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Ice Equipment Sales & Leasing | Phone: (800) 999-5616

Icesurance Blog - Ice Equipment Sales & Leasing | Phone: (800) 999-5616

Important Considerations When Purchasing Commercial Ice Machines

Commercial ice machines have a unique marketing benefit; their model numbers are often based on production capability that is achieved under ideal conditions that are pretty much non-existent in the field, at least in the summer months when the demand for ice is at its peak.

While nearly all manufacturers of commercial ice machines, unlike Volkswagen, publish true production numbers, the model number of the machine which automatically becomes the de facto industry nomenclature, (for example, “1800 pounder, etc.”) is the jargon in which the machines are traded.  In commercial ice machines that are mechanically sound, there are two main factors that govern the amount of ice produced and these factors are simply water temperature and air temperature.

All of the major commercial ice machine manufacturers show two sets of testing parameters.  The ideal conditions as mentioned above are 70F air temperature and 50F water temperature.  And the less than ideal test conditions are 90F air temperature and 70F water temperature.  You will be greatly surprised to see how much of a difference in ice production actually results from the difference in operating conditions.

For demonstration purposes, let’s take a look at the Scotsman C1848 ice maker, which is referred to as the aforementioned “1800 pounder”.  According to the latest information obtained today 10/13/15, from the Scotsman website, this model, in an air-cooled format, produces a very respectable 1909 lbs. of ice at the 70/50F ambient air/water temperatures in 24 hours.  However, the exact same machine records an incredible drop of 382 lbs. of ice production when the ambient temperatures are increased by only 20 degrees, to the 90/70F level.

So, basically, to get back to that original 1909 lbs. of production at 90/70F, you would have to get an additional machine, a “500 pounder” like the Scotsman C0530, which is rated to produce 380 lbs. of ice per day at 90/70F.  Once you acquire this extra “500 pounder”, you will only be 2 lbs. short of the “1800 pounder’s” 70/50F production.  And this does not even take into consideration that additional real world situations like a dirty condenser or partially clogged water filter will even further impact production in a negative way.

The point of this blog is not to ridicule the manufacturers of commercial ice makers, it is to illustrate the point that the best way to acquire ice making equipment is from a source that can understand and process all the factors that are involved and too often ignored by restaurant supply houses and restaurant operators as well.

Icesurance is a full service ice machine supplier with the experience and knowledge to help you with a very critical equipment decision, you know, so you won’t need to buy that extra 500 pounder.

What Does Serving Cloudy Ice Say About Your Venue?

The ice cubes served in a commercial establishment should be clear.  Clearness not only presents a better esthetic appearance to the customer, but also provides the connotation of purity.  The fact is that most cloudy ice produced by commercial ice machines does not necessarily indicate the presence of anything more harmful than trapped air bubbles in the cube, due primarily to freezing too quickly.

This can be the result of several factors working in conjunction with each other, or even individually, such as low water pressure or excessively cold water being fed to the evaporator plate (freezing surface).  This generally occurs when water pressure in the establishment is weak, external water filters are clogged, or internal components like the water pump or float valve either fail or require adjustments.

In the case of the forgoing, remediation is usually fairly easy and getting a clearer cube should not be an expensive or intricate procedure.  The reason for this, in regard to commercial ice cube making equipment is that the purest water freezes first, and that these ice machines with only a couple of exceptions for some very small imports, all use the same basic principle for ice cube production; water runs over the evaporator where heat exchange (freezing) takes place.

Ice builds up, out or down (depending on the brand) while water that did not freeze, continues to cycle through.  The cube is essentially built one thin layer at a time, the purest water freezing while water with impurities, air bubbles, etc. continues to cascade through the system again.  The best way to understand this dynamic is in comparison to the old ice cube trays so many of us grew up with in the home freezer.  All the water is poured into the tray, then it goes into the freezer.

Since there is no mechanism to remove the impurities, and the ice freezes from the outside in, the impurities are all trapped in the tray.  The result, as we all know, is a cloudy white cube that looks like a blizzard in a snow globe.  Now, I wish I could say that clear ice cubes are exclusive to ice machines provided by Icesurance, and that we have some kind of proprietary method, but that’s just not reality.

