Freestanding refrigerated systems that produce nugget ice are primarily available for commercial applications with some residential models on the market. They come with certain features, particularly the residential models, to fit in with kitchen appliances and to operate smoothly. Keeping the ice maker adequately clean ensures it produces clean, clear ice and operates most efficiently.
Nugget ice are frozen inside of a refrigerated cylinder that maintains temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. The ice is pushed through the cylinder by a turning auger. What results is a crunchy, but softer chewable ice that still remains hard enough to dispense. Most pieces of nugget ice range between three-eighths and one-half inches wide in size. The Scotsman Ice company claims nugget ice melts slowly and because of its uncompressed structure the ice takes on more of the flavor of the beverage it's served with.
Nugget ice refrigerators come in both counter top and freestanding models. They make from as little as 30 pounds to over 1,000 pounds of ice every 24 hours. Most come in several colors to match other kitchen appliances, including black, white, stainless and custom food front panels. They are equipped with a built-in drain pump to clear excess water from the ice maker so it can offer a continuous ice supply.
Nugget ice refrigerators require air, water, electricity and access to a drain to operate properly. The machines uses a fan to take in room air and discharge warm air; blocking any vents on the machine prohibits it from operating correctly. Nugget ice machines need a continuous supply of safe drinking water with adequate water pressure. The machine must be plugged into an appropriate working electrical outlet, with the typical recommended voltage around 115. The machine's drain usually connects into a drain tube that runs to a sewer or a sink.
To keep the nugget ice free of impurities, clean the machine at least every six months. Use the ice maker cleaner recommended by the manufacturer. If the machine has scale build up, scrub it off with a nylon scrubbing pad. Sanitize the bin at least every six months with a solution of bleach and water, or another sanitizer recommended by the manufacturer.