Hoshizaki DCM 450 BAE
Got called to service this ice cuber/ dispenser today. Hoshizaki DCM 450 BAE unit is at least 15 years old. Head Pressure nearly 400 PSI (air cooled unit) condenser was plugged solid. Also found that the solenoid valve's to the water are sticking shut because they are coated with corrosion. This is also the one with tube shaped evaporator with the auger that pushes ice up and out the unit. Trying to convince the owner to just get a new machine because by the time I clean this unit out, clean the coil, then check for other problems and repair he could easily be looking at a sizeable bill and it makes since to sell him a new one. The only problem is that I have worked with this guy in the past and he always takes the cheap road out never wants to upgrade. then he will complain 3 months later when something else breaks down. How do you handle this type of customer?
If he pays his bills give him what he wants
Take apart the bearings and pull the auger out. Do a thorough inspection (it shouldn't take more than 1 hour, hoshi's are pretty easy to disassembly as long as you have metric allen wrenches / sockets.) You'll probably find deteriorated bearings, scaled up evaporator, and possibly even scored up evaporator housing. Give him an estimate to descale everything (probably 1 gallon scaleaway and plenty of labor), replace upper bearing (extruding head) lower bearing assembly, mechanical seal, o-rings, allen socket bolts. Nu-Brite condenser, clean out water lines, replace inlet valve, etc., etc. By the time you are done, it basically will be a brand new machine, and should last 3 months easily.
If evaporator housing is scored, and/or auger is filed down and damaged, then the "repair" won't be the "cheap road". If either of these components needs replacement, the new ice machine is about the same cost.