Why Filter Water for Your Ice Machine?

Posted by
John Woodard on July 24, 2020

Filtered water makes the best ice. Feeding your ice maker with contaminated or hard water produces cloudy, dirty ice that melts in your beverages and taints the flavor. A water filter for your ice machine enhances the quality and flavor or your ice in your home or restaurant. John Woodard, our Master Water Specialist, explains why you need a water filter for your ice machine.

Why should you use a filter for your ice machine?

Ice filtration clears the water so the ice machine can make clean ice. As you can imagine, ice tastes better if the water's good because the recipe for ice calls for water. If water tastes bad, smells bad, or has particles in it, your ice will look, taste, and smell like the water. So, it's important to filter the water the makes your ice.

How does ice filtration work?

An ice filtration system filters the water feeding the ice machine to get rid of chlorine, particulate, and other contaminants that make the ice cloudy. Hard water must be treated because the minerals leave dust on top of ice cubes. 

Ice filtration

Why do you need scale control for ice filtration?

Hard water creates scale, which is a problem for making ice. As the water freezes, hardness minerals come out of solution and create scale right on the ice cube. Not to mention, the inner workings of the ice machine suffer from the formation of scale. Scale could wreck your equipment, which is why it's important to have scale control for your ice maker, whether you use a water softener, phosphate, or a scale control cartridge.

Why use ozone to disinfect your ice? 

Ozone is a powerful water disinfection method. Using ozone (O3) these disinfection systems oxidize bacteria, pathogens, and other microbial water contaminants (including sulfur, pesticides and herbicides, and heavy metals like iron and manganese). Bacteria can cause ice to discolor and foul the taste and odor of the ice. Additionally, bacterial presence in ice can expose the consumer to potentially harmful waterborne organisms. Ozone is noted for its ability to rapidly disinfect water, eliminating microorganisms without sacrificing flow rate or impeding ice production. Furthermore, ozone can disinfect water without any chemical additives, unlike traditional disinfection processes like chlorination. 

Just like you need to protect your ice machine from scale deposits that damage the internal mechanisms of the machine, it is important to protect the cleanliness of the machine as well. Ice machines are notoriously difficult to clean, and lackluster water quality can lead to pink slime and algae coating the insides of the machine. An ozone disinfection system before an ice machine ensures that all the water entering the machine is of pristine quality. The elimination of all bacterial content from the water maintains a stellar degree of cleanliness within the ice machine, reducing the need for frustrating monthly maintenance and cleanings<.>

How do you install an ice machine water filter?

Every ice machine, even the one in your house is fed with a waterline. The water filter interrupts a waterline to connect to your ice machine. A commercial ice machine requires a larger filter with more complicated installation, but a simple ice maker in your refrigerator only requires an inline filter that feeds your refrigerator. The advantage of installing an ice filter is obvious: you get clearer water that tastes and smells better, resulting in better ice.

How often said you change the filter on your ice machine?

Every six months to one year.

The water filter for your ice machine is often not changed frequently enough. Most of the time, water for ice machines is filtered with carbon. Carbon dechlorinates and removes chloramines. If you don't change a carbon filer frequently enough, the filter could make the water worse, resulting in worse ice. Carbon filters on a high-volume ice machine might require a filter change every six months. The ice water filter at your house requires an annual change. As a rule of thumb, don't let a carbon filter stay in the water longer than a year.

What do ice filters remove?

Carbon's primary purpose is to remove chlorine from water. Carbon also removes particulate and sediment that could get in the ice. When the ice melt, you'll see these particles floating in your glass of water.

  • Chlorine
  • Taste
  • Odors
  • Sediment

If you have hard water, then you should use scale control, like a phosphate that holds the hardness minerals in solution so won't come out in the ice and cause mechanical problems in your ice maker. 

What's the Ice Wand and what does it do?

The Ice Wand is an antimicrobial stick for ice machines. Airborne bacteria gets into the reservoir of an ice machine, but the Ice Wand inhibits the formation of slime and bacteria in an ice machine. The Ice Wand contains a specific proprietary blend of material that inhibits any kind of bacterial growth. This scale stick just drops into the reservoir and keeps slime from growing. You should clean the reservoir and the ice machine well before you drop the ice wand in. The Ice Wand needs replacing every three to four months.

How does the Ice Wand make filtration more efficient?

The Ice Wand inhibits the growth of slime or bacteria. It does not help the filtration process, but it keeps slime from creeping into the water supply, feeding the ice machine, and influencing the taste of the ice. The Ice Wand and the ice machine work independently, but they both result in better ice. 

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