The truth is, however, that when a customer rents or buys an ice machine from us, whether it is a classic cube producing Kold-Draft, or an Ice-O-Matic or Hoshizaki, they should know that they are dealing with an entity that understands the importance of clarity, that ice in a drink represents far more than a temperature change.  It’s a pure reflection of a commitment to quality.

A Little Story About Ice-O-Matic Nugget Ice Machines

It’s virtually virgin territory, you know, the science of identifying different personality traits by ice machine selection.  Luckily, a new study conducted by the UEWN (University of East Western Nome) helps shed some light on the subject.  As is standard practice, the application of proper scientific method begins with a hypothesis, and we must thank Professor Fruzensak for his great insight and general preoccupation and subsequent observation of the far ranging phenomena that have contributed to the formulation thereof.

The professor, also known as the Jane Goodall of the equipment aisle, was in the process of surveying reproductive habits of sous chefs in the small wares department of several well known restaurant supply houses throughout the Billings, Mt. area.

While this endeavor unfortunately fell short and failed to add to the vast quantity of knowledge previously accumulated on the subject by predecessors such as Dr. B. Anna Foster and her graduate assistant, Sherry Flambe, as published in their seminal work: Fifty Chefs of Gay; a tongue in cheek look at Prevalent Patterns of Preheating Promiscuity.  Meanwhile, back behind the over-fired broiler, Fruzensak noticed a strange but curious development.

It began with the nugget ice machines on display.  More often than not, a particular purchaser would approach the Ice-O-Matic nugget ice machine and uncontrollably launch into what can only be described as an Ethel Merman impersonation of Gene Kelly’s rendition of Singing in the Rain.

Could there be something diabolical afoot, or was this joy purely associated with a natural reaction to the sense of joy that the whimsical ice nuggets create, whether one chooses ice machine leasing with guaranteed ice or decides on a full service lease to own?  At this point, Fruzensak eschewed lewd food dudes and focused his powers of observation purely on the mood altering effects of ice machines on an unsuspecting public.

Could it actually be possible that nugget ice machines on a full service lease with guaranteed ice preternaturally predict predilections promoting propositions of precocious proprietary precedence? Oh, Casey, there is joy in Mudville, Fruzensak has inextricably linked the predominant purchaser of Ice-O-Matic nugget ice machines to viewers of movies co-starring Donald O’Connor.

Make Money and Save Money with Icesurance Financing Plan

Still thinking about that new ice maker, but the cash outlay is just too inconvenient right now?  Well, equipment financing may just possibly be an excellent vehicle for you to consider.  Now, I realize that some of you are philosophically resistant to the financing concept and are turned off by the very idea of it.

OK, we all know that if you write the check to buy a machine outright the amount you pay is mathematically, empirically, and scientifically less then it will add up to over a 36 month lease to own term.  There is no arguing that fact.  However, there are mitigating factors to ice machine financing that make this method much closer in financial terms and certainly, much more user friendly in general.

The cost of money aside, a nominal monthly payment as opposed to a several thousand dollar outlay will not cause tremors in your checking account.  Additionally, the tax advantages afforded by leasing in conjunction with tax code section 179 may easily make your ice machine finance agreement the most profitable decision you make this year.

It may seem unbelievable but the amount you may be able to deduct will probably exceed your cash outlay for the year.  Let’s back track for a moment:

You have a a 12 year old ice machine that has officially reached the level of clunker, it’s finicky and  unreliable, and you’re spending big dollars to service it and buy ice every weekend because the bin is empty.

Your managers are distracted from the full house, and are now actually leaving the premises to drive over to the 7Eleven to buy some more ice.

But you don’t have 7500 bucks in the budget to get a new ice machine and the idea of leasing still hasn’t warmed your heart because affordable monthly payments, a bin full of ice, and management focus on customers are not enough to win you over.

