The holiday season is finally here. At such a time, we all love to enjoy a cold drink as we wind down. Having a cold drink, especially during a hot day, helps the body to maintain a lower core temperature. If you are into fitness and value your workout sessions, having a cold drink as you exercise will greatly boost the productivity of your session.
We know you may be wondering how you can always have a cold drink without necessarily going through the whole hustle and bustle of getting a refrigerator. It’s quite simple really, all thanks to technology. The solution is something called a portable ice maker. It’s a very basic gadget, you need a place to plug it in and some shelter to shield it from the weather elements and you are set. If you have never come across this device in real life or even worse, have never heard of it. We will expound on the key things you need to know through answering the most common questions asked about it.
The questions are arranged in a sequence that begins by addressing general questions pertaining to portable ice makers and then progresses to the more specific questions as we go deeper. We hope you find this of assistance, more so when combing through the numerous portable ice maker reviews all over the internet, especially during this holiday season. Last but not least, we’ll get to see how a handyman paired up with an ice maker create a great tandem. Now that we are on the same page concerning the outline of the article, let’s get right to it.
1. What is a Portable Ice Maker?
We know this rather sounds obvious, but it’s important to point out. Just as the name suggests, it is a consumer device used to make ice. The term ‘portable’ points out two distinct facts. One is that the device is portable and can easily be moved from one location to another. For instance, if you have it at home, you can simply move it from the kitchen to your bedroom by just carrying it along with you without breaking a sweat. Second is the fact that it is a stand-alone device used for making ice and is not part of the refrigerator even though a fridge has an ice maker in it.
2. How does it work?
Now that we all have an idea of what it is, the next obvious question is how it works. As i had earlier pointed out, a refrigerator has an ice maker attached to it. Therefore the major difference between a refrigerator and an ice maker is the fact that the ice maker only bares similitude to the freezer compartment. The ice maker has a similar working principle as that of a home freezer. In order to have it up and running, ensure that you refill the water tank. You should also empty the bucket when it is full and finally, in order to ensure that you maintain hygiene, carry out a regular cleaning cycle. So here is it works.
First, water from the reservoir is pumped into a nice tray. The tray is lined with metal prongs which are hollow and contain a refrigerant in them. A refrigerant is a fluid that readily absorbs heat from the environment and therefore provides a cooling mechanism. The refrigerant is combined with other components such as compressors and evaporators. When the metal prongs are made to be frozen through the action of the evaporator, the water from the reservoir is turned into ice.
Second, when all the water is turned into a frozen state, the compressor then swings into action and warms up the refrigerant in the prongs. Once the prongs are heated up, the ice cubes are then dropped into the ice bucket and voila! You have your ice.
3. Does it need a water line to work?
No. Unlike most traditional ice makers and freezers, the ice maker does not need to have a water line. This is the case because all you need in order to commence the ice making process is a reliable source of electricity to power up the ice maker. The other thing you also need that replaces the water line is pouring water into the unit’s reservoir and you are good to go!
4. What really makes them portable?
It is of paramount importance to make a clear distinction on the design element that makes it portable. Why do i say this? Well, in order to make the right decision before you purchase the right portable ice maker to meet your specific needs in as far as portability is concerned, you need to know what makes it portable. This is the case since once you determine what makes it portable you can be able to establish whether it will serve your intended purpose.
The simple fact that it does not require a water line as well as a drain line is what makes it portable. What this simply means is that as long as you have a place to plug it in, you can use it almost anywhere you need it. Great news, right?
5. Where can I use it?
The name gives it away for this one. It is portable and you can use it almost anywhere you go as long as you have a place to plug it in and some shelter from the elements. It is very common to find them on countertops in the kitchen, at bar countertops, on tables during parties right next to the fruit punch and Kool-Aid.
If you are an outdoor person, you will definitely find one to be of great use in your camping trailer or RV. This helps to free up some space in the fridge that comes with the trailer so that you can enjoy an assortment of fresh produce and still enjoy a cold drink.
On the commercial side, portable ice makers can be used on boats for hire, food trucks and in spaces where corporate or social events are held. On the plus side, portable ice makers can come in handy when you need ice for medical purposes such as reducing swelling on a twisted ankle.
6. How small are they?
They are arguably one of the most design-efficient devices. They are made in such a manner as to produce a sufficient amount of ice and at the same time fit on countertops and other tight spaces such as in an RV where there is limited storage space. The most popular portable ice makers currently in the market have dimensions that are under 15 inches in width and with a length less than 12 inches. Space is therefore never a worry when it comes to getting a suitable spot to place it.
