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Manitowoc Ice Machine Troubleshooting

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From hotels and hospitals to restaurants and cafeterias, fresh ice is a must. Manitowoc Ice is one of the best at making it. They manufacture some of the top ice makers in the foodservice industry, ranging from undercounter to standalone S models. There’s never really a good time for an ice machine to stop working. While it’s not a common occurrence, a couple of issues can pop up occasionally when the unit runs on a daily basis. That’s why we have easy tips for troubleshooting a Manitowoc ice machine, so you can find and solve the problem quickly.

This guide is to help machine operators identify potential problems quickly. Most of the issues will need to be resolved by an authorized service technician. Below is troubleshooting help for popular modes like Indigo NXT, Flake and NEO series machines.

Ice Machine Doesn’t Operate

  • No power – It’s the one question everyone sighs after hearing: “is the unit plugged in?” Just check. You might be pleasantly surprised that your problem has an easy, cost-free solution.
  • Tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse – Is the breaker tripped or a fuse blown? Check your box for these problems.
  • Toggle switch isn’t on – If the ON/OFF/WASH switch isn’t set properly, or is somehow stuck between those options, your machine won’t operate. Make sure the switch is set to ON.
  • Damper is open – If the damper is held open in the down position, the machine will shut off until ice or any foreign obstructions are cleared. The damper must be upright and capable of swinging freely.

Ice Machine Stops, Restarts When Switched Off and On Again

  • Safety limit is triggered – The safety limit on some Manitowoc units is designed to stop the ice machine if there is a possibility of major component failure. Switch the machine off and back on again. If the ice machine continues to run, the condition has corrected itself and you’re good to go. If the machine stops again, an authorized service technician will need to repair the issue.

Slow or Long Harvest / Not Releasing Ice

  • Dirty machine – A dirty machine can slow down the harvest cycle or impede ice from releasing. Clean and sanitize the ice machine following the instructions in the owner’s manual.
  • Machine isn’t level – Is the ice machine level? Your unit must sit flat on the floor for optimal performance.
  • Ambient temperature is too warm – On air-cooled models, the air temperature must be at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit or 4 degrees Celsius. Make sure the room isn’t too hot.
  • Water regulating valve leaking – On water-cooled models, if the water regulating valve is leaking in harvest mode, it could cause a problem. Replace the valve.

Ice Machine Not Harvesting

  • Timer hasn’t stopped – The harvest sequence cannot be initiated until a 6-minute freeze timer has elapsed. If ice forms before then, it will be held until the timer completes.
  • Ice thickness probe is dirty or disconnected – Clean the probe if it’s dirty. If the ice thickness probe need adjustment, make sure it’s adjusted so the water flow, not the ice, contacts the probe to initiate a harvest.
  • Uneven ice fill – If the ice is thin at the top of the evaporator, continue reading for the solution further down in this post under the problem “shallow or incomplete cubes.”

Ice Quality is Poor, Soft or Not Clear

  • Poor water quality – If your water quality is poor, there are many potentially expensive problems that can occur. Contact a qualified service company to test water quality and for the right filter recommendations.
  • Water filters are broken or dirty – If you already have a filtration system, your water filter may need replacing.
  • Dirty machine – Lime scale can cause poor ice quality. Follow the manufacturer’s instruction to clean and sanitize your machine.

Making Hollow, Shallow or Incomplete Ice Cubes

  • Ice thickness probe out of adjustment – See if the ice thickness probe need adjustment.
  • Water level is too high or low – Make sure the water trough level isn’t too high or too low.
  • Water temperature is too high – Ice machines require a cold water supply. Make sure there is not a hot water supply line into the machine.
  • Water filter is broken – The water filter might be too dirty or damaged. You’ll need to replace it.
  • Water pressure is too low – The water pressure into the machine must be 20-80 psi (137.9-551.5 kPA).
  • Water float valve – See if the water float valve and its filter screen are dirty. Either can cause shallow or incomplete ice cubes.
  • Machine isn’t level – Make sure the machine is level. The machine must sit flat on the floor for optimal performance.

Not Making Ice or Making Low Amount of Ice

  • Disconnected water supply – Is the water supply connected? Make sure the water service valve is open.
  • Water float valve – See if the water float valve and its filter screen are dirty. Either can cause low ice capacity.
  • Condenser is dirty – Make sure the condenser is clean and free of obstructions, especially in air-cooled models.
  • Air temperature is too high – The air temperature must not exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) in air-cooled models.

Ice Machine is Leaking Water

  • Faulty or broken water pump – If the leak is coming from the inside of your ice machine, one cause can be a broken or faulty water pump. Have an authorized service technician check it out.
  • Cracked or loose water lines, pipes or tubing – Check the water lines and pipes if you find a water leak. This could mean that the water line is damaged or worn, or the connection is loose.
  • Faulty or broken water inlet valve – The water inlet valve allows the ice machine to control the amount and flow of water to make ice, and if it’s broken or faulty, it may need to be replaced by a service tech.
  • Clogged drains –  A clogged drain means your ice machine can’t drain correctly and will cause an overflow. Make sure there isn’t any debris on or surrounding the floor drain or the main drain line to your ice machine.

Ice Thickness Probe Issues on Ice Machine

  • Sometimes the cause of an issue in your ice machine can be the ice thickness probe. If your ice machine is making oddly-shaped ice or it just doesn’t want to harvest, it could be your ice thickness probe. Here’s what to look out for when checking your ice thickness probe.
  • Damage, cracks or bulging – If you notice anything unusual, like damage or bulging, call your authorized service technician to check out the ice thickness probe
  • Improper gap – An ice thickness probe should have a gap of 9/32 inches (7 mm). If the gap is too large or small, it can affect ice production. You can adjust the gap of the ice thickness probe by turning the adjustment screw on it. Increase the thickness by turning the screw clockwise, or decrease the thickness by turning it counter-clockwise. To know if you’re within the proper gap range, here’s a way to determine thickness when adjusting the screw:
    • A 120-degree (1/3 revolution) turn = 1/16 inch (1.5mm)

And make sure the ice thickness probe is swinging freely.

If you’re still searching for help, check out our collection of Manitowoc Ice machine manuals. Don’t own a Manitowoc machine? Look through our general commercial ice machine troubleshooting guide for assistance.

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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