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Tabletop Ice Makers?

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Don Draper

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Several folks here have mentioned using these successfully. We are looking for something in the $200-300 range that does not need a water line. If you have used something like this do you mind sharing the Brand/Model you've used and your experiences with it?
 

muirford

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I had been meaning to send you this info but haven't yet. The one we have is a Mr. Freeze which I think we bought at Target for about $150. That model doesn't seem to be available any more but there is an Emerson for about $150 and a Sunpentown for about $250. We have had two in four years - the first one started leaking after about 2 years so we replaced it with this one, which seems to be holding up better. You might also check Amazon.com, although if you have a Target nearby where you can buy one in person it will make returning it easier if you have to.
 

Don Draper

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I'm reading through some customer reviews on Amazon and I have a question. Do any of these units actually "hold" the ice once it is made? Or does the ice need to be made and then transferred to a freezer for storage? I'm looking for something that will hold the ice and make more as it is needed, not sure if these are made to do this or not?
 

Breakfast Diva

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I also have a Mr. Freeze and love it. I've had it for about 3 years with no problems. The machine makes the ice and stores it in a basket. It has a sensor so when the ice level is low in the basket, it will produce more ice. It's not a huge amount of ice that it can hold, but it's plenty for our 4 room b&b. The only times we've been really scrambling for ice is when a guest will empty out Mr. Freeze to use the ice in their ice chest they were traveling with. Most of the time though, the guest will ask if it's ok first. It makes ice quickly and if you need more volume, you can always bag some of the ice to store in your big freezer.
If you have inspections by your local health department, you may have a problem with one of these small machines. So far, during our inspections, the inspector hasn't really noticed Mr. Freeze. If they did, we would probably have to get rid of it because the regulations are that an ice machine has to have a dispenser (like a button that releases the ice). These small units have an ice scoop and the theory is that a person's hand is touching the scoop and maybe the ice, so it's not "sanitary". Also, you have to clean the water reservoir frequently (weekly?) so there's no problem with bacteria.
 

egoodell

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I love mine! It was about $200 - I may have bought it from Overstock I'm not sure. It has the letters SPT on the front. It's three years old and still going.
RIki
 

JBloggs

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Do any of you have an issue with the ice melting slightly and having to hack at it to get it out later on? I also read those reviews on Target a while back and was wondering if you yourselves have had this problem?
 

muirford

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I'm reading through some customer reviews on Amazon and I have a question. Do any of these units actually "hold" the ice once it is made? Or does the ice need to be made and then transferred to a freezer for storage? I'm looking for something that will hold the ice and make more as it is needed, not sure if these are made to do this or not?.
It doesn't really 'hold' the ice, in that there is no freezer compartment. You fill the reservoir with water, it makes the ice, and as the ice melts back into the reservoir (not all that quickly, even when it's hot outside), it remakes the water back into ice. It's more of a constant manufacturing of the ice that happens.
I've never had an issue of having the ice melt and forming solid clumps of ice cubes. Also, our health inspector has never questioned anything about the ice machine.
 

Don Draper

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Thanks for the input. We don't have health inspections but that is a good point about using a scoop, I guess we'll just need to keep it cleaned frequently.
We have 9 rooms, so there most definitely is going to need to be a sign that you cannot use that ice for filling coolers, only for glasses (this will be an improvement over the current sign which says we are unable to give any ice at all, so it's still a step up).
Jeanne: Can you give me an idea what the daily use is like for you? Do you just fill it once a day and let it make the ice then let it sit there? Does it melt quickly/form into a block? Do you make some right before check-in time? My whole goal is to make this self-sufficient for the guests so they can get ice any time, I'm having trouble picturing how that will work.
 

Breakfast Diva

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Do any of you have an issue with the ice melting slightly and having to hack at it to get it out later on? I also read those reviews on Target a while back and was wondering if you yourselves have had this problem?.
no melting issue for us.
 