Well, add the tax benefits of section 179 and the scales may tip.

At Icesurance we offer all types of ice machine lease or finance plans to choose from.

Don’t forget that the same lease or finance programs apply to our excellent selection of soft serve, frozen yogurt, and margarita machines as well.  Just 3 servings a day at market pricing can pay the lease on a 2 flavor machine.  Can you sell 3 servings a day?

Kold-Draft Classic Square Cubes

I was speaking with Signori X just the other day.  You probably know of him, he’s an icon in the restaurant & lounge scene, and easily recognized by the floor length cape made from artisan prosciutto and aged Grana Padano.  Some of his venues set the standard for international sheik, and are patronized by celebs, debutantes and hedge funders, founders and finders alike.  He had just returned from the soft opening of Schmaltz, in Dubai, and we were discussing the ice machines for his new Westside Asian Fusion Lounge and hair salon project:  Medusa  A La Mode .

“X”, I said, “how do you envision the role of ice in your new space?”  From behind dark glasses he replied tersely: “ Cubes do not roll,  especially Kold-Draft ice cubes, the classic American square ice cube.”   “Brilliant”, I said, “these spectacular ice cubes make total sense”.   Again the legend with the sea urchin smile (with essence of mint and caper berry vapor) corrected me.  “cents?  no, no my friend,  dollars.”  Well, I might as well have been in Mumbai because the only thought I had was “Holy Cow, this guy is gouda. “How does serving the perfect square cube translate into ch-ching”, I queried?

The impresario was obviously taken aback.  He sternly stared me down with balsamic reduction eyes and flaring escargot nostrils. Yet with the paternal grace of a venerable sensei, he laid it out like a sushi roll, in digestible pieces.  “The ice is not merely a refrigerant, it is an ingredient.  We are particular about the quality of the spirits we serve and we don’t want to mitigate the customer experience by pouring them over inferior ice.  The Kold-Draft classic square cube elevates the esthetic elegance and it doesn’t over dilute the balance of flavor.  If chilling was all that mattered, you could keep the bottle in the fridge and use paper cups.  We don’t serve a 20 year aged single malt over the same ice that comes with a Happy Meal”.


Kold-Draft equipment is available from Icesurance.   We specialize in full service ice machine leasing, ice machine sales, and service.

This above is based on an untrue story.  The names have not been changed to protect the indolent.

Now is the Time to Finance your Ice Machine, Frozen Yogurt Machine and Frozen Drink Machine for Summer Success

Yes, I realize it’s mid-February with several feet of snow glazing the Earth’s crust throughout so much of the country, but believe it or not, it’s time to think about that soft serve ice cream/ frozen yogurt machine that’s going to be a great addition to your business this summer.  Don’t wait until that heat wave hits, because it just might be too late to get exactly what you need in time to capture the season.  The entire genre of this equipment is so versatile offering the capability of producing top notch treats from ice cream cones to cakes to novelties like fruit based parfaits or signature ice cream sandwiches.  Like so many other endeavors, you are only limited by your imagination.  We offer a huge selection of SaniServ machines, there’s one that’s right for you whether your needs are for a high volume ice cream store, a country club or beach location, or a coffee café.

The same sentiment is true for frozen drink machines.  You can be serving goblets of ice cold frozen Margaritas and Pina Coladas when the temperature rises… and nothing adds more value to a cocktail than serving it in that ultimate refreshing form of slushy decadence.   These puppies not only give your customer a taste sensation thrill, but what better marketing is there than a tray of frozen margaritas dressed up with orange slices & a cherry are delivered to the bachelorette party at table 7?  Just add some zing and increase the ring.  We have a huge selection of machines to choose from, so every application has a solution.

OK, the truth is that this equipment is not cheap, and that’s one of the benefits of dealing with Icesurance.  You don’t have to lay out thousands of dollars to get started, as we offer some terrific acquisition programs to choose from.  At Icesurance we offer programs to finance ice cream machines and to finance frozen drink machines.  This is also called a lease to own.  These payment plans offer you the ability to choose the length of the term from anywhere from 12 to 60 months and earn equity with every payment, all while working within your own cash flow budget.  And at the end of the term, it’s yours.

