Five Installation Guidelines for a Countertop Ice Maker

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After purchasing an under-counter ice maker for your home or business, installation is the next step. Although it is strongly recommended that you not only have a licensed plumber install your unit but also follow the installation instructions outlined in the owner’s manual, we have a few tips that, if adhered to, will make the installation process go more smoothly. 

Five Installation Guidelines for a Countertop Ice Maker

1. Environmental Concerns

Year-round, the ambient temperature surrounding your ice maker must be between 50- and 85-degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, your ice maker must be shielded from environmental elements such as rain, wind, water sprays, and drips. 

It is recommended that you position the ice machine away from appliances that emit great heat, such as an oven, grill, or even a dishwasher. 

2. Water Concerns

Additionally, the water temperature used in the ice maker must be between 45°F and 85°F year-round. 

Before installation, you should ensure that your water pressure is at least 15 psig and does not exceed 80 psig static pressure. 

3. Level Ground

For the ice maker to function correctly, it must either be leveled using the leveling legs or placed on the ground that is already level. 

4. Clearance Requirements

It is prudent to provide clearances of 2/5 in. in the unit’s rear, 1 in. on its top, and 1/5 in. on each side. This area offers sufficient service access and ventilation. 

5. Discard 1st batch

Although most ice makers are cleaned at the factory, the first batch of ice produced is recommended to be discarded. 

If you follow these five tips and hire a licensed plumber to install your ice maker, the installation process will go smoothly, and you will enjoy ice in no time. 


Your ice machine works hard, but over time things like mineral deposits and even bacteria can build up inside, leading to ice that tastes less than fresh. Experts say ice machines should be cleaned about once every 9 months, or more frequently if you live in an area with hard water or high humidity.

The system should be sanitized using a solution of water and 5.25% sodium hypochlorite (chlorine bleach). Any commercial sanitizer recommended for ice machine application is acceptable.

According to FDA regulations, ice needs to be stored and handled like food, and that means ice machines need to be regularly cleaned. Food Law 2009 Chapter 4 specifies that ice machines must be cleaned and sanitized at the frequency recommended by the manufacturer, which is generally at least 2 to 4 times per year.

The cost for a plumber to install a water line for an ice maker is usually under $200.

Now using a spray bottle with half and half vinegar and water solution inside and spray all around the unit. Make sure to spray those areas that have mold and calcium real good.

An industrial ice machine and ice bin provide the perfect environment for microbial growth to flourish. It’s dark, damp, and employees tend to forget to clean and sanitize the bin weekly. More importantly, nutrient-rich air allows ice maker mold and slime to grow exponentially.

If your ice machine has the right amount of water but it’s still not making ice, the water supply line could be blocked. This can happen over time if you haven’t cleaned the machine in a while — especially if you have hard water, which can lead to mineral buildup.

Just use cold water and be done with it. If you use hot water, you will lose capacity. the small amount of water going into a domestic fridge ice maker would probably be room temperature just from sitting in the line waiting to be used whether hooked to hot or cold.

Most undercounter ice makers do require a drain line, but there are exceptions, like the EdgeStar IB120SS, that do not. These models act as a freezer and keep the ice frozen, thus no need for a drain line. Other ice makers are not able to keep the ice frozen, and as the ice melts, it needs to drain.

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