Breakfast Diva

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Thanks for the input. We don't have health inspections but that is a good point about using a scoop, I guess we'll just need to keep it cleaned frequently.
We have 9 rooms, so there most definitely is going to need to be a sign that you cannot use that ice for filling coolers, only for glasses (this will be an improvement over the current sign which says we are unable to give any ice at all, so it's still a step up).
Jeanne: Can you give me an idea what the daily use is like for you? Do you just fill it once a day and let it make the ice then let it sit there? Does it melt quickly/form into a block? Do you make some right before check-in time? My whole goal is to make this self-sufficient for the guests so they can get ice any time, I'm having trouble picturing how that will work..
we bought small ice buckets for each room and provide a small plastic trash liner in each bucket so the guests can get ice from the machine and keep the ice in their room for awhile. The plastic liner is a sanitary protection so the ice doesn't touch the inside of the bucket. It also helps housekeeping since you don't have to clean the bucket between guests, just remove the melted ice in the liner.
 

JBloggs

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Rupe I think it would depend where it is located as to how much gets used as well. If you did have a small ice bucket like the others suggested with a little note "For personal use - not coolers - please enjoy" your innkeepers
...would be a great touch. a Scoop is required by any health dept code, so if you have it no worries. I think many of them come with scoops as well. Y'all are making me thirsty...
 

Don Draper

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Rupe I think it would depend where it is located as to how much gets used as well. If you did have a small ice bucket like the others suggested with a little note "For personal use - not coolers - please enjoy" your innkeepers
...would be a great touch. a Scoop is required by any health dept code, so if you have it no worries. I think many of them come with scoops as well. Y'all are making me thirsty....
We have a small fridge and a water cooler in our dining room right now for guests' use. I"m thinking the ice maker would go right between them on a small table, or maybe across the room where we keep wine glasses.
I definitely don't want to deal with 9 ice buckets (one for each room), I'm thinking they could just grab what they need from the dining room. Most of the people who are looking for ice just want their pre-dinner cocktail every evening...and most of them enjoy that on our grounds, as opposed to in their rooms. The other big group is people wanting to fill their water thermos in the morning.
I found this one at Overstock that looks good...
 

Morticia

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Thanks for the input. We don't have health inspections but that is a good point about using a scoop, I guess we'll just need to keep it cleaned frequently.
We have 9 rooms, so there most definitely is going to need to be a sign that you cannot use that ice for filling coolers, only for glasses (this will be an improvement over the current sign which says we are unable to give any ice at all, so it's still a step up).
Jeanne: Can you give me an idea what the daily use is like for you? Do you just fill it once a day and let it make the ice then let it sit there? Does it melt quickly/form into a block? Do you make some right before check-in time? My whole goal is to make this self-sufficient for the guests so they can get ice any time, I'm having trouble picturing how that will work..
Does your guest fridge that you mentioned have a freezer? That's where we have the guest ice. I don't have room for another piece of equipment in the counter!
We do have small ice buckets, just a couple, in case someone wants to chill wine, or wants to bring ice to their room. I'd say those get used once every couple of months. BUT, it doesn't get as hot here as it does by you! I think its an excellent idea to have ice on hand. I know here if I didn't have it, guests would be in my kitchen in the fridge. And if they had to bring ice in from outside, they would leave it to melt on the carpet just out of spite.
 

muirford

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Thanks for the input. We don't have health inspections but that is a good point about using a scoop, I guess we'll just need to keep it cleaned frequently.
We have 9 rooms, so there most definitely is going to need to be a sign that you cannot use that ice for filling coolers, only for glasses (this will be an improvement over the current sign which says we are unable to give any ice at all, so it's still a step up).
Jeanne: Can you give me an idea what the daily use is like for you? Do you just fill it once a day and let it make the ice then let it sit there? Does it melt quickly/form into a block? Do you make some right before check-in time? My whole goal is to make this self-sufficient for the guests so they can get ice any time, I'm having trouble picturing how that will work..
We generally just check once a day on the water dispenser and the ice machine at the same time. They are both in our upstairs library. There is a jug under the water dispenser so someone could figure out to refill the reservoir (but there's no note to do it) and I think one reservoir generally lasts all day. We do have the advantage that our living room is right underneath the library so we can hear if the ice machine is getting heavy usage and check on it before we go to bed. The cubes don't seem to melt that quickly to me - no ice blocks form. It works in a continuous state so we just fill it sometime between check-out and check-in and let it go. Really it's no more added work than checking the water dispenser. The hot water kettle is more of a pain to keep filled in the winter time since it's not near a good water source.
We do have small ice buckets in the rooms, like this one. I actually don't use liners but I should - we have small garbage can liners that would work well. Easier than double-checking all the time that the housekeepers have taken away the used ones for cleaning. We have six rooms and I got a dozen of the buckets.
So the real answer is you just have to get down here for a night and check it out for yourself!! Now's a good time to visit us (except next week when we're at conference).
 

