Cleaning Freestanding Clear Ice Machines

Clear Ice Machines

Tips and Advice for Taking Care of Your Ice Machine

Part 3

 

Ice machine

Freestanding Ice Machines that produce clear ice will require regular cleaning and maintenance. The basics are the same for most brands with the exception that some ice machines have automatic cleaning and will require less maintenance. Here are some considerations:

  1. Water filters. While using filtered water is not always necessary, it's a good idea. Some ice machines come equipped with their own filters that must be replaced regularly. If not, you can always install a standard inline water filter on the incoming water line. Replace the inline filter at least every 6 months.

  2. Cleaning the icemaker should be done every 3-6 months depending on usage and manufacturer recommendations. If the ice cube harvest drops or the ice cubes are cloudy, it's a good sign that your ice machine needs cleaning. Typically, ice machines with built-in cleaning cycles require less frequent cleaning. Here are the steps to follow when *cleaning ice machine:

a). Turn off and unplug the ice machine. Turn off the incoming water supply.

b). Remove all the ice from the ice compartment and wipe out the interior.

c). Remove all the ice machines parts that come into contact with water. Clean all the parts with nickel-free ice machine cleaner. Rinse off and let the parts fully dry.

d). Re-install all the parts and making sure that the ice machine is completely dry.

e). Turn on water, plug-in ice machine and turn on. Discard the first batch or two of ice.

*These are general instructions. By all means follow the directions that come with your specific ice machine. Take good care of your ice machine and you'll enjoy a regular supply of crystal clear ice for years to come.

Here are links to our two previous blogs about clear ice machines:

Part 1: Clear Ice Machines

Part 2: Clear Ice Machines


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How clear ice machines work

Clear Ice Machines from Arizona Wholesale Supply

Part 2

Ice Cubes

Manually, ice is made by filling ice trays with water and placing them in the freezer compartment. With automatic refrigerator ice makers, we automate the process used to make ice manually. Instead of filling trays, water is piped into a tray in the freezer and the zero degree temperature freezes the water. The cubes are then dumped into an ice bucket.

However, with clear ice machines the ice making process* is substantially different. Water is sprayed onto a cold plate that is kept at 32 degrees Farenheit. Since water freezes at 32 degrees, the water freezes against the cold plate while chemicals and other contaminants fall off, leaving nothing but the clear cubes which are then dropped into the ice bin. The machine continues making ice until the bin is full.

The clear cubes consisting of healthy, pure water are always ready for use, and they never stick together or require breaking apart. That's because the ice bin is not a freezer compartment. The ice cubes are continuously melting and being replaced with new ice cubes. The resulting water is continuously sent out the drain. Depending on the brand and feature set that you select, some ice machines will also produce crushed ice, ice that is chewable, and even colored ice.

Crushed-Ice

Just as your refrigerator ice maker, clear ice machines have filters that regularly need replacing. In addition, they need to be cleaned every 6 months (varies with make and model).

This is Part 2 of our blog series on clear ice machines. Click below for Part 1.

Part 1: Clear Ice Machines

Next blog: Cleaning and maintaining your ice machine.

*There are variations on this, but the end result is the same – the water is frozen in a clear condition without contaminants or air to make it cloudy.


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Gifts for your Appliances

Holiday Appliance Tips for the New Year

So you think that you have all your holiday shopping done? Think again. You must buy some Christmas presents for your appliances. The appliance guru insists!

Refrigerator – I replace my water filter once a year (unless it needs to be done sooner. see blog link below.)

Replacing Refrigerator Water Filters

The end of year works out good for me so that I don't forget it. Just add it to your shopping list. While your at it, you may have other filters in your refrigerator that you want to replace also. Look for an air filter in the refrigerator compartment, and a charcoal filter in one or more of the crispers.

refrigerator-water-filter

Refrigerator Water Filter

Oven – You're not going to want to hear this, but after the company has left and before the Super Bowl, you might want to look at your oven interior. Time to clean the oven? **Merry Christmas Oven**

Dishwasher – How often do you clean the filter in the sump of your dishwasher?…Shame on you – you've been naughty. While it should be cleaned regularly, Santa will forgive you if you take about 2 minutes to remove this filter, clean it, and rinse it out.

Washer – The one thing I'd recommend that you do for your washing machine is to examine the hoses. Make sure the connections aren't corroded and that the hoses aren't split or cracked. Replace if necessary.

Dryer – I know that you clean your dryer filter regularly :-), but did you know that lint build up in the dryer vent is the number one cause of house fires. If the vent has never been examined take a look, and pull out any accumulation of lint in the vent line with a coat hanger or even a vacuum. If the vent line is long and has elbows, you may need to get professional help.

