Water vs. Air Cooled Ice Makers

We share a building with two bars and we have a communal ice production room with two ice makers. One is a 250 lb. air cooled machine and one is a 500 lb. water cooled machine. I know the water cooled machines cost more to run.

My question is, which one should we use the ice from the most? During the week we can get by ok from just one machine. For utility purposes, which one should we be filling from and keeping in production when we don’t need both? Or should we use both so the bins are always partially full and holding ice better?

My refrigeration guy is sitting here…short answer-use the air cooled machine. Longer answer, water cooled machine is using upwards of 5+ gallons/hr IF set up right and your not recycling the water. Also depends on cost of utilities, here (cape cod mass) water is relatively more expensive than electricity. He said last year he replaced a 1000# water cooled ice maker with a comp air cooled machine…that restaurants water bill went from $250 to $75 so down $175 and his electric bill went up $50 so they were ahead $125/month almost fifteen hundred a year. As he said though without actually seeing your set up he can never give a perfect answer

Hi Indie:

You would be best from an ice availability perspective to use the smaller machine until it is half full then switch to the other machine until the smaller unit fills up again.

George Mills