egoodell

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Thanks for the input. We don't have health inspections but that is a good point about using a scoop, I guess we'll just need to keep it cleaned frequently.
We have 9 rooms, so there most definitely is going to need to be a sign that you cannot use that ice for filling coolers, only for glasses (this will be an improvement over the current sign which says we are unable to give any ice at all, so it's still a step up).
Jeanne: Can you give me an idea what the daily use is like for you? Do you just fill it once a day and let it make the ice then let it sit there? Does it melt quickly/form into a block? Do you make some right before check-in time? My whole goal is to make this self-sufficient for the guests so they can get ice any time, I'm having trouble picturing how that will work..
we bought small ice buckets for each room and provide a small plastic trash liner in each bucket so the guests can get ice from the machine and keep the ice in their room for awhile. The plastic liner is a sanitary protection so the ice doesn't touch the inside of the bucket. It also helps housekeeping since you don't have to clean the bucket between guests, just remove the melted ice in the liner.
.
Breakfast Diva said:
we bought small ice buckets for each room and provide a small plastic trash liner in each bucket so the guests can get ice from the machine and keep the ice in their room for awhile. The plastic liner is a sanitary protection so the ice doesn't touch the inside of the bucket. It also helps housekeeping since you don't have to clean the bucket between guests, just remove the melted ice in the liner.
Our machine takes the melted ice and remakes ice with it. No maintenance at all except putting more water in when the water needed light comes one.
Riki
 

Don Draper

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Thanks for the input. We don't have health inspections but that is a good point about using a scoop, I guess we'll just need to keep it cleaned frequently.
We have 9 rooms, so there most definitely is going to need to be a sign that you cannot use that ice for filling coolers, only for glasses (this will be an improvement over the current sign which says we are unable to give any ice at all, so it's still a step up).
Jeanne: Can you give me an idea what the daily use is like for you? Do you just fill it once a day and let it make the ice then let it sit there? Does it melt quickly/form into a block? Do you make some right before check-in time? My whole goal is to make this self-sufficient for the guests so they can get ice any time, I'm having trouble picturing how that will work..
We generally just check once a day on the water dispenser and the ice machine at the same time. They are both in our upstairs library. There is a jug under the water dispenser so someone could figure out to refill the reservoir (but there's no note to do it) and I think one reservoir generally lasts all day. We do have the advantage that our living room is right underneath the library so we can hear if the ice machine is getting heavy usage and check on it before we go to bed. The cubes don't seem to melt that quickly to me - no ice blocks form. It works in a continuous state so we just fill it sometime between check-out and check-in and let it go. Really it's no more added work than checking the water dispenser. The hot water kettle is more of a pain to keep filled in the winter time since it's not near a good water source.
We do have small ice buckets in the rooms, like this one. I actually don't use liners but I should - we have small garbage can liners that would work well. Easier than double-checking all the time that the housekeepers have taken away the used ones for cleaning. We have six rooms and I got a dozen of the buckets.
So the real answer is you just have to get down here for a night and check it out for yourself!! Now's a good time to visit us (except next week when we're at conference).
.
If I could pry the paint brush out of DH's hand I would be there now!!!!
Thank you, you described what I was asking for perfectly and I think it would work here. Thanx for the ice bucket link as well!
 

Don Draper

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I just ordered the SPT model from amazon, with shipping it came to just under $250. It got pretty consistently good reviews. Once we get it set up I will post a pic and let you know how it is working out.
 

egoodell

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I just ordered the SPT model from amazon, with shipping it came to just under $250. It got pretty consistently good reviews. Once we get it set up I will post a pic and let you know how it is working out..
That sounds like the one we have had going on three years now.
Riki
 

Don Draper

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I just ordered the SPT model from amazon, with shipping it came to just under $250. It got pretty consistently good reviews. Once we get it set up I will post a pic and let you know how it is working out..
That sounds like the one we have had going on three years now.
Riki
.
Riki, yes, based on what you said I think it is the same. SPT (which stands for Sunpentown, odd name!) got good reviews on Amazon, as did Mr. Freeze which some here recommended, but the only place that is currently selling Mr. Freeze is a refurbishing place. It would have cost about $100 less but only a 30 day warranty.
 
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