Hard water can cause a lot of problems. Buildup in your pipes can clog your plumbing and ruin your fixtures. If you’re not careful, putting hard water in your portable ice maker will damage it was well. Hard water can slow the rate of ice production, plug up the pipes and filters, and even disable the water pump. If you have hard water in your home, or suspect you might, you’ll need to be familiar with the dangers of hard water and the basic maintenance necessary to prevent and repair buildups.
Hard Water: What It Is and How to Tell
Hard water is water with a high mineral content, usually calcium and magnesium, but sometimes iron as well. It’s formed when mineral deposits in the soil are dissolved by rainfall and get mixed into the water supply. Signs your house may have hard water include white spots on dishes and glassware, white, flaky residue left behind in pots and pans, and white fuzzy build-up on faucets and bathroom fixtures. To have your water tested, contact your local county health department or a water softening company.
Hard Water and Ice Makers
When you run hard water through your ice maker, the mineral deposits bind to the piping and filter. Over time, these deposits can become so severe they block the pipes and prevent water flow. Look out for a reduction in ice production. Portable ice makers produce ice every 6-15 minutes. This rate will fall considerably if the pipes are becoming constricted.
Mineral deposits can also build up in the water pump and prevent it from turning. If you turn on your ice machine and the motor stays silent, it’s a sign the pump has probably been disabled.
How to Repair Hard Water Buildup
The best way to prevent hard water buildup in your ice maker is to flush out the system by running a mixture of water and vinegar or lemon juice through your machine every 2-3 weeks. Always run a batch of pure water through afterwards to clean out any remaining residue.
If mineral buildup becomes serious, run a calcium-lime solution through instead. NewAir technicians recommend CLR. Fill your water reservoir with a 50/50 solution of water and CLR and let it cycle through your machine. When it’s finished, you’ll end up with green slush in the ice basket. Throw it out, refill your reservoir with warm water, and run it through to clear out any calcium-lime residue. If water flow is still sluggish, run a 50/50 solution of water and vinegar through afterwards, then flush your machine with another cycle of warm water.
Water pumps can’t be repair, so it gets clogged you’ll have to replace it. Fortunately, the replacing a clogged water pump isn’t difficult. The procedure can be performed at home with a few simple tools. You can order replacement from the NewAir repairs department and instructions for replacing pumps in the Newair AI-125 Series Ice Maker and the New Air AI-100 Series Ice Maker can be found at the NewAir Learning Center online or in the videos below.
Got any questions about for your NewAir Ice Maker? Any repair tips you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments!