Replace or repair Scotsman ice maker?

nclakehouseSeptember 12, 2012

Our 23(!) year old undercounter Scotsman ice maker has mysteriously stopped making ice. I believe money for a service call would be wasted given the ice maker's age.

I had always thought that when it died I would replace it with a Hoshizaki ice maker because that brand has been highly recommended on this forum. However, I still can't find any first hand reports from anyone who actually has one. I am particularly concerned that it might be too noisy. The ice maker is installed at a wet bar in our den, close to our main TV viewing area. The Scotsman was pretty noisy, and I'd be interested in getting something quieter than it ....but I bet even the more modern Scotman models are quieter than the dinosaur that we had.

Some postings say that the Scotsman ice makers aren't reliable anymore. True?

Can I get an ice maker that is reliable, trouble-free and quiet?

Antss and Deeageaux - please weigh in and give some advice.

How about SubZero? Yes, I know they're more expensive, but if it lasts and is quiet, I'm willing to spend the money.

BTW, we want big cubes for drinks on the rocks - not the smaller cubes or pellets.


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Not sure if it's worth repairing, as I don't know what the problem is or what it would cost to fix. I do know that ice machines haven't fundamentally changed over the last few decades.

I'd look first at the Manitowoc SM50 for its build quality, quietness, filtration, interior lighting, and neat crystal-clear octagonal ice cubes. It even has a button that will temporarily cease ice-making for 2 to 6 hours if you need perfect quietness, as it is designed for quiet office boardrooms as well as residences.

The Scotsman Brilliance or their somewhat less expensive DCE33 series, are good second choices. It too makes crystal-clear, nicely shaped ice, and like the Manitowoc has a convenient high-mounted ice-storage area, and is 15" wide. The Brilliance has a lighted bin.

Both of these should be reliable, especially the Manitowoc - these companies mostly build larger machines for commercial customers like restaurants, hotels, and bars where reliability is crucial. These devices need a drain; if you don't have access to one that's below the level of the machine, you'll need to specify the optional water pump.

Don't know much about the Sub-Zero.

I don't like the Whirlpool-built ice machines (a.k.a. Kitchenaid, Maytag, Jenn-Air, Kenmore, etc.) - small rectangular ice cubes and lower, harder to reach ice compartment. The Marvel also has an oddly low ice compartment, rather than at the top of the unit when you open the door. I don't have much/any experience with GE's, U-Line's or Perlick's ice machines, beyond that only U-Line has an undercounter refrigerator that makes clear ice cubes (24"w).

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 4:38AM
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Thanks for the recommendations. The Manitowoc sounds good, so I will look into it. "Board room quiet" sounds wonderful, especially after our noisy Scotsman.

There have been other posts indicating that the Manitowac might not be warranted for residential use. I will look into this, but do you know off hand whether that is true?

Athensmomof3 was kind enough to respond to my inquiry about her Hoshikazi, confirming that it is fairly noisy.

Anybody else have any recommendations or feedback on specific brands?

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 8:35AM
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There have been other posts indicating that the Manitowac might not be warranted for residential use. I will look into this, but do you know off hand whether that is true?

I do, and it's not true.

Manitowoc's spec sheet states the SM50 is ''designed for use in break rooms, luxury box suites, or residential ice maker applications''. And the Installation/Use and Care Manual included when you buy one spells out the one year warranty (on page 8) when installed in a home. That's not as good as the 3-year warranty that commercial customers get, but it's in line with most other residential appliance warranties.

If I recall correctly, many years ago they only wanted to sell to businesses, but their equipment gained such a good rep that homeowners wanted them too, and the company relented. Kind of like Viking, or more recently, True.

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 2:08PM
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(that is, page 8 of the PDF file, but section 1-4 of the printed manual)

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 2:13PM
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Thanks for the information, Lee676. You saved me some legwork. Manitowoc it will be!

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 4:33PM
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Clear ice machines as a group aren't known for being very quiet - if that's a major concern, you may be better off with something like one of the U-line non-clear icemakers that don't use a drain - but these are little more than glorified refrigerator icemakers, and make the same cloudy, sometimes smelly ice crescents that stick together if left there for too long, and some need manual defrosting. U-Line also claims to make the quietest clear ice maker if you get their high-end models, with those ordered with the drain pump for non-gravity-fed drains being quieter during the drain function than those with an pump installed as an accessory. They too have a 3-hour silencing mode.

I assume if you have a Scotsman you already have a drain of some sort; if it's below the ice machine drain you don't need a pump. I've read noise complaints about the Manitowoc online, but the one I've used in person was quiet - you could hear a hum but it was unobtrusive, and so fast at making ice that it usually wasn't running at all. The ice quality is vastly better than your refrigerator's icemaker - clear, slightly wet cubes that have no odor or taste, and don't stick to each other. The ice scoop holder on the inside of the door is a nice touch.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2012 at 11:02AM
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