Portable clear ice machine -- FYI

asoloJune 24, 2012

After years of indulging my good-ice obsession and failing to produce my own clear ice cubes and reading here and on the plumbing forum, I finally indulged my curiosity about this machine and just bought it.

Ever since seeing an RV-er/friend's plug-in ice-maker at a camp ground and then, later, at their home I had been impressed with the device -- except that one (and most of them) makes bullet-shaped cloudy ice. Also having replaced my own ref's ice-makers several times to the tune of $180.00 a pop I vowed never to do it again. Wondered if they made a machine like theirs that made clear ice in cubes rather than cloudy ice in bullet-shape. Well, they do. Thought you might be interested....or at least guffaw over my latest impulse-buy.

Included quarter for scale in the photo. Appears that only the insides are different from the cloudy (trapped air) bullet-ice machines. In this one the water cascades over a stainless cube-grid and freezes up in layers with no trapped air-bubbles so that the final product is clear. The cubes are about one inch per-side and they are, in fact, clear although each has an indent in one side.

Made in China, of course. Simple as dirt. No plumbing. Plug it it; fill it up; turn it on. Manages itself except for filling with water and emptying the cubes.

Can't speak to longevity because I just got it. All I can say at this point is that really works slick. Also first purchase from vendor linked below. Very impressed. Free shipping. Carefully-packed machine arrived two days later.

(I am retail customer only. No other association with vendor of mfgr.)

Here is a link that might be useful: portable clear ice machine I just bought

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asolo

Did it work?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 5:31PM
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asolo

Hope it worked...again.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2012 at 7:02PM
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gbsim1

I'm curious about the machine.... is it insulated or refrigerated? If not refrigerated then how long will the cubes last before melting?

Also how much water does it hold? Surely not enough to make 28 pounds all at once?

I've been thinking about a portable maker and this one's interesting!

Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 12:25AM
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asolo

It is insulated, certainly. Not refrigerated beyond the effect of the freezing grid and the ice already produced.

Do not have enough experience with it in various-temperature environments to say how long the cubes last before melting. I can tell you that it's exactly like other ice-makers of this kind or commercial ice-makers in that it makes "soft" ice that is continually melting. For preservation or for sale, the cubes would need to be removed from the machine's storage bin and frozen.

No, it certainly does not make 28 lbs all at once. Water reservoir holds about two quarts which is about five lbs. Full ice-basket this morning weighed about 2 3/4 lbs. From empty ice basket to full ice basket takes about 2 1/2 hours....which pretty much exactly matches the capacity specification.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 9:12AM
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jeri

This has me intrigued

We have in ice maker in the fridge/freezer, but our unit does not crush the ice. DH loves his crushed ice and we keep a machine on the counter just for this purpose. I would *love* small clear ice; I don't really enjoy crushed ice - it is too small IMO. I'm wondering if this machine will please both of us? Is this ice easy to chew? DH likes to munch on his ice.

I've never even seen one of these... Do you plan on using it daily? Will you take the ice from the machine and keep it in your freezer or just take the ice from the machine?

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 5:38PM
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asolo

All such machines make "soft" ice that continuously melts in the basket and is automatically replenished. Such stuff is inherently easier -- and safer -- to "munch" than hard-frozen ice.

My intention is to use the machine as-needed, bag the ice, and freeze it for use in the ref's regular dispenser. Appears to be ideal for that purpose. It certainly makes ice faster than the ref's own ice maker, and I very much prefer the clarity and shape of the cubes produced.

I 'm using my own 3-11ppm TDS water (tap water where I live tastes terrible) but I'm sure bottled water would serve as well to make good-tasting or no-tasting cubes. Manual recommends against distilled water (zero TDS) but my own RO water, which is close, seems to work fine.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 6:01PM
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asolo

PS to previous......there is one line on the promotional page that I take issue with: "Clear ice melts slower than cloudy ice." Silly inclusion, IMHO.

Although the rest of the specs/info appear to be quite accurate, this one may be confidently ignored unless you're into precise laboratory measurements of such trivia. On this point, you won't notice any difference in-use for these cubes compared with any others. The machine does, indeed, make nice, clear, cube-shaped ice. But it's just ice.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2012 at 7:16PM
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jeri

Sounds great!

Why the heck would they recommend against distilled water???

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 12:23PM
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asolo

Don't know, but suspect.....