These are just a few tips to help your appliances as they head into the New Year – ready to give you another great year of service.


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D-I-Y Appliance Repair

Tips on Fixing Your Own Appliances

Appliance Repair Advice

Having more than just a few years in appliance sales, I've often had the impulse to do some minor repairs on my own appliances. It never went well. For example, replacing a refrigerator door gasket seemed like an easy job, but in my case it turned into a nightmare. Did you know that in the process of replacing a gasket, you may have to remove and re-install both the door and the door liner? Not a fun experience. Here are some tips to save you time and money:

1. Be certain of your diagnosis.

What's the problem? Refrigerator not cooling. This can be many things. If your use and care manual doesn't help, you might be able to get a repair manual and/or a parts list from your nearby appliance parts house. It's not always possible, but it is so much better if you know what needs to be fixed or replaced before you start taking things apart.

2. Learn what you need to do before you begin.

Review online help pages and videos that demonstrate the process. There are many YouTube videos by appliance service companies and appliance manufacturers demonstrating common repairs.

3. Assemble the necessary parts and tools in advance.

Nobody wants to remove a refrigerator and freezer door, only to find out that there is a broken plastic part on the hinge assembly that also needs to be replaced, and by the way, the part is on backorder. Order all the parts you might need, just in case.

4. Clear your work area in advance.

If you're working in the kitchen, at a minimum you'll need a floor mat, a few small boxes or trays for saving screws, bolts, clips or other small parts that need to be re-attached later, and a place to put large parts such as doors, etc. Make a list so you know the order in which you removed parts, and can replace them in the reverse order. In some cases, its better to remove the appliance from the kitchen entirely and take it out to a workshop or garage if you have this option.

5. Have a backup plan.

If you get stuck, be ready to call a friend for help, use the nearby coin laundry until that backordered part arrives, and as always… count on your friends at Arizona Wholesale Supply to save the day with a new appliance!


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Safe and Proper Use of Glass or Ceran® Cooktops

How to Protect your Radiant or Induction Cooking Surface

Smooth glass/ceramic cooking surfaces have many advantages over traditional electric elements. In addition to the smoothtop's clean uninterruped appearance, they're far easier to clean and they provide an even, reliable source of cooking heat. Smooth “glass” cooking surfaces may also referred to by trade names such as Ceran® or even by the manufacturer such as Schott. Whether you're cooking with induction or radiant systems, both cooking surfaces need to be used with care. In the case of induction, spills can be easily wiped up immediately because the top stays relatively cool.

These tops are durable and long-lasting. With care, you can look forward to using them for many years. Nevertheless, they can break if you drop something on them. My daughter's cat pushed a decorative pot off a shelf above her range, and KABOOM! In her case, replacing the top cost almost as much as purchasing a new range.

Cookware

Any cookware with a rough bottom can permanently scratch glass surfaces. This includes your Grandma's favorite cast iron frying pan. Also, check that colorful and expensive ovenware and make sure the bottom is perfectly smooth before you use it on your cooking surface.

Be careful about leaving cooking utensils on the cooking surface. if the plastic handle melts and sticks to the surface, it could ruin the top.

Cooking Ingredients

Sugar and salt, two of the most common ingredients used for cooking can be the enemy of your rangetop. Sugary overflows can carmalize and seep into microscopic spaces in your cooktop where it cannot be removed. A heavy pan on top of gritty salt crystals can permanently scratch the cooking surface. Wipe up spills, especially sugary overflows immediately, and keep the top clean.

Using the top as a work surface

I've recently recently seen advice from a well-known designer, stating that an advantage of a smooth cooking surface is that it can be used as a work surface and even as a prep area. Danger! Danger, Will Robinson! That glass surface is not a cutting board. Nor is it designed as a storage area for heavy items.

Do I need to say this? NEVER stand on the cooktop. It may seem to support your weight. However later, when you turn on the cooktop, as the glass expands it could easily begin to crack or shatter due to unseen stress fractures. The same holds true for placing and leaving heavy items on the cooktop.

Much of this is common sense. It's easy to think of the cooking surface in your kitchen as a continuation of your countertop, but it's not. It's an expensive major appliance.

Please read the manual that came with your cooktop or range for detailed instructions on your specific appliance. In addition, Schott has detailed information on their glass by clicking on their FAQ below:

Schott Ceran


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Refrigerator Use and Care: Icemaker Issues

Refrigerator Icemaker Issues

1. Clearing ice that is clogged in your icemaker bin or mechanism.

It is not unusual for ice cubes to occasionally freeze or clump together in a corner of the ice bucket. Don’t use a knife or other sharp metal device to pry the ice from the bin. You might very well damage your ice bin. The easy and simple way to remove clogged ice cubes no matter where they are in the ice bin is to remove the ice bin from the freezer, turn off the icemaker, and let the ice thaw out. This method works well and avoids damage to your ice bin.

