stand alone ice maker instead of inside a frigerator freezer?

stovetopMay 1, 2013

I've been researching refrigerators and the one thing that jumps out at me are icemakers. Seems to be a potential issue with just about any frig I've looked at. My husband suggested getting an icemaker to put under the counter instead. I've been looking at some under the counter models and they all seem to be a little overkill for what we need. Any suggestions to smaller models that are still plumbed into a waterline? (I do not want to get one that you have to manually fill.

Thanks for any input.

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Sophie Wheeler

The decent ones are all around 2K+ and you will need to plumb a drain or locate it adjacent to one and buy a pump. Ice makers do not keep ice frozen. They merely make ice. And it melts. And you drain the water and make more ice. NONE are even remotely Energy Star rated and are in fact big energy hogs.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 10:02AM
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Well, that's nice to know! I wasn't aware that they wouldn't keep ice frozen. I thought they would be just like the ice maker in the freezer.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 11:40AM
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I have an undercounter ULine 2160 clear ice machine. Yes, it makes ice and then that ice melts eventually which is replaced by more ice. So yes it's a consumer of energy.

That being said, I positively love this thing. It makes crystal clear ice that's exactly what you'd get at a bar or restaurant. It's completely odorless and tasteless, unlike what you'd get from a typical fridge. That's bc a standard fridge sends water to a tray that freezes and then dumps it in a bin, whereas the ULine runs water over a vertically held condenser unit and little by little, and layer by layer, the sheet freezes into an ice cube, much like an icicle. Ice made in that fashion is always clear as impurities in the water slough off and do not become part of the ice (it's why icicles are always clear). Fridge ice, on the other hand, is always cloudy bc all the impurities are just frozen in place while the water freezes in the horizontal tray.

Also, while it may seem wasteful, having the ice melt in the ULine and get replenished is actually a benefit as you're always getting fresh clean ice unlike the fridge ice that's stale and always takes on the odor of refrigerant.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 2:08PM
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We use ours everyday. For large gatherings or bringing ice chests to events, we frequently use all the ice in there.

It's a 35 lb, 18" one, but if I were putting a new one in I would put a smaller one, 25 lb, 15" wide.

If we didn't entertain so frequently I probably would not do it at all, and use that cabinet space for something else. If you aren't going to use it frequently I don't think it is worth it, but for us it is.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 4:59PM
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For entertaining, it's practically essential. But even for day to day, having it is practical. It's something I use every single day. I even stopped buying bottled water and instead use the filtered tap water at the bar with lots of ice.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 5:23PM
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Which brand would you consider? I have seen a couple that keep the ice frozen and dont start up again until the bin has been emptied...somewhat like a freezer frig.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 7:00PM
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I wouldn't recommend that as that's basically a large version of your standard fridge-made ice. You're gonna have stale, off-tasting ice.

I know it seems wasteful but to get that true restaurant quality ice, you need a machine that allows the older ice to melt and drain away and be replenished by fresh cubes.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2013 at 7:43PM
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