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  1. #1
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    Aug 2012
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    Condenser fan blows and sucks air through the ice bin?

    Has anyone else experienced air flows through the ice bin caused by the condenser fan?? My big idea was to cut a hole in the top of the ice machine and blow a small amount of HEPA filtered air, with a computer fan/blower, into the evaporator area and down into the ice bin, to try to keep the whole food zone filled with clean air. I measured air coming out of the ice dispense gate at 50 feet per minute and it was clean. The 50 fpm was not enough to melt much ice, but enough to keep the air clean and free of yeast, smoke, etc.. anyway, it worked great until the condenser fan came on and puff! My air speed indicator, (anemometer), went flying to 200 and 500 sometimes almost 1,000 fpm depending on the model. Question: are all integrated ice machines this way?? I only had a few to test and I took photos that are attached in a pdf. I looked up the NSF and FDA regs and they say ice machines should not do this.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Jun 2009
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    DFW, TX
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    673
    Well glad to see you are working on solution to keeping ice machines clean. I don't have any helpful information for you... but I will say this: I got so excited at first, thinking "We just need to solve the airflow issue to keep ice machines clean!" Then I remembered I just spent the last 4.25 hours cleaning an 1800# dual evaporator Scotsman Prodigy that has remote condenser... less than one year old and was cleaned 6 months ago, and it was so ridiculously dirty I actually had to Shop-Vac the slime and scale out of the trough.

    So you're saying the filtered air doesn't work on self-contained ice machines due to condenser fan air. Its very interesting that air is being sucked up the drain as well.

  3. #3
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    Oct 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by trippintl0 View Post
    Well glad to see you are working on solution to keeping ice machines clean. I don't have any helpful information for you... but I will say this: I got so excited at first, thinking "We just need to solve the airflow issue to keep ice machines clean!" Then I remembered I just spent the last 4.25 hours cleaning an 1800# dual evaporator Scotsman Prodigy that has remote condenser... less than one year old and was cleaned 6 months ago, and it was so ridiculously dirty I actually had to Shop-Vac the slime and scale out of the trough.

    So you're saying the filtered air doesn't work on self-contained ice machines due to condenser fan air. Its very interesting that air is being sucked up the drain as well.
    Pics??? How about a filter system?............
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  4. #4
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    Aug 2012
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    Tarpon Springs, FL
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    Yes, you can be excited. The HEPA system does work on the remote systems which are also very dirty due airborne contamination. It filters out 100% of the 5 and 10 micron size particles, which are the size of yeast. And, it reduces the smaller particles to a Class VII clean room including the bin, as long as the lid is closed. After lid is opened and closed it recovers to a class VII clean room in 2 minutes, so little chance for t he invisable particles to make a nest.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2012
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    Tarpon Springs, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by trippintl0 View Post
    Well glad to see you are working on solution to keeping ice machines clean. I don't have any helpful information for you... but I will say this: I got so excited at first, thinking "We just need to solve the airflow issue to keep ice machines clean!" Then I remembered I just spent the last 4.25 hours cleaning an 1800# dual evaporator Scotsman Prodigy that has remote condenser... less than one year old and was cleaned 6 months ago, and it was so ridiculously dirty I actually had to Shop-Vac the slime and scale out of the trough.

    So you're saying the filtered air doesn't work on self-contained ice machines due to condenser fan air. Its very interesting that air is being sucked up the drain as well.
    Yes, you can be excited. The HEPA system does work on the remote systems which are also very dirty due airborne contamination. It filters out 100% of the 5 and 10 micron size particles, which are the size of yeast. And, it reduces the smaller particles to a Class VII clean room including the bin, as long as the lid is closed. After lid is opened and closed it recovers to a class VII clean room in 2 minutes, so little chance for the invisible particles to make a nest.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2009
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    DFW, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2sac View Post
    Pics??? How about a filter system?............
    Sorry, I clean them all the time & rarely take pics, but it was terrible. This was at a McDonalds which means the best Reverse Osmosis filtered water. Water tastes freakin' awesome. They'd stay cleaner with tap water with some chlorine in there, but whatever.

    Actually their filter system is so complex I'm not really sure, there are multiple carbon filters, reverse osmosis, and multiple stages, so I'm not sure if the ice machine water goes through the R.O. or not, to be honest. It looks like a freakin' nightmare to deal with, luckily Coke does all of that and not us

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by trippintl0 View Post
    Sorry, I clean them all the time & rarely take pics, but it was terrible. This was at a McDonalds which means the best Reverse Osmosis filtered water. Water tastes freakin' awesome. They'd stay cleaner with tap water with some chlorine in there, but whatever.