2. Too much ice production or icemaker doesn’t shut off. Not enough ice or icemaker isn’t producing ice.

Issues with insufficient ice production can somtimes be caused if the freezer temperature is too high. Make sure the icemaker is holding a temperature near zero. Refrigerators that are out of level can also have reduced ice production because some of the cube molds don’t fill with water.

If your icemaker doesn’t stop making ice when the bin is full, check the shutoff arm. It could be stuck in an open position. Release the lever and remove excess ice cubes. Similarly, if your icemaker isn’t making ice, the shutoff arm could be stuck in the off position.

If the problem isn’t with the icemaker shutoff arm, examine your water supply line for leaks or kinks. Adjust the water valve for more flow if necessary.

Finally, the filter may be clogged and need replacing.

3. Ice tastes bad.

Clean the ice bucket and the ice tray. Test water in water supply line. Replace the water filter if necessary.

This is part of an ongoing series on refrigerator use and care. Click links below to related blogs:

Refrigerator water filters

Moisture in the refrigerator

 


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Appliance Tips: Refrigerator Care and Maintenance

Getting Rid of Moisture in the Refrigerator

Occasionaly we get complaints from refrigerator owners dealing with water build-up in the refrigerator. This is usually evidenced with drops or even small puddles of water collecting on top of containers in the refrigerator.

First, let’s recognize that there is no function of the refrigerator’s operation that produces water. A line might run from the sink to the refrigerator and connect to the ice-maker and water dispenser, but this water is not produced by the refrigerator, and it is not the cause of moisture in the refrigerator.

3 Causes of Moisture Build-Up in Your Refrigerator

1. Open Containers or uncovered food

If you put leftovers in tupperware or other refrigerator containers, make sure that the container is properly sealed. Cold air needs to circulate around these containers – not inside them. Do not store food uncovered in your refrigerator unless it is in a designated storage bin.

2. Excessive Opening and Closing

Maybe you’re like me, and you like to take inventory in the refrigerator.

SHE: “What are you doing in the refrigerator?”
ME: “I’m just looking.”
SHE: “What for?”
ME: “I don’t know. Just checking.”
SHE: “Close the door!”

So, if you do that, and your kids do that (all day long during summer break), you are letting the cold air out, and introducing warm, moist air into your refrigerator. You’re making your refrigerator work harder and as that warm air is cooled you could get some water droplets on the top of items stored in the fridge.

3. Defective or Dirty Gaskets

When you’re doing the routine cleaning of your refrigerator, make sure that you clean the gasket on your refrigerator and freezer doors. Check the gaskets for tears or gaps. Use the dollar bill test. Put a dollar bill between the door gasket and the refrigerator cabinet and close the door. If the dollar bill falls out or easily slides up and down, you have an air leak, and may need to replace or repair the gasket.

For more refrigerator care and use tips click on the link below to download a helpful pdf:

Refrigerator Use and Care


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Getting to know your new dishwasher

New Dishwasher? What Now?

3 Steps to get you going with your new dishwasher.

Dishwasher

You finally have the new dishwasher you’ve been wanting for so long! You’re just itching to load it full of dirty dishes, and let the new dishwasher do its magic. Well, not just yet. Let’s take a few minutes to familiarize ourselves with this magic machine. Here’s a list of three steps that will get you headed in the right direction:

  1. Check the exterior. Is the dishwasher level? Does the door open and close without rubbing or hitting anything? Make sure that the dishwasher is fastened in and doesn’t fall forward when you open the door. The electrical should be connected to a grounded outlet or junction box, and the water line connected to the water supply and turned on. The dishwasher drain line must also be connected at your disposer or sink. The water inlet and drain fittings should be tight and the hoses should have no kinks. All OK? Let’s move on to step 2.

  2. Check the interior. Have all the packing materials, and manuals been removed? Remove any pieces of styrofoam wedged against the dishwasher racks that keep them from rolling back and forth during shipping. Now, roll the racks back and forth to make sure there is nothing impeding their movement. If everything looks good inside and out, we can move on to step 3.

  3. Find your use and care manual. Somewhere inside your dishwasher, or in an adjacent drawer there should be a plastic bag with the warranty, install instructions, a use and care manual, and various other treasures. Before throwing all this in a box with the rest of your papers, remove the use and care manual from the bag. Well, maybe you’re not going to read the entire manual, but at a minimum you should familiarize yourself with the dishwasher operation and controls…please!