7. How fast do they produce ice?
In order to grasp the immense efficiency associated it, we need to make a quick comparison with the traditional freezer. A freezer will take hours in order to produce ice. When contrasted with an ice maker, this sounds almost ridiculous. An ice maker will drop the first ice cubes into the ice box within a couple of minutes. You therefore need not wait all day in order to enjoy a cold drink when it comes to an ice maker.
8. How can clean and maintain the Ice Maker?
Cleaning up is one of the simplest tasks to carry out. However, much as it is very easy to do, you should never overlook the importance of doing so. This is because in order to ensure that your ice maker is running smoothly and remains in its best condition, regular cleaning does the job. Therefore the bottom line is that the maintenance function for the ice maker is periodic cleaning. To clean it up, you should get a suitable ice machine cleaner. In order to make the best choice, go for the cleaner recommended by the model of ice maker you have.
The first step is to add some water to the ice machine cleaner and mix it up to make it a uniform solution. Next, take the mixture and pour it into the water tank. Fire up your ice maker and make sure that the mixture is completely converted into ice cubes. Make sure that you properly discard the ice cubes made from the mixture. The final step is to run the ice maker once again, this time using water only. This step is very important as it serves the purpose of rinsing out any remaining residue of the mixture from the ice maker.
Be keen to discard the batch of ice cubes produced in this step too. You should also remember to clean up the ice scoop that comes with the ice maker just as you clean any other utensils in your kitchen. That’s how simple it is to keep your device in tip-top condition.
9. What type of ice do Ice Makers produce?
Some people are very specific on the type of ice that they will ultimately use. For instance, restaurants have a specific kind of ice that they prefer. There are two major types of ice that portable ice makers produce.
The most common one is referred to as bullet ice. As the name suggests, the ice produced comes in the shape of a bullet, that is, cylindrical with a pointed end. The other type, which is mainly found in restaurants and bars is impurity-free clear cubed ice. This is the type you would prefer when you want your drink to be served on the rocks.
10. Why an Ice Maker creates a great tandem with a Handyman?
Having an ice maker is not enough. Just like everything under the sun, they also don’t last forever.
Here are some of the reasons why you would want to have a handyman to look after your ice maker.
Replace faulty electrical components.
Due to wear and tear as well as the accumulation of dust and debris in parts of the ice maker such as the cable crimp terminals and the capillaries for refrigeration, the device may become faulty. These parts are located deep inside the ice maker and require a handyman who is equipped with thorough knowledge of the inner workings of an ice maker to make such repairs.
Carry out cleaning the inner parts of the ice maker.
The ice maker similar to other devices has several parts. The outer parts are much more accessible to the home user and as we had pointed out earlier, cleaning is very easy to carry out. However, when it comes to cleaning the inner parts such as the cooling fan and the compressor, it easily becomes a challenge to home users. The challenge comes about as a result of difficulty in gaining access to such parts.
In order to gain access, one needs to remove a couple of screws as well as exercise caution so as not to tamper with other fragile parts such as the wiring. On top of this, one has to have perfect knowledge of the parts that have to be cleaned and how they should be cleaned. For a typical home user with little or no technical expertise, this is a tall order. Having a handyman at hand will make things easier for you and the cleaning will be done in no time.
Ensure the Warranty remains valid.
Just like many other consumer devices, the ice maker comes with a warranty. The warranty is usually for one to two years, depending on the manufacturer. You may purchase an ice maker and a couple of months into using it, it breaks down or doesn’t work as efficiently as it should.
When such a situation comes about, you first need to verify if what is causing the problem is something that can be quickly fixed or whether it’s something that the manufacturer needs to address. To avoid tampering with the device in a manner that will render the warranty void, you need to have a handyman take a look at it and advise you appropriately.
Portable ice makers are therefore a very important gadget to have around you. The best part about it is that you can use it outdoors, such as when you are out camping in your trailer or RV. On the other hand, you can use it indoors, that is in your kitchen, bedroom and even a gym. A great tandem is created when you assign a handyman with the responsibility to carry a routine check on your device. Having a handyman to ensure that the device is regularly cleaned, maintained and functioning within the optimum levels is the secret to lengthening the lifespan of your ice maker. That being said, we hope you found this information useful in order to get your best fix of a portable ice maker to serve your refreshment needs.Cheers!