To find out if yogurt or ice cream machine leasing is the right choice for your business, please do not hesitate to contact us.  One of our representatives will be glad to assist you.  And while you’re planning for the next warm season, don’t forget that we also offer all types of ice machines too.  And we have a great selection of ice machine leasing and ice machine finance plans to offer.  Thank you for stopping by the site, I hope that you will visit us again. We can be reached at 800-999-5616.

Industry Trade Shows and their continued (ir)relevance

As a food service equipment purveyor, I took the compulsory stroll through the International Hotel/ Motel & Restaurant show in NYC recently, for about the 35th year in a row, to see if there was anything new that captured my interest.  Unfortunately, with the exception of some video loops playing in the exhibitor’s booths’, the event could be best described as a nostalgic visit to 1979.  Even with all the rented display packages and flat screens, one can still find that old tradeshow favorite, the skirted table scattered about, still serving like Japanese plane spotters in Mindanao during the Johnson administration. Nothing says hip more than an eight foot folding table wrapped in pleated blue polyester.  The only thing missing from this time warp was the bank of pay phones.  Of course the show’s footprint is smaller and the traffic seems lighter.  What used to require a two day tour now takes a Gilligan-esque three hours.

So, I wonder, is there real value for show goers anymore (me)?  Even if one discounts the associated expenses, which add up quickly, (tolls, parking, meals, hotel, etc.) and judge the experience purely on the benefits achieved via attending, is it worth the time, or is one possibly more productive prosecuting their normal daily routine, and deferring the process of learning about industry innovations to less archaic constructs, such as the internet?  While there is no universal answer, I am afraid that the viability of the trade show for this writer is quickly slipping past the horizon and into the dark.  And it’s not just the singular show offering, it’s the constant cycle. Can one really see something, in the equipment sector, at the March 8th International Restaurant Show at Jacob Javits Convention Center in NYC that is substantially different from anything displayed at the International Hotel/ Motel & Restaurant Show at Jacob Javits Convention Center in NYC 120 days earlier? While there’s always an exception to any grand proclamation, the question is whether that exception is worth the schlep.

As annoying as it is, the answer, for me, is yes.  Despite the irrelevance of the booths, the displays, the toothpick served samples, etc. these shows present an opportunity to see old friends, customers, vendors, and competitors, and catch up, have a laugh, or share some intel.  It would just be so much better on a cruise ship or in Punta Cana without all the trappings of a trade show, a concept engineered by the best marketing minds of the middle ages, to attract and entice a bevy of awestruck peasants with shiny and colorful objects.   We’re not awestruck anymore, but see you at NAFEM anyhow.

Common Problems Found in an Unmaintained Ice Machine

A good working ice machine is a necessity for restaurants, bars, hotels, food production facilities, and any business serving a large amount of customers. However, ice machines do occasionally run into maintenance problems and require repairs.

If you find that you are frequently coming across issues that interfere with your ice production, purchasing a higher quality ice machine or leasing an ice machine that comes with a maintenance plan would be options worth considering. The following are a few of the problems that can occur if your machine is not serviced regularly:

  • If the temperature of the water flowing into the ice machine is not cold enough, it will take longer to freeze, throwing off the machine’s freeze cycle and causing a number of problems. This could cause the ice to form differently and not be as clear as it should be.
  • Leaking water can also affect the production of the ice machine. Depending on where the leak is coming from can cause your machine to run into error codes or ice cubes may not form properly.
  • Electrical problems can also cause ice machine to malfunction. This could be due to bad circuitry in the machine or poor connections in the wires leading to the machine.

Many ice machine problems can be avoided by buying the right ice machine for your location. A few of the top brands include Ice-O-Matic, Kold-Draft, and Hoshizaki. All three of these brands are available from ICEsurance, where we take care of and provide our customers with only the best and highest quality ice machines. ICEsurance also offers leasing programs where we cover all maintenance of the ice machine, 7 days a week.  Contact ICEsurance today to find out more about our ice machines available.

