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Scotsman Ice Machine Troubleshooting

Scotsman Ice Machine Troubleshooting - Ice Cubes

Scotsman ice machines, dispensers and bins provide ice in unique shapes and textures. If these commercial ice makers aren’t working properly, pinpointing the exact problem can be challenging. If there’s an issue with your unit, this Scotsman ice machine troubleshooting guide will help you identify and resolve equipment issues quickly and easily.

This guide is for Contour Cube models (such as the CME256/500), Flaked units (such as the F0522) and Prodigy series ice makers (like the C0322). If you need more information on diagnosing issues with your unit, our Scotsman Ice Machine Error Codes article is a great resource.

Ice Machine Not Making Ice / Not Making Enough Ice

When the machine is not making or dropping ice at all or is only making small batches of ice, 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’s 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 increase production. If either is damaged, call a licensed technician to replace it.
  • Low room temperature – Most Scotsman ice makers won’t produce or drop 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 the 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. If cleaning the ice sensors doesn’t solve the issue, they should be replaced by a technician.

Ice Maker Not Making Ice After Cleaning

If your ice machine is not making ice after cleaning, it’s likely you didn’t put all the components back properly. Let’s take a look at a couple of Scotsman ice troubleshooting tips to see if we can’t get it working again:

  • Rinse the ice machine – If you did not follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and completely rinse the ice machine of its cleaning and sanitization solution. These chemicals will prevent the water from freezing on the evaporator plate.
  • Check for obstructions – Make sure there are no clogs in the orifice hole in the water distributor. 
  • Reinstall the ice thickness or water level sensor – When cleaning the ice machine, it’s possible that hard water deposits weren’t completely removed from the ice thickness or water level sensor or that it wasn’t reinstalled. 
  • Reinstall the ice curtain – A Scotsman ice machine can’t make ice if the ice curtain is removed during the cleaning process and not reinstalled.
  • Clean or replace the water filter – A dirty or clogged water filter affects the machine’s ability to make ice, especially if it restricts water flow to the point where the machine can’t properly rinse off cleaning chemicals.
  • Reset the ice machine – Cleaning the ice machine can trigger error codes, like low water levels or open panels, etc. Sometimes, it just needs a reset to clear these codes. Refer to the section on “How to Reset a Scotsman Ice Machine” for more information.

Ice Machine 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 thermistor with a multimeter. If the multimeter reading comes back negative, the thermistor will need to be replaced.

Ice Machine No Power 

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

  • Power switch is off – If the ice maker has no power, check to see if the power switch is in the off position. This can potentially save you a lot of time trying to troubleshoot the unit.
  • Cord is unplugged or damaged – 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 blown fuse.
  • Open transformer – In some units, the machine’s transformer could be open. Have it repaired or replaced by an authorized service technician.

Ice Machine Making Noise

Like most ice makers, Scotsman ice machines usually have a soft humming sound when in operation. However, if your unit is making other noises that seem unusual, there may be an issue with the piece of equipment. The following abnormal noises might indicate an issue:

  • Vibrations – When you hear vibrating coming from the machine, there are several possible causes:
  • Fan has a bent blade or its motor mount is damaged – If there’s a problem with the fan’s blade or its motor mount, the component will need to be replaced by a technician.
  • Compressor bolts or mounting screws on panels are loose – If these bolts or screws are loose, they should be tightened.
  • Water pump bearings are worn – If the vibrations are due to worn bearings, contact an authorized technician to replace the pump.
  • 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’s 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 cause a loud noise.

Ice Maker Melted or Flawed Ice

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

  • Excess water melting ice – If water keeps running into the bin, it can melt the ice. This is typically caused by the ice machine not draining, so see if there’s a blockage in the drain or tubing. Leaks from various valves, fittings and components can melt ice, too (see “Leaking” in the section above for more details).
  • Misshapen ice – While leaking from the curtain or pump hoses can affect the shape of your ice, insufficient water supply or dirty water filters can cause misshapen ice, too. Additionally, dirty or broken defective spray jets can cause cubes to be misshapen or a fraction of their intended size.

Mold in the Ice Machine 

If your ice possesses a potent earthy flavor or you see discoloration inside or on the components of your commercial Scotsman ice machine, you might be dealing with a mold problem. 