    Actually their filter system is so complex I'm not really sure, there are multiple carbon filters, reverse osmosis, and multiple stages, so I'm not sure if the ice machine water goes through the R.O. or not, to be honest. It looks like a freakin' nightmare to deal with, luckily Coke does all of that and not us
    City water or RO water going into the ice machine is clean. The gunk and slime in ice machines comes from airborne contaminants not the water. Maybe you noticed that an ice machine that is moved from the back porch to inside the restaurant (because of code violation) suddenly blooms with gunk and slime? It is because inside the restaurant it has bakers yeast, tap beer yeast and 1,000's of people breathing, coughing and generally dragging in zillions of invisible microorganisms that land and stick on wet places, but only grow on wet dark places that are not washed every day. This is the definition of an ice machine. It is wet and not washed everyday, which is the minimum requirement for everything else in the restaurant.

  8. #8
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    Western KY
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    I may be missing something here but are you trying filter the condenser air that is blowing into your ice bin?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy knocker View Post
    I may be missing something here but are you trying filter the condenser air that is blowing into your ice bin?
    No we are not. The condenser air should NOT be blowing into the ice bin, but it is. This happens on an integrated ice machines, which seems to be a manufacturing defect and probably a violation of NSF and FDA codes. What we are trying to do is push a small amount of HEPA filtered the air into the food zone.. meaning the side of the evaporator making ice and the ice bin below the evaporator, collectively called the food zone.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleanice View Post
    No we are not. The condenser air should NOT be blowing into the ice bin, but it is. This happens on an integrated ice machines, which seems to be a manufacturing defect and probably a violation of NSF and FDA codes. What we are trying to do is push a small amount of HEPA filtered the air into the food zone.. meaning the side of the evaporator making ice and the ice bin below the evaporator, collectively called the food zone.
    OK. Do you know where the infiltration is coming from? I have not seen this myself. What does the manufacturer say about this? Not to pick but it would seem that adding additional air to the food zone would be a treatment of symptoms rather then a correction of the problem?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy knocker View Post
    OK. Do you know where the infiltration is coming from? I have not seen this myself. What does the manufacturer say about this? Not to pick but it would seem that adding additional air to the food zone would be a treatment of symptoms rather then a correction of the problem?
    It seems the infiltration is from every hole including sucking up from the floor drain and every crack in the bin cabnetry.

    Manufacturer is in denial.. as in 4 mental stages of acceptance of bad news...

    We were trying to add 50 fpm of clean air but ran into 500 to 1,000 fpm of dirty condenser air in the food zone. See photo attachment at start of this thread

  12. #12
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    Western KY
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    Quote Originally Posted by cleanice View Post
    It seems the infiltration is from every hole including sucking up from the floor drain and every crack in the bin cabnetry.

    Manufacturer is in denial.. as in 4 mental stages of acceptance of bad news...

    We were trying to add 50 fpm of clean air but ran into 500 to 1,000 fpm of dirty condenser air in the food zone. See photo attachment at start of this thread
    Looks like a manual on how to check for infiltration on different machines and set ups. What machine are you dealing with? I assume by integrated you mean self contained air cooled but is it a manitowok, scottsman, hoshizaki, etc? Some pull air through machine and some push air through machine so while the scottsman could pull bin into a negative through infiltration, pulling air from outside bin, a manitowok could possibly push cond air into bin through infiltration. In either case some thumb gum or tape and alittle time should take care of it

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy knocker View Post
    Looks like a manual on how to check for infiltration on different machines and set ups. What machine are you dealing with? I assume by integrated you mean self contained air cooled but is it a manitowok, scottsman, hoshizaki, etc? Some pull air through machine and some push air through machine so while the scottsman could pull bin into a negative through infiltration, pulling air from outside bin, a manitowok could possibly push cond air into bin through infiltration. In either case some thumb gum or tape and alittle time should take care of it
    By integrated I meant "self contained air cooled". Sorry I don't have all the right terminology. We tested self contained air cooled Scotsman, Hoshizaki and Manitowoc and we found that Scotsman and Hoshizaki were sucking air into the ice bin and Manitowoc was blowing it out. So you are correct about that. Regrading thumb gum solution you suggest: we tried all sorts of tape, silicone, new seals, seals around the evaporator lines, seals all over the place but all we could do was reduce the air flow from the condenser fan into the food zone. There are just too many holes and cracks. Scotsman and Hoshizaki are much more "leaky" than Manitowoc and they melt a lot more ice. We put exactly 70 lbs of ice in a bin with a standard Scotsman Prodigy that was turned off and after 8 hours measured the ice melt water which was 11 lbs. We repeated the exact same test (with all the same variables) but with the condenser fan was turned on (we hot wired it) and the ice melt was 25 lbs after 8 hours. That gives you an idea of how much air is blowing through and why it is so hard to "seal up".

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