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lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1

[Appliances] sanitizing ice makers

I had suggested using lukewarm saline solution to melt frozen chunk of ice in another thread. Modern refrigerator's ice makers follow ANSI Standard 12 and are designed to be periodically sanitized using bleach or ammonia solution to kill germs and remove odors.

There is no risk of "corrosion" of evaporator coils or electrical circuits from the salt or bleach or ammonia or vinegar if you follow the manual and common sense.

P.S. Humidifiers also need to be sanitized periodically.



mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX

All I can say is I've had automatic ice makers in 3 fidges over 30 years and I've never sanitized one or have been tempted to.



John97
Over The Hills And Far Away
Premium
join:2000-11-14
Spring Hill, FL
kudos:1

I just take out the ice bins from time to time and give them a good cleaning, wipe out the chute/door assembly, etc.
--
So put me on a highway, and show me a sign.
And take it to the limit one more time...

Expand your moderator at work

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to lutful

Re: [Appliances] sanitizing ice makers

said by lutful:

There is no risk of "corrosion" of evaporator coils or electrical circuits from the salt or bleach or ammonia or vinegar if you follow the manual and common sense.

References please

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to Anon

said by Paolo:

like I said in my last post the ice maker bin looked like it was firmly attached... hopefully only 2 bolts should do the trick, then I can use the garden hose and give it a good hose down

You have confused me regarding what is frozen. In this post you are saying the entire ice maker is frozen. In your other thread you mentioned not wanting to use it as you were afraid it would break the auger. Any ice maker I have ever seen with an auger has the auger located in a remove-able box which holds the ice and is not a part of the ice maker itself. Perhaps a pic would help.


chris tofer

@206.47.249.x

the ice inside his ice box melted and re-froze when he lost his hydro and it came back, what is there to not understand? pretty simple analogy, makes perfect sense.


lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1
reply to robbin

said by robbin:

said by lutful:

There is no risk of "corrosion" of evaporator coils or electrical circuits from the salt or bleach or ammonia or vinegar if you follow the manual and common sense.

References please

I have done this several times in tropical countries where un-sanitized ice makers actually kill people. I also designed the cooling guts of a portable thermoelectric ice maker when compliance with NSF/ANSI standard 12 was highlighted to me. You have to make all surfaces sanitizable and reasonably protect the electronics.

Anyway Google for that document and many references to it - they always have this phrase:

Machines with non-removable ice contact surfaces that are NSF/ANSI Standard 12 listed are designed to have sanitizing solutions circulate through the machines. If available, follow the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning and sanitizing procedures.

*** Detailed steps provided in one of several hundred such references: »www.co.san-diego.ca.us/deh/food/···ines.pdf

1. Remove any residual ice from the ice reservoir or shoots. Turn off the machine to
allow any other ice in the machine to melt.

2. Turn the water supply and electricity on. Drain sufficient water through the
machine to flush any residual water and dirt from the machine.

3. Run the machine through 2 or 3 freezing cycles. Discard any ice made.

4. Turn the water supply off.
5. Drain the water and any ice inside the system.

6. Circulate a warm water cleaning solution through the machine for at least 2
minutes. Drain the system.

7. Circulate clean potable water for 2 minutes. Drain the system.

8. Circulate a sanitizing solution. Use either a quaternary ammonia compound
following manufacturer’s instructions, or use 1 ounce household bleach in 3
gallons of clean potable water. Run the solutions through the machine for at least
2 minutes. Drain the system.

9. Wash, rinse, and sanitize any storage bins.

10. Return the drain valves to their normal position and start the machine.
11. Discard the first ice produced.

*** I suggested lukewarm saline solution ONLY to speed up step 1 ... rest of the steps will flush out all traces of salt from the system.


Tex
Premium
join:2012-10-20
kudos:2

Those instructions are for a commercial ice machine. I don't believe I've ever seen a residential refrigerator ice maker that has a circulate or drain feature.



mityfowl
Premium
join:2000-11-06
Dallas, TX
reply to lutful

I really think you should start on that process for your ice maker.



