Scotsman Ice Machine Troubleshooting

/ Ice Machines, Troubleshooting / September 9

Troubleshooting a Scotsman Ice Machine

Scotsman ice machines are fixtures in many restaurants, hotels and other establishments worldwide. With a wide variety of makers, dispensers and bins that plenty of ice in unique shapes and textures, it’s no surprise why. If these commercial ice makers aren’t running properly, pinpointing the exact problem can be challenging. But don’t worry! Below are some common issues and tips for Scotsman ice machine troubleshooting.

These tips are associated with popular Scotsman models, including Contour Cube, Flaked and Prodigy series machines.

No Power

If the lights and indicators are off with no audible sounds, the machine down be powered down. Here are a couple of clear indicators.


  • Power switch is off or cord is unplugged – Before you start trying to diagnose any problems, check if the power switch is off. This potentially will save you the stress of having to dive deeply into the machine. Also, see if the power cord was unplugged or accidentally knocked out of the outlet. If you notice rips or damage to the cord, replace it with a new one.

  • Blown fuse or tripped circuit – If the power switch is on but there still is no power, you could have a blown fuse or tripped circuit in the building’s fuse box. Reset the circuit breaker or replace the blow fuse.

  • Open transformer – In some units, the machine’s transformer could be open. Have it repaired or replaced by an authorized service technician.


Not Making Ice

When the machine is making small batches of ice or no ice at all, here are some issues that could be the culprit.



  • Leaking or too much water – Leaks can affect the production of ice in your unit. Check if there is leaking through the hot gas, thermal expansion or water inlet valves. In some cases, leaks and excessive water could be coming from worn out fittings, drains and tubing.

  • Dirty condenser or filter – When the freezing and harvest cycles are too long, there might be dirt or scale buildup in the condenser or filter. Cleaning both components should help increase production. If you notice damage to either one, make sure to have it replaced immediately by an authorized technician.

  • Low room temperature – Most Scotsman ice makers won’t produce ice when the temperature is below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure the machine is in a room or setting that is warmer.

  • Fan motor issues – The fan motor might not be turning or has an open pressure control. See if the motor or fan blade is damaged. The controller will need to be tested by an authorized technician.

  • Low refrigerant charge – Low refrigerant charge can impede ice production. An authorized technician will need to check for a low charge and make any necessary repairs, including repairing leaks, recharging refrigerant and replacing any components.

  • Misleading “Bin Full” light – If the “Bin Full” light is on but the bin isn’t full, the ice sensors might need to be cleaned or replaced by a technician.


Making Too Much Ice

A faulty thermistor usually causes the bin to fill with too much ice. An authorized technician will need to test the the thermistor with a multimeter. If the multimeter reading comes back negative, the thermistor will need to be replaced.

Making Noise

Like most ice makers, Scotsman usually have a soft humming sound when in operation. The abnormal noises below might indicate an issue.


  • Vibrations – When you hear vibrating coming from the machine, there are several possibilities. First, see if the fan has a bent blade or its motor mount is damaged. Either component will need to be replaced by a technician. If neither is the culprit, check if the compressor bolts or the mounting screws on the panels need to be tightened. Still hearing vibrations? See if the water pump has worn out bearings. If so, the pump will need to be replaced by a technician. 

  • Squealing sound – If your machine is making a high-pitch squeal, there could be tight or dry bearings in the motor pump. Lubricating the bearing should help eliminate the sound.

  • Grinding sound – This noise usually stems from the unit’s pump. Try cleaning the surrounding area if there is dirt or scale buildup. If that doesn’t help, you may need to have the pump replaced by an authorized technician.

  • Rattling sound – Rattling noises could be attributed to a couple of factors. First, see if there are loose screws on the back panel and fasten them. If that’s not the case, one of the pump’s fan blades could be damaged and causing a loud noise.


Melted or Flawed Ice

If the ice is coming in melted or at a flawed shape, look for the following causes.


  • Excess water melting ice – If water keeps running into the bin, it can melt the ice. Excess water typically is caused by drainage problems. See if there is a blockage in the drain or tubing. Leaks from various valves, fittings and components also can cause a water buildup that melts ice (see “Leaking” in section above for more details).

  • Misshapen ice – While leaking from the curtain or pump hoses can affect the shape your ice, there are other key factors to look for. There could be an insufficient water supply coming into your unit or the water filters might be dirty. Also, defective spray jets might be dirty or broken, causing cubes to be misshaped or a fraction of its intended size.


How to Reset a Scotsman Ice Machine

Like a computer or smartphone, sometimes resetting your Scotsman ice machine is all it takes to get things back in order below are steps that work on most models.  Below is a quick procedure for how to reset a Scotsman Ice machine.


  • Step 1. Look for the control panel and red button – Find the control panel on your unit, and locate the red button on the panel.

  • Step 2. Press the red button – Press down and release the button to power the machine down. All the indicator lights should turn off.

  • Step 3. Locate and press the green button – Locate the green button and hold for a second before releasing. The machine should turn back on and start the reset process.

If you need more info on troubleshooting a Scotsman ice maker, check out our selection of manuals and diagrams by model.

Please contact a local authorized service agent who can help with this specific unit and all your commercial kitchen equipment needs.


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