If you want to find out even more on general dishwasher use and care, we’ve produced a new video covering some of the essentials. It’s only about 3 minutes long, and should get you going in the right direction. Watch below:

 

Thanks for watching! For more information feel free to contact Arizona Wholesale Supply Company, Arizona’s leading builder supplier since 1944.

Family Owned and Operated


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Spring Cleaning Your Dishwasher

4 Tips for Cleaning and Maintaining your Dishwasher

1. Clean the dishwasher filter

Some dishwashers have built-in food disposers, i.e. choppers (above) while others have filters that collect larger food particles. Periodically, the filters need to be removed and cleaned. Read the operating instructions of your dishwasher to determine how often your dishwasher filter needs cleaning. We clean ours about once a month.

2. Check for water leaks and bad seals.

It’s a good idea to examine and clean the gasket that seals the dishwasher door with the liner. Eventually, this seal could develop tears, gaps, or cracks. Replace when necessary (service call). Also, take a look at the water inlet connection and hose, as well as the drain hose. If your house is older, the water inlet valve might show some corrosion. Be aware, that this could become a problem, so keep an eye on it. When you eventually replace the dishwasher, replace the connecting hoses as well as the valve. In the meantime, any hoses that show signs of kinks, splits or leaks should be replaced.

3. Inspect the dishwasher interior.

Do the dishwasher racks roll in and out smoothly? You might be able to tighten or replace a faulty wheel. Also, if any of the coating on the racks has worn off, the racks could begin to rust. Take a good look at the dishwasher tank itself, and satisfy yourself that it is also in good condition.

4. Test the controls and give the dishwasher front a good once over.

As long as you’re doing periodic maintenance, test the dishwasher controls. You never know when you might want to use the quick wash, the china cycle, the sani-cyle, etc. Finally, run your hand along the door edges, examine the latch and hinges: lubricate if needed.

Depending on the dishwasher, an average life expectancy could be 10-12 years. Premium dishwashers might easily last for up to 15 years. And at least one of the very high end luxury (expensive) dishwashers is promoted as being built to last 20 years. Take good care of your dishwasher and it will take good care of you.

When it’s time to replace, have your contractor or remodeler contact Arizona Wholesale Supply to help you with a new dishwasher that meets your needs and your budget. Arizona Wholesale Supply carries all the major brands as well as a wide variety of specialty brands, and has been Arizona’s leading distributor since 1944. Family Owned and Operated.

Dishwasher Brands available at Arizona Wholesale Supply

Asko, Bosch, Dacor, Fisher&Paykel Frigidaire, GE, Gaggenau, Electrolux, Jenn-Air, KitchenAid, LG, Maytag, Miele, Monogram, Thermador, Viking, Whirlpool


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Vacation Mode in Your Refrigerator

Preparing your Refrigerator for Your Vacation

If you’re getting ready to take your vacation (assuming it is for a month or less), these are some steps that you should take to make your refrigerator vacation ready and to save energy.

Take a look at the contents of your refrigerater and dispose of perishables such as milk, fruit, and vegetables that would spoil while you are gone. However, do not leave the refrigerator empty. Add a few large plastic jugs filled with water so that there is some content in your refrigerator. The water will retain cold and help keep the refrigerator cool. It will run less frequently and use less enegy.

You should also turn the ice maker off. If the ice maker does not have a separate on/off switch, simply lift the actuator arm on the icemaker to put it into the off position.

Vacation Mode

Many newer model refrigerators have a Vacation or Holiday mode. Depending on the refrigerator, this mode may delay or prevent your refrigerator from going into a defrost mode during your vacation which will save energy. Since the refrigerator door will not be regularly opening and closing while you’re gone, your refrigerator will simply not need to defrost for quite a while. Vacation mode may also turn off the ice maker.

Some refrigerator models have a Sabbath mode which may also be designated as a Holiday mode. Sabbath modes typically prevent the lights from working and disable the dispenser. The Sabbath mode may also turn off the ice maker. Review the operating instructions of your specific refrigerator, because you definitely will want to turn off your ice maker if the Sabbath mode does not.

If you follow these simple instructions you should be able to enjoy your vacation without worrying about your refrigerator back home. For vacations that are going to last much more than a month, there are some other steps that you’ll want to consider. That will be the subject of an upcoming blog. Bookmark this blog or copy and paste the Arizona Wholesale Blog Link below for the next episode on taking care of your appliances while you’re away:

Arizona Wholesale Blog

 


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