Water-cooled ice makers use a once-through cooling system, where the water used to cool the machine is drained and wasted afterwards. This cooling method wastes a lot of water and will cause an increase to your water bills. There are a few advantages to using Water-cooled ice makers though.
Water-cooled ice machines are best utilized in regions where the energy is expensive and the water less costly. Even with the lower energy cost, water-cooled systems usually don’t make up for their high water usage. Per 100 pounds of ice, water-cooled ice machines use around 3 kwh less electricity, but will use around an extra 100 gallons of water compared to their air-cooled counterpart.
There is a more cost efficient way of using a water-cooled system. If you have access to a closed-loop system you can keep the benefits water-cooling while eliminating the wasting of water. In a closed-loop system the water used to cool your ice maker is continually recycled. However, most commercial kitchens do not have the supporting infrastructure for a closed-loop system. For large-scale restaurants or buildings, it would be worthwhile for a closed-loop system to be installed.
Pros & Cons of Water-Cooled Ice Machines
- Less heat produced.
- More energy efficient.
- Less noise
- Great for kitchens with poor air circulation or hot temperatures, where an air-cooled machine would have problems.
- Higher water usage.
- They are discouraged in many cities and even prohibited in some, unless they are connected to a closed-loop system.