Cleaning your ice maker is the number one thing you can do to cut down on maintenance costs. Anyone can do it, especially on the newer Manitowoc models, which have been designed to be easily accessible, requiring nothing more than a screw driver to access the most important parts. However, a proper cleaning can take an experienced technician up to 4 hours. So let’s look at what it takes to properly clean a Manitowoc ice maker.
Regularly scheduled cleanings can help reduce the time it takes to clean your ice machine. Although bacteria can grow inside, the most time consuming part is removing the hard water or scale build up. Scale builds up over time, so more frequent cleanings means there is less effort needed to remove it.
Using the correct cleaner is also very important, most Manitowoc evaporators are nickel plated. If the incorrect solution is used it can remove the nickel, thus ruining the evaporator. Check in your Installation Use and Care Manual to see what cleaner is recommended for your specific ice maker.
When cleaning the evaporator, where the ice forms, use a small nylon brush. Do not use anything too abrasive or you will risk scratching the plates. It’s important for the evaporator to have a smooth surface, free of nicks, scratches, or scale, so that the ice can harvest properly. It is also important to scrub inside the cavities of the evaporator, not just the easy to reach places.
The majority of Manitowoc ice makers also include two sensors or probes that must be cleaned thoroughly. The ice thickness probe, which is mounted to the top of the evaporator and the water level probe, which resides in the water trough. These probes can be removed easily by disconnecting from the control board and must be scrubbed completely. Any scale build up on the plastic or on the metal will cause the sensors to read continuity incorrectly.
Last, make sure that all bacteria has been scrubbed along the plastic frames of the ice machine. These areas are considered food zones, so proper sanitation is required. Slime and scale can also prohibit proper water flow from the distribution tube and pump assemblies. In addition, the removal of all bacteria, even on the sides, will slow it’s growth in between cleanings.
Remember, it’s very difficult to tell if the metal parts in the ice maker are clean, when they are wet. After a good cleaning, shut the machine down and allow the evaporator and components to dry off. Once dry you will be able to see if there is any white residue or scale left. Multiple cleanings are some times required, but the time spent on a good cleaning will save on maintenance costs later. tube ice machine