Have you just purchased your first-ever portable ice maker to counter the long and hot summer? One of the questions you might be asking yourself is how does a portable ice maker work? A portable ice maker will provide you with easy and fast access to refreshing and cool ice. It works by pumping water into the metal chamber. The metal chamber is thereafter cooled to the freezing point by a tiny evaporator coil. Ice will then form in the chamber and gets deposited into the small bucket or tray inside the unit.
However, there are different variations on the portable ice maker model you purchase. Keep reading to learn how do ice makers work.
How Does Portable Ice Maker Work?
The portable ice maker will work exactly like the commercial ice making machines. The portable ice maker works by pushing pumped water into the cooling system where ice cubes are quickly formed. Luckily enough, there are different brands and models of portable ice makers that work in the same process.
Below is a guide on how a portable ice maker works
- First, water is added to the reservoir by the user
- Pumping of water is then done into the metal container
- The container is thereafter chilled by the compressor cooled evaporator coil
- Ice cubes starts forming
- The ice cubes falls into the small tray ready to be used
There are portable ice cube makers which use special chilled prongs in the freezing chamber to help in forming ice cubes. However, others use a tray that resembles the traditional ice cube tray. These will affect the shape and size of the ice cubes.
Portable Ice Maker Not Freezing Water
Is your portable ice maker with freezer not making ice? If yes then there are things you need to watch out for as there are high possibilities one might be the cause.
Below are some of the reasons why your portable ice maker not freezing water.
Low level of water
In most cases, you will need to manually add water in order to create ice cubes. When you fail to add water, definitely, there will not be any water to aid in ice cube formation. It is important that you always check the water levels in the ice maker. Ensure the water reservoir is always filled with water to the indicator.
The portable ice maker home depot does come with a refrigeration unit to help keep the ice cubes frozen. However, there are ice cube makers which have less insulation to ensure the ice cubes are always frozen. This can make your ice cubes to melt quickly than usual when the temperatures are not right. Solve this issue by ensuring the refrigerator unit temperatures are low to prevent the ice cubes from melting.
Ice Maker Is Full
There are ice makers which come with a sensor that informs you when it is necessary to make ice. When the ice maker tray is full, the process of making ice cubes will automatically stop. In order to continue making ice, you will have to empty the ice maker tray for the ice maker machine to continue making more ice cubes. When the home depot portable ice maker sensor is not working properly, the ice maker will make too much ice cubes until it overflows.
How Much Electricity Does a Portable Ice Maker Use
Most of the portable ice makers in the market do use up to 350-kilowatt hours (kWh) per month. It means, when the cost of electricity is approximately $0.06 per kWh, it will cost around $21 every month to effectively run your portable ice maker.
In most cases, it is never an issue if you have a residential portable ice maker or a large commercial ice maker since they both cost almost the same to run. However, the volume of the commercial ice maker is quite higher when compared to the volume of a portable ice maker. For instance, a commercial ice maker is capable of making up to 500 lbs (226.8 kg) of ice in a single day.
The portable ice makers are capable of making up to 40 lbs (18.14 kg) of ice in a single day. The commercial ice makers seem to be making more financial sense for the money. Definitely, when you do not have the space or need of a commercial ice maker, then you can consider getting a portable ice maker.
How Does a Commercial Ice Maker Work
Commercial ice makers are capable of making large quantities of ice in short periods. There are excellent machines for hotels, restaurants, stadiums and other places where ice cubes are required in large amounts quickly. Most of the commercial ice makers produce clear and not cloudy ice like those ice makers found in homes.
Here is a step by step guide on how a commercial ice maker works:
- Commercial ice makers contain some type of refrigerant gas that the compressor pushes through the system. Whenever the machine is turned on, the compressor will increase the refrigerant pressure that affects temperature.
- As the gas goes through the narrow tubes, the refrigerant will lose heat and gets condensed. While the fluid travels through the expansion valve, it starts to evaporate and is eventually turned into gas. Whenever this happens, the process will create energy in form of heat from the copper pipes and any air that surrounds the refrigerant. This will in turn pull the heat from the evaporator and the pipes making the water that is flowing over the evaporator to start freezing.
- After formation of the ice cubes, the evaporator sensor will trigger the valve which will tell the compressor to stop directing gas to the condenser and instead direct it to the bypass valve.
- From the bypass valve, the hot gas will cycle through the evaporator without cooling down. This allows it to heat up and loosen ice from the tray without them melting. The ice cubes will thereafter fall into the ice bin where people can dispense it automatically or scoop it using their hands.
How Long Does It Take To Make Ice
The portable ice makers are an excellent machine to help come up with ice without having to fill up the trays or worrying about them running out. So, how long does it take to make ice? This is one question most people in need of a portable ice maker that keeps ice frozen always research about. Majority of the portable ice makers in the market do produce ice cubes worth 26 to 35 pounds in a day. Every batch of ice takes between 6 and 15 minutes to freeze. It means you can expect to have steady supply of ice cubes throughout the day.
However, when you are in need of lots of ice cubes within a short period, there are portable ice maker models which have advance settings that will enable it make ice cubes within 6 minutes. This is an excellent ice maker machine for large gatherings and parties.
The portable ice maker makes good use of incredible mixture of condensers, compressors, evaporators and valves to help in delivering ice cubes on the go. Provided you do have a power outlet and you are capable of keeping it covered, you can always purchase your favorite portable ice maker and start creating ice cubes from any place you are. This ice maker is an excellent option for parties and large gatherings.