Shop All Ice-O-Matic Shop All Scotsman Shop All Manitowoc Shop All Commercial Ice Machines


Icemaker, Ice Maker, or Ice Machine?

Learn Which Type Is Right For Your Specific Needs

An icemaker, ice maker, or ice machine generally refers to an add-on component for making ice, found inside a home freezer; a stand-alone appliance for making ice; or a commercial machine for making ice on a large scale. The terms “ice maker” and “ice machine” usually refer to the stand-alone appliance, although the implied name can vary depending on the application. What’s important is that you understand the basic types of ice makers and how they are best used in our day-to-day lives.


Portable Ice Makers

Portable Ice Makers are generally compact in size; do not need a permanent water line; they plug into any standard 110V outlet; and you only need to pour water into them. Portable ice makers will make ice very quickly (in as little as 6 minutes), however, they are not freezers and thus will not keep the ice frozen for any length of time. The ice will melt, and the machine will continuously recycle the water to make more ice. Also, these small models can only hold a tiny fraction of their full ice making capacity (up to 35 lbs. per day), so you will need to empty them frequently if you need more ice to be made.

One of the best uses for a portable ice maker is its ability to be easily moved between the kitchen, rec-room, bar, patio, poolside, etc. Their small size also makes them great companions while camping, during picnics, tailgaiting, boating, or any other outdoor application.


Undercounter or Home Ice Makers

As the name implies, Undercounter Ice Makers are designed with front ventillation to allow them to be built in or between cabinetry. Built-in ice makers should be installed by a professional plumber. They take a permanent water line, and some of them also need a drain line. These can store much more ice than a portable model, and can keep it frozen for longer periods of time.

The vast majority of consumer oriented built-in ice makers do not offer a refrigerated storage bin. At some point the ice produced will melt and the resulting water may need to be drained from the machine. The most common way to achieve this goal is to establish a permanent gravity drain line. The gravity drain line will exit the back of the machine and carry the water to a nearby drain located below the ice maker.