How Do Built-in Ice Makers Work?

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An ice maker is the perfect addition to any kitchen, bar, or entertaining space.

Ice machines are a big convenience for those who enjoy entertaining or those with a busy household that requires lots of cool, refreshing drinks. No longer must you wait hours for ice cubes to firm in a mold or spend time going to the grocery store and carrying heavy bags of ice. How do ice makers work? Today we are exploring how built-in models function.

Basic Ice Making Process

Before ice makers were invented, to make ice, water had to be poured into an ice tray or mold and then placed in the freezer. Then, several hours later, the ice would be ready for use. Automatic ice makers automate this process. Water from a water line connected to the ice maker delivers water to the ice mold within the ice maker. Next, the freezer begins to freeze the water. The machine knows when the ice has reached a desired temperature and firmness. A heating coil then gentle warms the ice tray and ejector blades begin to lift them from the mold and dump them to a collection bin. The process repeats until the ice maker has reached its ice storage capacity.

Installing a Built-in Ice Maker

Here is what to expect if you are bringing an ice maker home for the first time.

1. Before you plug your ice maker in to a power source, you should allow it to stand upright for 24 hours.
2. Clean the inside of the icemaker thoroughly with water and a soft cloth.
3. Your ice maker should be placed in an insulated room with an ambient temperature within a specified range. For the ambient temperature specifications, refer to the owner’s manual.
4. Built-in models will have a required clearance to ensure the unit functions efficiently. The clearance is typically 4 inches of clearance at the back, and 1 inch of clearance at the top and sides. The front of the ice machine should remain unobstructed to allow the unit to exhaust properly. Clearance requirements will vary by model, so be sure to check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s instructions.
5. The ice maker should be installed on a flat and level surface.
6. Next, you will need to connect the water line and drain lines.

Your ice maker is now ready for use. Generally, it takes anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes for an ice maker to complete two cycles of ice. The process is much quicker than waiting for ice to form in a traditional ice mold and it saves you many trips to the store for ice.

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