Our Story

Welcome to our site! We are Joanne & Steve. After 20+ years working for a city school department and police department, we sold almost everything, bought an RV, and started living on the road with our three children. Joanne homeschools and works online.
What we have chosen is to live life as unencumbered as we possibly can and to spend time with our family, for our family, and as a family.
This website is a record of our travels. But, we also hope to educate, entertain, and inform others about RVing, roadschooling, and the great places we visit in this country.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Keeping Your Portable Ice-Maker Working Well

If you are lucky enough to have a standard-home-sized refrigerator in your RV, and it contains an ice maker, you probably won't need to read this post.  However, if you are one of the many with a standard RV-sized fridge, small, no ice maker, barely room for ice trays, you will want to read this.  In fact, it's for anyone who owns a portable ice maker.

Back while still living in Connecticut two years ago, we purchased the Igloo 26lb Freestanding Ice Maker, in silver.  Model #ice102c.   We paid just about $100 for it at the time from,  I believe, Sears.   This portable ice maker fits perfectly in our rig and provides us with a basket of ice every 15 minutes, or 26 pounds in 24 hours.  Saved us a bundle of money and time no longer having to purchase bags of ice.
We purchased fabric/plastic clamps that we stuck to counter; one on side of the ice maker, 
one behind, that keep the unit form moving as we travel. 

About a year after purchasing this gem, it started making itty bitty ice cubes (well, ice cylinders with a hole in the middle), and we became depressed.  Only a year?  I don't want to shell out 60-something dollars a year for a new ice maker!

Being the frugal bugles we are, Steve decided to dismantle our ice maker and check out its innards.  Dust, dust, dust.  Dust on the fan and outer fins (which we could see prior to the surgery), dust coating all the insides of our Igloo.  A good few blasts from the air compressor, some bleach cleaner for the water bin and good wipe downs all around, and we plugged her back in.

To our great and profound joy, she stated pooping out ice again!  Love the sound of the clunk as the ice falls into the tray, the whir of the motor as the tray becomes a scoop and sends the newly made solid water cascading down into the waiting basket.  Such elation.

Now, another year later, we once again were faced with a lack of cubes.  In fact, they weren't even being formed.  The water sucked up from the well wasn't entering into the scoopy-tray-thingy so that the cold rods could form their end results.  Rats!

After a moment of despair and assumption she had finally fell victim to age, Steve once again shot her up with high-pressured air, removing from her mechanics a slew of dust bunnies, balls, wads, and everything in between.  A Q-tip was inserted into the water-exit area from which the hose expels the water sucked up from the well. Pretty icky in there.  Dust.  Wet, soggy, cloggy dust.  A quick bleach clean down to get everything up to par, and she was stitched back up again, making cubes and keeping our drinks cold.  Cheers!

For weekly cleaning, I suggest emptying the well water and cleaning the well.  It can get slimy.  No one wants slimy ice cubes.  The scoopy-thingy that holds the water while the ice is formed gets pretty cruddy, and is tough to get at and clean without taking the cover off the unit.  
So, take the cover off and clean the unit.  

The rods that form ice.   The rods begin to get a bit speckled with some not-rust 
Can't clean it with regular household chemicals, 
but doesn't affect ice. 

Looking down into the well where you store the water.  Basket is removed.  
You can see the rods dipped into the water in the scoop.  
Keep your unit clean and it will work well.  
(Guess that's a good rule for everything.)

 So, the moral of the story is, take care of your ice maker.  It will work well and have a long, happy life, if you take some time to keep it clean.  
We will start a 6-month regimen to ensure good working order.  

1 comment:

  1. Great article, but how do you take the cover off. Mine seems sealed to the unit?


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