Booost

@bell.ca
reply to lutful

Want to see some nasty ice makers, watch Restaurant Impossible. One of the show's producers says she will never, ever use ice from a restaurant again.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
reply to lutful

The issue is a refrigerator not a commercial Ice Machine.



54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL

2 edits
reply to lutful

said by lutful:

I also designed the cooling guts of a portable thermoelectric ice maker when compliance with NSF/ANSI standard 12 was highlighted to me.

I doubt you will find a NSF listed ice maker in a residential refrigerator, none the less, considering contained within the front housing of a standard non-commercial residential, in refrigerator ice maker is a cam, a thermostat and some micro-switches and to the rear of the ice maker is a multi prong plug connected to 120 VAC, I would strongly recommend that no-one go about spraying any liquid that is conductive, such as salt water anywhere around the ice maker or back by the evaporator where it can get into the connections for the circulation fan, defrost heater and over-temp switches. Now in some icemakers all of that in in the rear of the machine but none the less it is still there.

Doing so could be quite dangerous and depending on how well grounded the person doing the spraying is, maybe even deadly.

It is simple common sense to not spray those types of liquids or allow their over-spray to make contact with electrical equipment.


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL

1 edit
reply to Tex

said by Tex:

I don't believe I've ever seen a residential refrigerator ice maker that has a circulate or drain feature.

Heck they don't even have drains, just ask someone who has had the cam hangup on the fill cycle or a failed solenoid valve. The kitchen floor becomes the drain.

In residential you don't see re-circulation or drains until the units get up to the under-counter size or about 30-40 pounds per day.

Those types of units like their commercial brethren will have a re-circulation pump, a mould or sheet evaporator and hot wire cutter and a drain for the storage bin and re-circulation sump.

And as I am sure you know, they can and are to be cleaned with some nasty stuff called ice machine descaler and cleaner many of which contain Phosphoric Acid.

garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus

1 recommendation

reply to Booost

said by Booost :

Want to see some nasty ice makers, watch Restaurant Impossible. One of the show's producers says she will never, ever use ice from a restaurant again.

The worst are the chest ice makers where they reach down from above to scoop up ice. All kinds of shit falls in there and becomes one with the ice. The ice makers above the fountain dispensers may be cleaner, they don't have crap falling in them, but mold and other crud can build up and never be noticed.


cdru
Go Colts
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-14
Fort Wayne, IN
kudos:7
reply to Tex

said by Tex:

Those instructions are for a commercial ice machine. I don't believe I've ever seen a residential refrigerator ice maker that has a circulate or drain feature.

My work has an ice machine that is under the counter. Looks just like a dish washer until you open it. The instructions aren't identical to the above, but they are pretty close. I would not call the ice maker a commercial unit, but it is a dedicated ice unit that would be typical for a wet-bar type area.


Tex
Premium
join:2012-10-20
kudos:2

2 edits

N/M


lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to Tex

Click for full size
said by Tex:

Those instructions are for a commercial ice machine. I don't believe I've ever seen a residential refrigerator ice maker that has a circulate or drain feature.

That reference was to show the steps which use potentially corrosive chemicals. US military procedure (screenshot above) includes both commercial and residential ice makers.

You can clean residential ice-maker assemblies (such as the older GE model shown above) using either vinegar or dilute bleach solution. You can definitely "circulate" the cleaning solution from water inlet at the back of the fridge all the way to the ice dispenser or tray.

All the fear-and-doubt about corrosion and electrical damage started because I had suggested using lukewarm saline solution to speed up melting of a solidly frozen assembly.


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL

2 edits

said by lutful:

All the fear-and-doubt about corrosion and electrical damage started because I had suggested using lukewarm saline solution to speed up melting of a solidly frozen assembly.

Which considering the conductive and corrosive nature of salt water is a dangerous thing to be using around electrical appliances.

You can clean residential ice-maker assemblies (such as the older GE model shown above) using either vinegar or dilute bleach solution.

