Sunlight is a heat load, and it can reduce the capacity of the cuber, which will increase the cost of making the ice.

You also want to be sure your ice maker installation won't be in a location where other appliances will be venting heat into or onto the cuber, bin, or condensing unit.

If the ice machine has a self contained condensing unit, be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommendation about providing a clear area around the machine for air to flow through the condenser.

This is where the machine releases the heat picked up from the freezing water.

If air flow through the condenser is blocked or restricted, it will reduce the capacity of the machine, which increases the cost of making the ice.

If the air flow is affected in a way that causes the condenser to re-circulate it's own hot discharge air, not only will the capacity of the machine be reduced, but the service life of the compressor will be shortened.

Keep in mind that this could become a warranty issue.

If the compressor fails during the warranty period, and the service technician finds that the machine is not installed according to factory recommendations, or finds the condenser coil totally plugged with dirt and debris due to lack of maintenance, your warranty could be voided.

If your ice maker installation involves a remote condensing unit, follow the manufacturers recommendations about the maximum distance between the cuber and condenser.

You also want to use the factory recommended pipe size.

If you use pre-charged lines, remember that vertical coils can cause oil trapping in the low spots, so if you have to leave part of the line set coiled, coil it horizontally.

Keep in mind that this could become a warranty issue.

If the compressor fails during the warranty period, and the service technician responding to the service call finds the line set coiled vertically, your warranty may be voided, especially if the installation instructions include a clear warning not to leave vertical coils.

If your ice maker installation requires that you cut the factory supplied line set to fit the installation, be sure to leak test the lines, vacuum to 500 microns, then charge the lines with vapor only, to the manufacturer's specifications.

If you charge liquid into a long line set that's under vacuum, and aren't careful, you could end up with an over-charged unit.

I hope this page has helped, and please, feel free to contact us with any specific HVAC questions you might have, including questions about refrigeration on Guam, and air conditioning on Guam.

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