Hard water is a major headache for homeowners. It builds up in your pipes, leaves scaly residue on your fixtures, and clogs your plumbing. Hard water can also damage your portable ice maker. Once it gets in, it restricts water flow, hampers ice production, and, in worst case scenarios, it can even disable your water pump. If you have hard water in your home, or suspect you might, here’s how to keep it from ruining your portable ice maker.
What is Hard Water?
Hard water is water with a high mineral content. It’s formed when minerals in the soil – normally calcium and magnesium, but sometimes iron – get dissolved by the rain and run off into the water supply. If white spots appear on your dishes and drinking glasses after you wash them, if there’s a white, flaky film on your pots and pans, or white fuzz on your faucets, you probably have hard water. Hard water test kits are available online and your municipal water supply may also have more information about the water in your area.
Effects of Hard Water on Portable Ice Makers
When hard water gets into your portable ice maker, it tends to accumulate on the filter, in the pipes, and in the water pump. Pay attention to the rate of ice production. The Luma Comfort IM200SS Portable Ice Maker produces ice about every 15 minutes. When it starts taking longer, it’s time to clean it out.
How to Remove Hard Water
The easiest way to prevent hard water from ruining your machine is to flush out the system using water mixed with either vinegar or lemon juice. You don’t need much. One or two cups added to a full tank is enough. The acid in will break down any minerals clogging your machine. Flush out the system every 2-3 weeks and always run a clean batch of water through afterward, before you start making new ice, or your ice will taste like lemons or vinegar.
If the mineral buildup becomes really serious, you can also clean the system out with a 50/50 solution of water and calcium lime solution. It will create green slush instead of ice cubes, so you’ll need to wipe down the ice bucket and flush out the system with fresh water afterwards.
Have any questions about Luma ice makers? Leave a comment and let us know!