As for using bleach, both Amana and Frigidaire warn end users not to use corrosive chemicals such as bleach when cleaning their residential refrigerators, which is noted in the screeshot you posted as for G.E. they recommend using a solution of a tablespoon of baking soda mixed into a quart of water not bleach.


54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL

2 edits

1 recommendation

reply to cdru

said by cdru:

I would not call the ice maker a commercial unit, but it is a dedicated ice unit that would be typical for a wet-bar type area.

Which I already described a few posts up and is not found within a refrigerator.

Internally those back bar/under counter units operate in the same manner as the large machines found in say restaurants and many times are NSF listed which requires them to be designed to be cleaned to NSF standards, unlike the in-fridge/freezer units which are not listed and cannot be cleaned in such a manner.

Note the listing on this under-counter machine.

downloadmant30.pdf 377545 bytes


Corehhi

join:2002-01-28
Bluffton, SC
reply to Booost

said by Booost :

Want to see some nasty ice makers, watch Restaurant Impossible. One of the show's producers says she will never, ever use ice from a restaurant again.

I was in the restaurant business for a long time and no we never sanitized the ice machine unless something went wrong. The gross part is the ice bin which has ice almost always in it and people stick whatever in there to get the ice out day after day. Want to bet something unsanitized went in there to scoop ice??? You bet it did.

Actually health inspectors always look for this and it's the cold plate in the beverage ice bin. It will grow black mold under the plate over time even if it's iced always. You are supposed to have a regular cleaning time but rarely does that happen. Restaurants get sighted all the time for that one.


Tex
Premium
join:2012-10-20
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to lutful

You can post all the Army, Navy, Marine Corp and Air Force documentation you want, but in order for the water to circulate, as in a commercial ice machine, there would need to be a pump to circulate the water. There would need to be a water reservoir. No residential refrigerator ice maker that I'm aware of has these features. Nor do the ice makers have drains.



54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
reply to Corehhi

said by Corehhi:

Actually health inspectors always look for this and it's the cold plate in the beverage ice bin. It will grow black mold under the plate over time even if it's iced always.

Oh yea, I have a small Scotsman under-counter in the utility room with a cold plate in the bottom for my soda system, well I let it go for about a year or so and decided maybe it is time for a good rinsing, I scooped the ice into a cooler and began to rinse the rest down the drain with a garden hose, the stream of water from the nozzle went under the cold plate and it blasted out the back this nasty black crud, which I think was algae.

Needless to say out came the rubber gloves, a 3m scrubber and some pool bleach.

Just gross, and yes after seeing that crud in there, the ice in the cooler got dumper, just because.

lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1
reply to Tex

said by Tex:

... in order for the water to circulate, as in a commercial ice machine, there would need to be a pump to circulate the water. There would need to be a water reservoir. No residential refrigerator ice maker that I'm aware of has these features. Nor do the ice makers have drains.

All this started with my suggestion to speed up the ice melting process using warm saline solution. I have done this several times for relatives and also used vinegar to clean the (plastic) assemblies and trays.

If you really wanted to run a cleaning solution from the water entry at the back of the fridge, you could run a tube from the ice tray to a nearby sink or a bucket on the floor and let gravity assist you. There are also inexpensive manual fluid pumps at auto stores.

Trying to prove that periodically cleaning the icemaker in a residential fridge is either impossible or ridiculous ... is an insult to people doing it regularly. If you are unwilling to do it, please do not prevent others from even considering it.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

1 recommendation

There is no way for the average person to flush the lines of a residential ice maker. There is also no way to flood and drain the ice freezing tray. At most, you can direct a little spray from a pump spray bottle into it and then try to wipe it out. Suggesting anything else is truly ridiculous.

As far as salt water -- bad idea.



54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL

1 edit
reply to lutful

said by lutful:

Trying to prove that periodically cleaning the icemaker in a residential fridge is either impossible or ridiculous ... is an insult to people doing it regularly.

It has nothing to do with sanitizing an ice maker and everything to do with proffering advice that dangerous, and recommending spraying salt water on electrical equipment is just that.

