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What is the difference between a water cooled and air cooled ice machine?

Q: I'm replacing our old ice machine and it is water cooled, should we get another water cooled machine? Is it more expensive?

A: Water-cooled ice machines cost the same to buy as air-cooled machines, but they typically cost a lot more to operate.

The Hoshizaki KML-631MAH/B-500PF Pictured is air-cooled, but at no additional charge we can order you the same unit set up to be water cooled.

An ice machine works just like all refrigeration: by removing heat from from a box, or in the case of an ice maker it removes heat from an ice tray.

Most ice machines use a fan and air to remove heat, but you can also use flowing cold water. Since your ice machine is already hooked up to a water source and has a drain, it seems like it makes sense to use cold water to remove heat.

Using water to cool your ice maker works great, but it uses a TON of water.

Water cooled machines are great for areas with high ambient temperatures like a crowded kitchen or an outdoor bar, but if you have a high water cost you are going to be paying a lot to operate your water-cooled machine. Water cooled ice machines use so much water that some states, like California restrict their use.

If you decide that a water-cooled ice maker is what you want, give us a call, we are happy to special order you one. If you have more questions you can ask them here on REA and you can always call or send us an e-mail, 1-800-BIG-TRAY (1-800-244-8729) or

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Have a question, or ready for a quote? Call us at 800-244-9729, or email us today!

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1-800-BIG-TRAY (1-800-244-8729)
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