The moist, humid and dark environment makes ice makers an ideal breeding ground for mold and other bacteria. To prevent your ice machine from looking like the inside of a bread bag left too long on the counter, make sure you’re checking all these boxes: 

  • Clean your Scotsman ice maker – Make sure you’re following your Scotsman ice machine cleaning instructions on a weekly and monthly basis. Failure to keep up with regular maintenance can affect the taste of your ice and lead to unsanitary conditions.
  • Reduce the ambient temperature – High ambient temperatures can increase condensation within the ice maker unit and cause mold growth. Taking the simple action of lowering the thermostat or moving the commercial ice machine away from hot side equipment can do wonders for mold infestations.
  • Ice machine is not draining properly – If your ice machine isn’t draining properly or you’re noticing standing water inside the unit, this could be the source of the mold infestation.
  • Clean the filters – The air and water filters need to be cleaned every 3-6 months. Dirty or clogged filters can cause poor ventilation, which encourages mold growth. If you notice excessive buildup of dust, grease or pressure drops, you may have to wash them more frequently.

Ice Machine Freezing Up 

If you open your ice bin and notice the cubes are small or misshapen, the unit is frequently defrosting, the cycles are taking longer than usual or there’s visible ice buildup on the evaporator coils and water lines, you might need to check out a few of these Scotsman ice machine troubleshooting tips:

  • Dirty condenser coils – A dirty condenser coil can prevent your Scotsman ice machine from effectively dissipating heat, which can cause the unit to freeze up. The condenser should be cleaned every 3-4 months by an authorized service technician. 
  • Faulty thermostat – A faulty thermostat won’t accurately detect or control temperatures inside the unit, which can cause the ice machine to freeze up. 
  • Low refrigerant levels – Low refrigerant levels cause pressure drops, leading to ice buildup on the evaporator coils. If you suspect a refrigerant leak, leave the room and do not touch the unit or attempt to clean it up yourself. Immediately call an authorized service technician.
    • Warning: Refrigerant is extremely harmful to human health and can result in severe injury or even death.   
  • Water supply issues – Clogged or frozen water lines or low water pressure can cause the ice cubes to get stuck on the evaporator plate, leading to freeze-ups. Please call a plumber to fix any water supply issues.
  • Incorrect temperature settings – Setting the temperature too low can also cause freezing and low ice production. Adjust the bin thermostat control located under the front panel on the control box cover clockwise.
  • Low ambient temperatures – The ice machine will not work in temperatures below 50°F.
  • Hard water deposits – If you live in an area with hard water, it can quickly accumulate inside the ice maker on the evaporator coils, water lines, valves, sensors and probes, which can interfere with the unit’s ability to make ice. Be sure you’re regularly descaling your ice machine.

Ice Machine Leaking Water

Internal and external leaks can cause a slue of problems ranging from inadequate ice production and mold build-up to water damage and slip risks. Most of the time, you’ll need to call an authorized service technician to fix leaks within the machine. However, we’ll take a look at a few Scotsman ice machine troubleshooting tips for leaks that sprung outside the unit: 

  • Loose connections – Loose connections in water supply and drain lines can be the source of leaks. Before tightening the connection, be sure to turn off the unit and water supply.
  • Blocked drain lines – If the drain lines are blocked and backing up, water from the ice maker will have nowhere to go, causing it to pool around the machine. You might be able to clear the blockage yourself with a brush or flexible wire. If the clog proves to be more difficult, you may have to call a plumber.
  • Faulty seals – A worn-out or cracked door gasket can cause water to escape the bin. You can remove the gasket and visually inspect it for any physical damage or debris that might interfere with the seal.
  • Unleveled ice machine – An ice machine that is not level can cause uneven water distribution and can even cause the water reservoir to overflow. Place a level on the top of the machine and adjust the bin leveler legs until the unit is centered.
  • Cracked reservoir – A leak in the reservoir can produce ice cubes that are too small. Another sign is water pooling around the base of the ice machine. You can also inspect the interior of the reservoir for small cracks or fissures. If you suspect an issue with the reservoir, please contact an authorized service technician.

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. If you need to reset a Scotsman Ice machine, follow the steps below:

  • Step 1. Look for the control panel and red button – Find the control panel on your unit and then locate the red button on the panel.
  • Step 2. Press the red button – Press 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 guidance on troubleshooting a Scotsman ice maker, check out our selection of Scotsman ice machine manuals and diagrams by model.

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