Likely has to do with conductivity of the water. Distilled water is a lousy conductor. Many, many appliances -- coffee makers, irons, etc. -- have sensors that depend on some level of conductivity of the water used in order for them to function.

For example, my Cuisinart coffee-maker won't work with my 3ppm TDS RO water from one location. Even when reservoir is full, it senses "empty" and won't turn on. However, with 11ppm TDS RO water from another location it works fine. Bottled "drinking water" which is typically around 20-40 ppm TDS works fine. My Rowenta iron is the same. The manual says "don't use distilled water" but doesn't say why. That's why. Suspect, perhaps, this ice-maker may have such sensors in the reservoir that are like that.....but don't really know.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 1:18PM
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covingtoncat

That's really neat! I love clear soft ice cubes. Its weird, I know, but I am perversely pleased when a restaurant has them. Hope it continues to meet your expectations.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 2:16PM
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asolo

Of course what I'd really like is a full-on built-in machine but between the size and the thousands they cost and plumbing they require and the remodeling I would need to do there's no sense in my thinking further about anything like that.

For a couple hundred bucks, I think it's a pretty slick little take-it-anywhere device. Except for unknown reliability, I am very pleased. Enjoying my new gizmo.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2012 at 4:18PM
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chas045

One other reason to appreciate your new gizmo: big is not necessasrily better. For many years I worked in a medical research lab where we always had commercial shaved ice machines. They put out plenty of ice but also had a consistant habit of destroying themselves after several years. The ice maker was a frozen cylinder that water poured over, and the thin frozen film was scraped off by a rotating internal auger. At some point the auger would 'freeze' to the wall and yank the cylinder around, bending, tangling, and breaking all refrigeration and water lines in an unrepairable mess and leaving us to spend another 2K to do it all over again.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 3:18PM
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asolo

Some trivia, since I'm still in the initial excitement phase....

Have notice that when my existing ref. ice-bin is stocked with these little cubes instead of its own crescent-shaped cubes, the dispenser doesn't spit them all over the kitchen like it used to. Easy/predictable dispensing for once. Suspect related to size/shape of the new cubes but, man, what a relief. (Whirlpool Gold side-by-side frig. I've got two of them at different locations and both of the ice dispensers have always done this.) For the price, thinking I might get a second unit for the second location.

Also pleased to find the little machine makes ice at about 4x the rate of the unit in the ref. -- and I'm including bagging/re-freezing time in that number. In the past, I've often run out of ice from the frig when I've had company. When I knew I was going to have guests, I often went out and purchased a bag of ice to make sure I wouldn't run out. Appears to me, this machine may obviate that occasional need.

@jeri.....have also noticed that that little indent on one side of the cubes feels wonderful in the mouth. Tip of the tongue fits right in there. Very pleasing sensation.

OK, I'm over it.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2012 at 4:10PM
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jeri

I'm sold - - DH is getting a late Father's Day gift :-)

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 12:03AM
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asolo

@jeri....

If you do that, come on back and share your opinion. My OCD (obsessive/compulsive disorder) needs company.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 9:59AM
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asolo

Just bought a second one for the other location. Now I think I'll go bang my head on the table 'til my ears fall off.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 12:33PM
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gr8daygw

Ok Asolo I bought it! I got it from the site you recommended. I have ordered from them before. I thought I read somewhere that Wayfair was a part of Walmart? Hope not.... My husband has been complaining that our french door fridge does not make cubes fast enough for him so I am hoping he will really like this ice maker. I have often thought of getting one of the automatic ones but they are expensive, we don't really have a place for one and we don't really need THAT much ice. This sounds perfect for us, thanks for sharing. I love to chew ice, I am anemic and people with anemia often love to chew ice for some reason! Weird! Thanks again : )

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 8:09PM
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asolo

Zero knowledge of their corporate resume....sorry. All I know is they performed well for me.

As with Jeri....please come back and say opinion.

Repeating...I have no dog in this fight. I am retail customer only. I bought it and I like it and I posted to say so....that's it.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2012 at 8:36PM
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jeri

I christened the new ice machine with Margaritas! I love the ice - I love the size and the clarity. DH is not sold yet - it will have to pass his cocktail-of-choice test (Orange Smirnoff & CranRaspberry Juice) - that will happen later tonight. :-)

Now I need to figure out how to use this on a daily basis. The basket is not very deep, so I will probably have to start replacing the ice in our freezer with this ice - is that what you do?

    Bookmark   July 2, 2012 at 10:38PM
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