I was looking into purchasing an ice maker that I could put under the counter in place of where our old garbage compactor used to be. It had stopped working years ago. So, I had just a little bit of space in my kitchen and not a whole lot of extra cash. However, I wanted to have an ice maker and needed to research similarities and differences of some major models.This is what I found.
Regardless of the kind or type, all of the undercounter ice makers must use filter water to pass through their pipes, connections and machine parts for making the ice. Also, they all require regular cleaning and maintenance.
One recommendation for cleaning is to get a 5 pound bag of food grade citric acid and put a tablespoon in the water trough and let it run 30 minutes in wash mode. This is to reduce limestone scales, and so also to reduce the odd sour taste that can sometimes develop. So, given that as a caveat of each of the five icemakers, there are certain advantages and disadvantages of each.
The Whynter UIM-155 Stainless Steel Built-In Ice Maker has a couple of advantages in that no drain is required of it, so doesn’t have to be stored next to a drainage area. It’s not as expensive as some of the other high capacity icemakers. However, as a disadvantage and because there is no drain, then it is required to defrost the machine periodically. The ice itself is a small, crescent shaped ice as to what is produced.
Like the Whytner, there is another model that has also a small capacity. The Midea HS-36I Compact Single Reversible Door Ice Maker, 1.0 Cubic Feet is touted as professionally energy saving and environmentally friendly. However, it is such a low capacity, it must be run pretty much constantly. Many reviewed the machine as having design flaws where it only runs successfully for about two weeks, then fails. Another problem was described as developing leaks at the water connection just after two weeks of use. It only produces 10 pounds per day. There was a lot of complaints about the very little capacity of ice cubes actually produced.
Another low capacity undercounter ice maker is the EdgeStar IB120SS Ice Maker, 12 lbs, Stainless Steel and Black. Like the Whytner, it also doesn’t have a drain and is also one that is not as expensive as some of the other high capacity ice makers. However, because of not having a drain, it has to be defrosted periodically. It too also makes the small, crescent shaped ice cubes. After 12 hours of running constantly, it only produced enough for 3 soda drinks, according to another reviewer. A couple of other complaints was that it runs a lot of power wattage but has very little return. Even people who repaired their ice makers before they could even use the machine and had originally purchased the item new.
There are two brands that have a higher producing capacity. Both the SPT IM-600US Stainless Steel Under-Counter Ice Maker and Sunpentown IM-150US Stainless Steel Undercounter Ice Maker with Freezer can manufacture up to 50 pounds per day. They both can store up to 25 pounds in their storage compartment. They both produce the larger sized cube-shaped ice that are ¾ “ or so in size. The two high capacity models are similar except the SPT model is very loud and noisy. Also, the collection tub needs to be in particular position. If it’s in the wrong position, the ice can be released from the rear and make a mess internally. You also have break apart the sheets into the cubes. The ice scoop needs to be metal otherwise a plastic one could break easily. The two high capacity models have some differences based on design and color but have a lot of very similar features.
All of the icemakers are less productive than what they promise, at first glance. I certainly don’t want to buy something only to have to repair it or have it completely not work only after two weeks of use.The Whynter seems to be a better designed product for low capacity and less expensive pricing. The Supentown seems to be quieter and not as messy for the high capacity ice makers. So, it’s a matter of what I want. Do I want the more expensive but higher capacity of ice or the less expensive, less capacity style?
Hmmm… next stop -looking at my wallet to see which I can afford the best!
Tip: See our Table to compare some of the popular ice maker models!