Can You Leave a Portable Ice Maker On? | Questions Answered

Portable ice makers are an excellent option to make instant ice as and when required. They are also great ways to entertain friends and family, without having to spend a lot of money indeed. The portable ice makers are affordable and can make ice round the clock. Most of these appliances can form anywhere between 20 to 40 pounds of ice in about 24 hours if they are left on for the entire day.

Now, the common question that arises in the minds of most ice maker appliance owners is, can we leave the portable ice maker on like the refrigerator? Well, we will answer this common question here and offer better insight on how best you can protect your ice maker and prolong its life.

Is it a Good Idea to Leave a Portable Ice Maker On?

Before answering this question, consider why you bought your ice maker appliance in the first place? To make your quality ice cubes? to meet the demands of ice when you have a party at home? To please your guests? To serve yourself with chilled drinks and water all through the day?

The answers to most of these questions will be a grand yes. If you have brought your appliance to keep serving you with ice all through the day, then you have to leave it on. And you know what? The portable ice maker is also designed to be functioning all through the day without stopping.

Most of the ice makers are capable of making about 20 to 40 pounds a day over 24 hours, and they are capable of functioning 24 hours a day and seven days a week if you power them on. But you have to make sure that the appliance is not running out of water. You should keep refilling the reservoir with water to make sure that it is capable of meeting your ice demand. If you allow it to run on low water, then the water pump has to work hard, diminishing the life of the ice maker.

Most ice makers will make a fresh batch of ice from melted ice if you don’t remove it from the bin frequently. The water reservoir of the ice maker appliance is placed under the ice storage bin for the same reason. When the water from the ice bucket melts, it will drip back into the water tank to keep making more ice cubes.

Thus, you can leave the appliance on and get a basket full of ice at the end of the day, or remove the ice cubes periodically and refill the appliance sufficiently to get eh maximum capacity of ice. You can store the removed ice in ice bags and store them in the freezer for future use.

Check out: Best Countertop Ice Makers 2022

What Happens When the Ice Basket is Full of Ice and I Leave the Ice Maker on?

When the ice basket of your ice maker is full, then it will stop making ice. There are small sensors on either side of the ice bucket and when the ice comes in between these sensors, then the ice maker will stop making ice. This is when the control panel indicates the user to remove the ice cubes.

Running Portable Ice Maker

If you are not removing the ice cubes, then the ice will melt and get back to the reservoir to make a fresh batch of ice from recycled water. If you remove the ice when the indicator light lights on, then the ice maker will form a fresh batch of ice from the leftover water in the reservoir.

If the reservoir is devoid of water, then it makes a whining sound, indicating that it is not able to draw water to form ice cubes. the best way to stop the whining sound is to add more water to the appliance.

The appliance also makes a whining sound, when it is trying to draw water from the melted ice cubes. But it is best to keep the appliance hydrated, as the whining sound is not too good on the motor of the ice maker appliance. Thus, you can leave the appliance on for the entire day and make ice according to your needs and convenience.

In case it stops working: Portable Ice Maker Won’t Make Ice: Troubleshooting Your Problem

Turning off the Ice Maker While Going on a Vacation or During the Winter Months

Most people prefer to run their ice maker appliances during the summer months when their need for ice is tremendous. But during winter, when the outside temperature is already freezing, people prefer tasting a hot soup rather than a chilled drink. Likely, while going on a vacation, people prefer to switch off their appliances as it, are not of use to them anyways. In these situations, it is okay to switch off the portable ice maker, and this could also help in saving on your utility bill and overdoing your appliance.

When you are away, it is not just enough to turn off the appliance but to unplug it completely from the wall socket. You should also clean it, dry it and place it securely in the storage. It is not a very good idea to leave the unit idle at home, unattended, and made to run its regular cycle.

It could have a terrible impact on the appliance and its life. But, if you have decided to leave the ice maker idle for a short duration, it is important to check it before running it immediately. Even if you have cleaned and dried it appropriately, there are all chances for it to have caught mold around the cover and its interior surface.

Even a week is enough for the ice maker appliance to encourage mold growth and mold formation. Thus, it is important to check the interiors and the exteriors of the appliance thoroughly before using it and it is also better to give it a thorough cleaning before using it to make ice again.

What is the Impact of the Constantly Running Ice Maker on the Utility Bills?

Ice makers draw power not just to make ice cubes but also to engage the heating elements inside them. This is important to prevent the inner linings of the appliance from freezing up and to help the cold air circulating in the appliance. Thus their power consumption can be very well reflected in the utility bills. It has been estimated that the power consumption of an ice maker adds up to $10 a year for an average American.

Thus, if you feel you don’t need a constant supply of ice and the ice maker to be functioning all through the day, you can as well shut it down and use it when it is required. But if you are shutting it down for a brief period, be sure to clean it before using it to make a new batch of ice cubes.

Final Words

Finally, portable ice makers can be great appliances for the home and are capable of running efficiently without much effort. You can keep them running round the clock and leave the portable ice maker on to keep making ice, as their design support it. But users have to ensure that the appliance is not running out of water while running continuously, as it can damage its pump and levy a higher replacement cost.

I'm Sara Wilson, the founder, and author of HomeyCart. I'm also the head of the expert team that tests various ice makers and brings the best advice.

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