How Does An Ice Maker Work?

Ice Maker Work
How Does An Ice Maker Work

An ice maker, as the name suggested, is a machine used to make ice. However, how can you make ice from this machine? Let’s see How Does An Ice Maker Work

How many are there types of ice makers?

Each type of ice maker works differently, so you have to know their names with specific operations: commercial ice makers for restaurants, clubs, and bars, built-in ice makers, in-fridge ice makers, Igloo portable ice makers, and “traditional ice maker.”

1. “a traditional ice maker” work?

This is a manual way to make ice. You need to pour water into one, two, or more (depending on your needs) ice cube trays, then put them in your freezer within 2-4 hours. 

2. A built-in ice maker work?

An ice maker inside your refrigerator will make ice automatically. The fridge’s freezer is filled with water through a water line connected to the back of your refrigeration. Before the water enters the ice cube tray, it will be filtrated to eliminate all impurities (rust, chlorine, and dust particles) from the water. The water will enter the ice cube tray through a value that can control the water flow. Finally, you have ice with the shape of the tray.

After you have rock-solid ice cubes, they will be pushed into an ice-holding bucket through a motorized arm. This process keeps continuing until the bucket is filled full.

How can you know when the ice-holding bin has a certain level of ice cubes?

A sensor built in the ice bucket can detect this thing, so your ice maker can stop making ice timely. All your ice cubes are frozen in the ice holding bin. 

Any ice maker has a stirrer that will stir your ice cubes sometimes so that they don’t clump together. Thus, it’s very normal to hear the sound of churning in your refrigerator.

3. A portable ice maker work?

You need to fill the reservoir with water.


Simply lift the lid on the top of the model.

After filling full, the water in the reservoir is pumped up into the ice tray. Now, let you close the top of the machine to make ice. At this stage, the water will contact with some metal prongs protruding from the top of the machine down into the ice tray with the water.

The prongs cold quickly, so you can see the ice forming around the prongs within minutes only. The longer you let the water and prongs contact each other, the larger ice cubes you will have. No matter which portable ice machine you buy, you can choose your favorite ice size (small, medium, and big). When the ice reaches your desired size, your ice maker will empty the remaining water in the tray to come back into the reservoir. The prongs with the ice attached are heated so that ice can slide off into the ice tray.

The ice cubes are pushed from the ice tray into the ice bin using a motorized arm until you have a full water reservoir.

How do you know that it is full?

There is a warning beep.


The portable ice maker, not as a fridge or a freezer, can’t keep your ice frozen forever. Thus, you should use it soon, or at least you need to put it in a freezer bag to store in your freezer and use later. If not, it will melt, and you have nothing.

In case you forget to take the ice from the ice bin, the melted ice will come back into the water reservoir to use later.

4. A commercial ice maker work?

Before anything else, let’s take a look at the appearance of a commercial ice maker. It is a vertical standing ice-making machine that allows you to make a wide range of ice in a short time.

Therefore, I don’t recommend this type of ice maker for individual family home use. Instead, it’s better to use it in places with considerable demand, such as stadiums, hotels, and restaurants.

Unlike the small and compact size of a portable ice machine, a commercial ice maker is big, so water enters the model through a water pump at the back of the machine.

Some modern units come with a water filter that purifies the water to eliminate all minerals before freezing.

After that, the water will pass through to the ice mold with the evaporator coil attached to the rear. This coil functions as a heat exchanger, absorbing heat from mold and the surrounding pipes, so the water also becomes cold until it turns into frozen ice.

After forming ice, it is heated by the refrigerant passing the bypass valve to be released into the ice bin.

When being full, the ice maker will stop working, but it can still cold your ice. If your machine doesn’t have a refrigeration section, your ice will melt slowly.

Unlike regular ice makers, this type of machine makes clear ice that is much colder.

How can?

This machine freezes ice from the inside out in place of freezing whole pockets of water at a time, so you can’t see even a microscopic crack on the surface of the ice. It takes longer for clear ice to melt, so this type of ice can keep your drink cool longer.

Repair & Maintenance : How Do Ice Makers Work?

How does an ice maker work?

There is not a typical answer for all types of ice makers. Generally, there are 3 types of ice makers, and each of them has a typical operation. The built-in ice maker seems the simplest one because everything is almost automatic, but it can’t produce a large amount of frozen ice as the commercial ice maker. If you have a coffee shop, it’s better to invest in a high-quality commercial machine. However, if you need a model that allows you to move easily, it’s best to purchase a portable ice maker. Actually, to save more money, you can apply the traditional ice-making way because it doesn’t require you to buy an ice maker.

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