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  1. #1

    Best Ice Machine for Church

    Greetings! I attend a church (~75 to 100 people) needing an ice machine for our new fellowship hall. It has to fit in a designated spot between a cabinet and the wall (i.e., machine must be < 24.75" W and < 52" H). Like everybody else, we want a reliable machine that is also relatively easy to clean. I had initially thought about the Hoshizaki KM-151BAH. Ice-O-Matic has the ICEU220, but that brand doesn't appear to be highly respected on these boards. I was also gonna recommend we purchase a water filter regardless of the machine. Our budget is ~$2500. Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    DFW, TX
    Posts
    673
    Manitowoc QM-45A.

    10" Carbon water filter with Phosphate Feeder for Scale Reduction.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Hibbing, MN
    Posts
    100
    Ice-O-Matic for sure.

    We've sold hundreds of Ice machines... Scotsman, Manitowoc, Ice-O-Matic, Hoshi, Kold Draft (remember those?)... I prefer the Ice-O-Matics because they have been the most trouble free of all the brands we sell, and when they do break down, they are the least expensive to repair.

    Why? Ice-O-Matic's design is simple and doesn't use electronic controllers, printed circuit boards, I.R. bin eyes, sonar, etc. The plate gets cold, water flows over it, and ice comes off. Ice-O-Matic also uses a probe that helps push the ice off of the evaporator at harvest. They have used this design for at least 20 years and it works. Harvest times are shortened so the machine can get right back to making ice.

    Everyone has their favorite, and all have good and bad points, but from a maintenance and reliability standpoint, I favor Ice-O-Matic.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    With proper filtration and PM they will all work fine for you. They all make ice and hold up well when taken care of. In a small to mid sized church the demand will be lite and it should have an easy life. How ever without proper filtration and maint they will all fail! I prefer manitowok and hoshizaki myself but as I said they will all suit your application.

  5. #5
    Thanks for your replies thus far as they are incredible helpful to those of us that know little about this subject. I had settled on the Ice-o-Matic (7 year evaporator warranty with filter) until I started browsing these forums, and then I decided to take another look at the Hoshi and Manitowoc. I did discover that the Manitowoc models that will fit our restricted space (e.g., QM-45A) just don't offer a lot of storage as compared to some other brands. Also, I had read through the forum and found where some machines are harder to clean than others or are more expensive to repair, etc. I guess it is sometimes hard to filter through all the options of one brand vs. another. We will likely be buying (via the web) and installing ourselves as soon as next week, so I just wanted to make sure I did all my homework first as this is the church's money and not mine. Thanks again

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    wedged in freezer shelf
    Posts
    6,727
    Quote Originally Posted by GenesisRefrig View Post
    Ice-O-Matic for sure.

    We've sold hundreds of Ice machines... Scotsman, Manitowoc, Ice-O-Matic, Hoshi, Kold Draft (remember those?)... I prefer the Ice-O-Matics because they have been the most trouble free of all the brands we sell, and when they do break down, they are the least expensive to repair.

    Why? Ice-O-Matic's design is simple and doesn't use electronic controllers, printed circuit boards, I.R. bin eyes, sonar, etc. The plate gets cold, water flows over it, and ice comes off. Ice-O-Matic also uses a probe that helps push the ice off of the evaporator at harvest. They have used this design for at least 20 years and it works. Harvest times are shortened so the machine can get right back to making ice.

    Everyone has their favorite, and all have good and bad points, but from a maintenance and reliability standpoint, I favor Ice-O-Matic.
    IOM does run on printed circuit boards and old tech pressure controls that ambient conditions affect operation. Also the undercounter ice bridge thickness is recommended at 3/16" (harder to scoop and use) vs a Mani 1/8" because the thingy that pushes the ice off on IOM will crack the batch at 1/8" and only partially harvest screwing the next batch. Same with the old tech bin stat getting shut down mid cycle and screwing with the next cycle with people going in for a scoop at a time. There is a reason nobody makes them like that any more.
    I would get the cabinet stretcher out and squeeze in a new Manitowoc NEO
    The older Q's are trouble free except incorrect water level setting, bin switches well into its life span or bin doors with abuse.
    Everything else was rock solid and easier to clean than a IOM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Woodbridge Twp, NJ
    Posts
    1,307
    IOM's are garbage IMO. They don't use circuit boards and are loved by old school techs because of it. They also don't use ANYTHING to determine actual bridge thickness, causing freeze-ups. Get a Hoshizaki and keep it maintained. It will out last any Ice o Matic you put up against it.
    Every customer you take for granted today will be someone else's tomorrow.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Down by the river
    Posts
    1,664
    Hoshi or bust.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,743
    Quote Originally Posted by DLZ Dan View Post
    IOM's are garbage IMO. They don't use circuit boards and are loved by old school techs because of it. They also don't use ANYTHING to determine actual bridge thickness, causing freeze-ups. Get a Hoshizaki and keep it maintained. It will out last any Ice o Matic you put up against it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    fort walton beach fl.
    Posts
    790
    Well, I guess everyone has different opinions all what I/M we like the best. Me personally, Hoshi or IOM. We can all probably agree that scotsman is the worst.
    http://acfwb.com/

    "The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Western KY
    Posts
    1,221
    Understand the purchase and installation DIY is fairly common, especially churches. Do yourself a favor though. Use a factory authorized service provider to do the start up. You will have warranty issues if you don't should the machine have an issue. It's money we'll spent to insure all the Ts are dotted and the Is are crossed. Good luck.

  12. #12
    Will that Hoshizaki be hard to clean / maintain?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    wedged in freezer shelf
    Posts
    6,727
    Yes and more expensive to repair
    “If You Can Dodge A Wrench You Can Dodge A Ball”

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