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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    80

    ice machine cleaning

    I got a new job with this co and theres a lot of ice machines in restauraunts. These guys are cleaning them with chemicals without removin the ice. I have never done this. Any thoughts. I thought u always had to remove the ice

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    PNW
    Posts
    14
    Good lord now, is there a health department where you are?!

    PROPER cleaning of an ice machine requires, removing / melting all the ice in the bin, OR removal of the head from the bin, a thorough rinse, cycle in CLEAN mode with manufacturer recommended or your favorite de-scaling chemical for the specified time, or until the build up is remoced, followed by a THOROUGH rinse, and re-start wherein you discard the first two or three harvests of ice to ensure no chemicals make it to the customer.

    If some "tech" is "cleaning" an ice machine without removing the ice and following this basic procedure, they are either NOT using chemicals which will NOT clean the evap, or they are poisoning people.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    4,750
    Questor, The health dept here doesn't check ice machines. If they did, people couldn't eat out anymore.
    The chemicals and mold scrapings getting into the ice are one issue. The second, in many cases, is the mold GROWS down into the bin. You also get boogers in the bin drain. The bin needs to be cleaned and sanitized as well.
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

    I know enough to know, I don't know enough
    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Garland, TX
    Posts
    39
    Where I work we ask the customer to remove and store the ice. This allows cleaning and sanitizing of the bin. In the instance they forget and we show up, I usually use trash bags to cover the ice and ensure no contamination from the chemicals. I so service mainly and I always completely disassemble the evap area, hoses, distributors and water troughs. Clean in a sink and then reinstall parts, if bin is empty I will use a water hose and blast is before putting the parts back on. If bin has ice I carefully wipe everything down. Note: If unit has a sliming issue all the mold must be removed, even from behind the evaporator on some makes. Then you must sanitize it, I use a spray bottle and allow it to dry if possible.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Posts
    471
    Hey CHR358, I do what J Bridges does. If possible I remove unit outside, use garden hose and variety of brushes I bought from the supply house, same brushes used to clean boilers. Soft and flexible. Take apart as much as possible, clean parts in sink using my special solution, run the brushes thru hoses, etc. Clean evaps outside, especially the Hoshizaki, mold gets everywhere in tight spots along the walls & under the unit. And I always go the extra mile and de-grease the condenser and fan blade. Saves me trouble next summer. But I am an in house tech for a large chain so no one is pushing me to hurry to the next job. Ice machine cleaning dome right is time consuming especially in a busy kitchen.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
    Posts
    266
    How do you guys remove the head to the machines in busy restaurants on top of coke/pepsi dispensers? Do you have a second tech there to help remove it without dropping it? Just curious.

    Sent from my DROID RAZR using Tapatalk 2

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    LEHIGH VALLEY, PA
    Posts
    165
    we are often sent to ice maker repairs , and cleaning is required to get the machine working again , often there is ice in the bin , often it is a head over a dispenser , some remote condenser , may be water cooled , no one is removing the machine , as to much is involved weight being one factor, so we carry oversize garbage bags , to protect the ice below , and to catch at least the first batch of ice which is thrown away . if it is a pre arranged pm we want the machine empty and then the bin gets cleaned and sanitized, it would always be be better if the bin was empty of ice , but that just does not happen .

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    116
    No one will empty the ice bin in advance, and they all complain about not having ice, so we usually use the garbage bag method. I know it's not right, but otherwise we have ticked off customers. For machines on a coke/pepsi dispenser, if it has to come down we almost always send 2 guys, but since most are 320-420 lb heads, a genie lift and one guy can manage it

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Garland, TX
    Posts
    39
    I know the customer doesn't like to remove the ice, but to do the job right and prevent future failures this is what we require. If not it is noted and that way we aren't responsible or liable. Now for dispensers, we came in early and clean it in place. I still use a hose and watch out for the dispensers. We have a policy for service work that we must/have to clean unit before we can properly diagnose a problem. Even if it is in warranty, that is what every mfg. states in their owners manuals. And I will pull out the owners manual on them, it quietens them down, they have the manual before they called you for service.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Posts
    471
    Empty the bin. Have the customer supply help. Tell them to buy bagged ice from the WaWa. Sanitize the bin too. Will smell like a fish tank if you do not.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    B.C. Canada
    Posts
    903
    We always have the customer empty the bin that morning, put buckets of it in the Walkin Cooler (if they put it in the freezer it freezes into blocks) plus fill any wells and such in the bar, line, etc so that their ice demand is minimum when they open. HOWEVER... id day 80% of the time the bin is still full when we get there and either charge T&M to empty it, or tell them we will come back another time and they get charged for the extra call.... works out either way, and they never seem to learn

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    19,207
    They never empty a bin for me.

    I end up running a hot water hose to the bin and melting out the ice. What a mess. The drain is too small, no one has loosened the iceberg between the bin doors at the bottom and the top of the bottom of the machine head.

    You are right. They never learn, because they just don't care.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,251
    I always empty the bin, even on a beverage dispenser. I tell the employees at the restaurant to ask the customers if they want ice and to fill it for them.

    By the time the machine finally gets cleaned, so much slime and black pieces have fallen into the bin, you want all that cleaned out anyhow.

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