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Do all dedicated home ice makers suck?


Dave the Cook
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  All the negative reviews are similar... watery ice and/or stopping working after a few months.  And if you put t he wet ice in a freezer it turns into a block.

 

The semi-respectable Wirecutter feature of the NY Times makes no mention of the wet ice. ...but does mention that most of the different brands are made by one company. So they must all equally suck.

 

I can imagine that the price point for a refrigerated ice bin is higher than what Walmart wants.

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16 hours ago, gfweb said:

  All the negative reviews are similar... watery ice and/or stopping working after a few months.  And if you put t he wet ice in a freezer it turns into a block.

 

The semi-respectable Wirecutter feature of the NY Times makes no mention of the wet ice. ...but does mention that most of the different brands are made by one company. So they must all equally suck.

 

I can imagine that the price point for a refrigerated ice bin is higher than what Walmart wants.

 

Refrigerated ice bins are bascially unheard of except in residential freezer ice  akers, and the biggest commercial plants.  it's much simpler, and cheaper, to just run water over a cold plate, and produce wet ice.  For almost all domestic uses, that's not a real problem.  If you're putting it in soda, the wet ice provides fewer nucleation points to drive CO2 out of solution, so it's a bonus for that.  We had a series of these at the office I used to work in.  They lasted a year or two, under pretty heavy usage.  the ice was fine for stuff you use it in an office. 

 

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11 minutes ago, dscheidt said:

 

Refrigerated ice bins are bascially unheard of except in residential freezer ice  akers, and the biggest commercial plants.  it's much simpler, and cheaper, to just run water over a cold plate, and produce wet ice.  For almost all domestic uses, that's not a real problem.  If you're putting it in soda, the wet ice provides fewer nucleation points to drive CO2 out of solution, so it's a bonus for that.  We had a series of these at the office I used to work in.  They lasted a year or two, under pretty heavy usage.  the ice was fine for stuff you use it in an office. 

 

 

Reflecting on all the hotel icemakers I've dealt with.  There seems to be two types, the ones where ice drops into an insulated bin and the ones where ice comes out of a spout from an upper chamber where the ice is made.  I imagine that latter one has t he ice kept frozen by the presence of mechanism that made it.  I've seen nothing like that available for the home.

 

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We've had a Opal icemaker since they 1st came out we haven't had any problems with it other than having to descale it occasionally.

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I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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I've looked into ice machines but so far nothing has appealed to me.  What's wrong with ice cube trays?  I seldom use more than one or two trays a day, and wet ice does not appeal to me any more than water puddles on the kitchen floor.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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14 hours ago, gfweb said:

 

Reflecting on all the hotel icemakers I've dealt with.  There seems to be two types, the ones where ice drops into an insulated bin and the ones where ice comes out of a spout from an upper chamber where the ice is made.  I imagine that latter one has t he ice kept frozen by the presence of mechanism that made it.  I've seen nothing like that available for the home.

 

I'll the one's I've looked at are just an insulated bin, with a drain.  Commercial machines have an ice tray, that's cooled by frigerant piping.  water is pumped over the tray, some of it freezes to the tray, the rest flows into a sump, and is recirculated.  Some circulate constantly, some do it in spurts.  when the machine thinks the ice is done, the refrigerant flow through the tray is reversed, which heats it up a bit, enough to melt the cubes off, and they fall out the chute, into  storage bin.  The ice is wet, because it's had near freezing water on it, and since it's wet, the storage can't be refrigerated, because the wet ice would form huge clumps as the water froze in storage.     To get dry ice, you have to stop the flow of water, wait long enough to be sure every thing is frozen, and then release the ice.  There are big ice plants that do that, usually with a slightly different batch process.  Packaged ice is often made this way, because it's got to be kept frozen, so wet ice makes horrible blobs. 

your home freezer makes dry ice, because it makes ice the same way as old-fashioned ice cube trays do, using the cold of the freezer air (instead of cooling the tray).  That's slow, because heat transfer from air to water is slower than from the tray to water or later in the process, ice to water of the continuous production machines.  (some very fancy fridges have a second ice maker in the door of the fridge, which usually operates on the continuous process).  My freezer claims to be able to produce 7 or 8 pounds of ice a day, actual production is maybe 5.  The little counter top units we had in the office claimed production of something like 25 pounds a day (which would require constant tending to keep the bin from filling up and refill the water.), and in the summer, we probably got six pounds of ice out of it during a work day. 

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10 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I've looked into ice machines but so far nothing has appealed to me.  What's wrong with ice cube trays?  I seldom use more than one or two trays a day, and wet ice does not appeal to me any more than water puddles on the kitchen floor.

 

If you have ever had ice from a bar or restaurant, you've had ice as 'wet' as the stuff that comes out of of one of these machines.  It's not a big deal for anything I use ice for.

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