Jeff Flowers on May 18, 2016 8 Comments There are many benefits to having an undercounter ice maker that’s built directly into your kitchen or home bar. Not only do you have ice on demand, but you will never have to make a last-minute ice run ever again. However, with such a unique appliance it’s not uncommon for homeowners to have questions about how to get the most out of their unit. To help homeowners troubleshoot, we’ve compiled a list of the most common questions about undercounter ice makers. Click Here to Shop for Undercounter Ice Makers What are the installation requirements? Do you need a pump? Do you need a special plug? When would you need to add a water line? What are the maintenance and cleaning requirements What are the capacity requirements and differences? What are the common features of built-in ice makers? Do you need a water filter? Should you use the first batch of ice? If you have a question about your built-in ice maker that you don’t see listed here, please leave us a comment down below or give us a call at 1-877-607-2517. 1. What are the installation requirements? Proper installation of an undercounter ice maker will ensure that the machine works properly and does not leak water into your home or business. Improper installation could lead to reduced ice production, damage to the machine, a shortened lifespan of the unit and possibly damage to your home. To ensure you install your ice machine correctly, we would recommend following these tips: We would not recommend installing an ice machine near an oven, grill, dishwasher or any other appliance that generates heat. This additional heat may have a negative effect on the production of ice, as well as possibly shorten the overall lifespan of the unit itself. Unless you have an ice maker that is built for the elements, we would not recommend installing your unit in a location that is exposed to wind, rain or extreme temperatures. If you want to install a unit outside, we would recommend buying an outdoor ice maker, as these units are designed to withstand the elements. Undercounter ice makers must be level in order for to function in an optimal manner. It’s recommended that if you install an ice maker into your countertops, that you do so on a level surface or use leveling legs. These can be found at any local hardware store. When you’re installing an ice machine into your countertops, it’s recommend that you leave a little bit of space behind, above and on the sides of the unit. This gives the appliance the proper amount of ventilation so it doesn’t over heat, as well as makes it easier for you to access the unit if you need to repair or change out a filter. The amount of space may vary from unit to unit, but the instruction manual that comes with the unit you buy should give you a better idea of what works best for your machine. While it is possible for a homeowner to install an undercounter ice machine, we do recommend hiring a plumber or licensed contractor to help ensure that all installation requirements are met. 2. Do you need a pump? A condensate removal pump helps eliminate excess water from your undercounter ice maker. This pump is beneficial if the drain is far away from the machine or if the water must travel on an incline to reach the drain. Most undercounter ice makers are equipped with a pump option. External drain pumps can also be purchased. Gravity drains use the earth’s gravity to remove water from your ice maker. If the drain is pretty close to the machine and located on a decline, then a gravity drain may be a sufficient solution for you. Pump drains are not necessary for most built-in ice makers, but they are preferred for many models. Gravity drains must be lower than the drain outlet of the ice maker to ensure the proper flow of water. They must also be no further than 12 inches from the ice maker. If these two conditions cannot be met, then a pump drain must be used. 3. Do you need a special plug? It is important that you check the electrical requirements of the specific model you are interested in prior to purchasing it. Most undercounter ice makers will work with a common household outlet (3-prong, 110V–120V) and will not require a dedicated power line or the need for special wiring. 4. When would you need to add a water line? All built-in ice makers require a dedicated water line. Unfortunately, this may require you to hire a plumber for installation. If adding a water line is not an option in your space, you may want to consider purchasing a portable ice maker. These units have the ability to quickly produce ice without the need for a dedicated water line. 5. What are the maintenance and cleaning requirements? Like any appliance, general maintenance will be required to ensure you get the most from it. Specific cleaning instructions may vary for different units, and the details will be listed in the product manual that comes with it. However, we have listed out a few general guidelines that do apply to all ice makers. Unplug the unit and remove any ice. Remove as many of the parts as possible from the inside of the machine, specifically the parts that come in contact with ice. For any parts your remove, give each of them a wash with a detergent designed to remove lime scale build-up, rinse them off and let them air dry. Once they are completely dry, reassemble the machine, plug it back in and restart it. Discard the first batch of ice produced after the cleaning. We recommend using a cleaning detergent that is specifically-formulated for ice makers. However, what’s most important is that you use a nickel-safe detergent that can remove a build-up of hard water or lime scale, as well as eliminate potential algae growth in various parts of the Each undercounter ice maker will have an owner’s that contains detailed and specific cleaning instructions. 6. What are the capacity requirements and differences? Ice production capacity is defined as the amount of ice that can be produced by a machine within a 24-hour period. The production capacity will be reduced if the ambient temperature around the ice maker is extreme, such as near an oven or dishwasher. Production capacity may also be reduced if the machine is already at its storage capacity. Storage capacity is defined as the amount of ice the unit can store and keep frozen. Storage capacity is typically less than production capacity so that the ice produced will be used in a short amount of time. 7. What are the common features of built-in ice makers? As the case with most appliances, there are many features available for undercounter ice makers. Depending on your budget and what you’re looking for, some of these features may appeal to you while others may seem frivolous. One of the most popular features that people take into consideration is the shape of ice the machine produces. Different shapes of ice include — crescent, cube, nugget, flake and gourmet. 8. Do you need a water filter? No. You do not need a water filter for you ice maker to produce ice. However, we strongly recommend that you use a filter to give you the best tasting ice. By removing sediment from the water, you remove particles that not only leave unwanted tastes and odors in the ice, but may also cause unwanted wear and tear on the unit itself. Unfiltered water may also cause lime scale, slime and mold to build-up within the unit, leaving your machine in an unsanitary state and leading you to have to clean it more frequently. 9. Should you use the first batch of ice? No. After installing or cleaning your undercounter ice machine, you should always discard the first batch of ice that the unit produces. This will help you be sure that the ice produces is free of dust or chemical residue. Whether you’re troubleshooting a problem or just trying to get the most from your ice machine, getting the answers to your questions is important for us. If you have a question not on the list above, please leave us a comment down below and we’ll get you an answer.