See the device with the 0/1 on it in the picture you posted?

That's a switch that operates the ice maker and it switches 120 VAC as such using salt water anywhere near that switch or any of the other switches under that plastic cover is flat out wrong and dangerous.




And trying to walk it back by renaming salt water, saline, doesn't change that fact nor make it any safer.


printscreen

join:2003-11-01
Juana Diaz, PR
Reviews:
·Choice Cable TV
·Coqui/PRTC
reply to lutful

said by lutful:

I have done this several times in tropical countries where un-sanitized ice makers actually kill people.

Well, I live in a tropical country and I am yet to see anyone killed by an ice maker. Commercial ones perhaps need this kind of attention, but a residential unit fully enclosed inside a freezer... don't see how anything can grow in there that could kill people.

lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1
reply to robbin

said by robbin:

There is no way for the average person to flush the lines of a residential ice maker. There is also no way to flood and drain the ice freezing tray.


But reasonably smart 12-15 year old kids could flush once a year ... as an educational project.

Place container of vinegar water on top of the fridge.

Clip one end of water filled plastic tube in that container.
Insert other end of tube in the fridge water inlet.

Clip one end of another water filled plastic tube in the ice collection tray.
Put other end of that tube into a large bucket on the floor.

There will be no "flooding" if the container on top of the fridge is small. You can fill with salt water on first few passes, then vinegar water, and finally with clean water.

said by robbin:

At most, you can direct a little spray from a pump spray bottle into it and then try to wipe it out. Suggesting anything else is truly ridiculous.

For regular cleaning of the icemaker assembly with salt, you don't have to spray or even wipe.

Turn off icemaker. Wait.
Sprinkle salt on remaining ice. Wait.
Turn back on. Wait.
Discard salty ice.

said by robbin:

As far as salt water -- bad idea.

Yes, it is a bad idea if you deliberately spray salt water directly on electrical stuff outside the PLASTIC icemaker assembly.


Tex
Premium
join:2012-10-20
kudos:2

From the Army document:

Cleaning and disinfecting procedures for residential
ice-making machines.
(If available, follow the
manufacturer’s recommendations.)

1. Determine if ice maker is completely or partially removable.

If removable:

2. Run ice maker through 2 or 3 freezing cycles. If refrigerator has a built-in water dispenser then a longer flush is required to flush the water reservoir.

3. Remove ice storage bin, ice maker unit, and any other removable components.

4. Wash in hot soapy detergent solution.

5. Rinse in clean potable water.

6. Sanitize parts in a solution of 1 ounce unscented household bleach in 3 gallons of clean potable water. Leave parts in solution for at least 30 seconds. Let parts air dry.

7. Wash hands thoroughly. Reassemble the unit and return the ice machine to service.

8. Discard the first ice produced.

9. Let the bin or reservoir fill and run bacteria samples on water supply and ice.

10. If negative, ice can be used for food operations. If positive, reclean and sanitize machine and check for problems with the potable water supply.

If not removable:

2. Run the ice maker through 2 or 3 freezing cycles or flush the water supply line including the water dispenser and water reservoir.

3. Discard ice and return the ice bin to the freezer.

4. Use a spray bottle with a chlorine solution (1 ounce household bleach to 2 gallons of water. Spray all exposed surfaces including ice shoots and freezing surfaces. Let surfaces air dry.

5. Clean and sanitize ice bin and any other removable parts. Follow procedures for ice machines with removable ice surfaces, above.

6. Wash hands thoroughly. Reassemble the unit and return the ice machine to service.

7. Discard the first ice produced.

8. Let the bin or reservoir fill and run bacteria samples on water supply and ice.

9. If negative, ice can be used for food operations. If positive, reclean and sanitize machine and check for problems with the potable water supply.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1

"From an army document"

That says it all. Useless for a home refrigerator ice maker and cold water dispenser.

I re-read my owners manual for my refrigerator and nowhere does it mention anything about "flushing" the ice-maker.