4 Reasons to Get an Ice-O-Matic Ice Machine

An ice machine can be found in most restaurants and food production facilities. The machines make large quantities of ice very quickly, and for most restaurants, this is all that is required of an ice machine. To ensure the best ice machine, however, all restaurants need to consider Ice-O-Matic machines. Ice-O-Matic makes a variety of ice machines that make ice in different shapes and sizes, but for your everyday needs. The following are some of the benefits of buying an Ice-O-Matic ice machine:

  • Ice-O-Matic offers an option of Nugget ice or crushed ice. This is very popular at some fast food restaurants because it is really easy to chew. For those who prefer eating their ice over enjoying their drink, nugget ice is the way to go.
  • Whether a soda, a mixed drink, or simply a fruity beverage, crushed ice will make it taste watery and unsatisfying in a matter of minutes. Cubed ice, on the other hand, will not melt as quickly as nugget ice, and will not dilute a drink as quickly. Yet it will cool your drink to the perfect temperature in very little time.
  • Ice-O-Matic ice machines are used by the best. Starbucks iced lattes, Costco Cokes, and most sit-down restaurants and bars. This isn’t just because they are inexpensive and efficient, but because they are the best.
  • Have you ever stuck the straw into what you thought was the bottom of the cup only to find that the ice has clumped together, blocking you from reaching the last few sips of your drink? This is a minor annoyance, but why deal with this when you don’t have to?

If you want to learn how to get an Ice-O-Matic ice machine for your restaurant please contact Icesurance today to find out how we can help. Leasing and Financing options are available.

Why Is Flake Ice a Good Choice for Seafood Presentation?

Flake ice is just one of the many different types of ice used for keeping drinks, produce, and other food items cold. It has become especially popular for keeping fish cool. Whenever you go to a fresh fish market, the fish are laid on a bed of flaked ice. There are several reasons for this, not least of which is the fact that fish stored in flake ice will remain in top condition for up to five days.

fresh seafood displayed on flake ice

Another reason why flake ice is so popular for the preservation of fish is because of its availability. Flake ice is easy to buy or to make yourself, if you choose. While flake ice used to refer to any type of small, irregularly shaped ice, the term is also used interchangeably with “scale ice.” This is the type of ice used most often for cooling fish; flake ice is made commercially by freezing water in large flat pieces and then breaking up that water with a blade. The ice is usually made on large drums, where thin films of water are poured and frozen before being cooled to well below 0 degrees Celsius. The extremely cold temperatures make the ice brittle, which causes it to shatter in to small flat pieces when broken by a blade.

Fresh seafood onice displayThe second reason for the popularity of flake ice is that it is highly portable and packable. Flake ice, because it is stored in small chunks, packs down better than block ice, the most common alternative for cooling fish. More efficient packing makes it easier to load and transport, and the smaller size means that it can be shifted more easily when needed. It can also be loaded and unloaded quickly, and placing the ice under and around fresh fish takes very little time.

Flake ice has a remarkably large cooling capacity, due to the small size of the individual pieces and to the super low temperatures to which it has been cooled. Because the pieces of ice are small and flat, there is a greater amount of surface area exposed to the fish, and thus the ice cools the fish more quickly than the lower surface area of block ice. It also tends to cool more quickly than granular ice or crushed ice, and while its small size causes it to melt quickly, the melted water tends to freeze into a thin skin, slowing the melting and further loss of the ice.

Finally, flake ice can keep seafood cool and fresh for many days. It is most often used on fishing boats, where its quick cooling capacity is ideal for cooling the fish immediately after being caught. Flake ice is most effective in bringing the fish’s temperature down from the warmer ocean temperature to the freezing temperatures needed for storage and transport.

It is also important that flake ice be made from fresh water, especially before being used in stores. For this reason, an ice machine is a popular choice for making smaller quantities of flake ice that can be used at retail locations in private displays. Contact ICEsurance for more information about flake ice machines.