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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello guys! This is my first post after lurking for a while.

I am looking for an ice machine for my shop. I have seen plenty of you guys talk about working on them and figured somebody here would point me in the right direction or have some experience with this.

First off, I am a carpenter and have a VERY limited experience working with plumbing, ice, etc. etc.

Here is my situation -
-We work outdoors and have a pretty hot climate so we need a lot of ice (West Texas)
-We buy a $4 bag of ice at least 120 days a year ($480)
-I would like to find an ice machine to keep at my shop for around $1,000
-For 3 of the months that we would be relying on the ice machine the max temp will be around 80* in my shop (shop is insulated but not cooled)

I have looked at a million different ice machines and Im still not sure whats what. I am very diligent about comparing products when making a big purchase but the ice machine game has my all confused. It doesnt help that NONE of them are geared or marketed towards my application.

Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!!!

Jeff
 

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The Dude
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Ice vending machines. Around here I get 20 lb of ice for $2 - or buy 10lb bags for $2+

A friend of mine has 2 of them at his shop. I doubt he saves anything by the time you factor in utilities and equipment maintenance - probably pays more, and then there's the hassle when they go down - and they have. Those are in an office, but it's mostly for storage, so the A/C stays off. I think that contributes to them going down.

He's got probably around 20 guys, 2-3 roofing crews going. The cooler runs out of ice somewhat regularly, it melts in the cheap coolers so they NEED ice - sometimes multiple times / day so a runner has to go alllll the way back to the shop ...

Since you're only buying a bag / day, you might think about a bad ass cooler - like a Yeti. Another friend of mine has 2 - a biggun, and the littleun. I'd bet you can put a bag of ice in them in full sun and still have ice 3 days later.
 

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The Dude
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I know for a fact that I pulled a cold beer out of the Yeti about an hour ago, and he last put ice in it last Wed. There's not much ice left in it, and it wasn't left out in full sun all day every day - but it doesn't stay in the A/C ...
 

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I'm in the same boat as you. I was in the market for an ice machine last year ,too. I searched the internet , local restaurant supply warehouses, and auctions. After looking around for three months , one of the worst winters in recent history set in, and I forgot all about the ice machine!

Here, ice is $2.00 a 3lb bag, and I buy three bags a day. $36 a week! I want an ice machine, I just don't have a clue what to buy either.
 

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Yeah a good cooler keeps ice for a long time. My pelican elite says it keeps it upto 10days but most I have seen with it sitting in the bed of my truck diwn the beach in the summer was 7 days. Bed is black too and gets hot down beach in summer here so 7 days was good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for mentioning the yeti. I currently have one and appreciate their value. However, Im not looking for something to keep the drinks cold. I need ice for the water cooler. No matter how much ice a yeti has in it leftover from the day before when you you fill it back up with water it melts pretty quick. Unless you have an ice cold water tap, which I dont.

I understand there will be maintenance costs as well as utilities. Im not really looking to save a lot of money here, just time, which is also money. If I could break even on the straight up costs that would be great. But that doesnt even factor in implied costs of the time Im paying a guy to go to the vending machine and back, fuel, and time lost from that man at the site.

Im not looking for something that is all of the sudden going to save a ton of money. Im mainly looking for convenience that wont break the bank.

Thanks for the replies!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm in the same boat as you. I was in the market for an ice machine last year ,too. I searched the internet , local restaurant supply warehouses, and auctions. After looking around for three months , one of the worst winters in recent history set in, and I forgot all about the ice machine!

Here, ice is $2.00 a 3lb bag, and I buy three bags a day. $36 a week! I want an ice machine, I just don't have a clue what to buy either.
Dang that is some expensive ice!! Here a 10 lb bag is $4 and it usually lasts all day. At that rate I would just buy any ice machine lol!

I hear you on the winter though. I have been thinking about this for the last few years and just havent pulled the trigger because about the time I get frustrated trying to find what will work it starts getting colder and and isnt an issue. This is the first year I have looked into it this early in the year so hopefully I will find a solution!
 

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I put two bags in my big Igloo at 5:30 in the morning and the ice is gone by 3:00 in the afternoon.

A bag in the 5 gal Igloo water color with cold water, and it's gone by early afternoon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I.ve never heard of a Yeti cooler. Where do they sell them?
Gander Mountain, Cabellas, Academy They are are really expensive but are worth it in certain situations. I mainly use mine for camping/fishing trips. If you get in and out of them a lot they are about as good as a regular cooler but if want to put your meats for an entire camping trip in them and only get it in it 2-3 times a day they will hold ice for days.
 

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Dang that is some expensive ice!! Here a 10 lb bag is $4 and it usually lasts all day. At that rate I would just buy any ice machine lol!

I hear you on the winter though. I have been thinking about this for the last few years and just havent pulled the trigger because about the time I get frustrated trying to find what will work it starts getting colder and and isnt an issue. This is the first year I have looked into it this early in the year so hopefully I will find a solution!
There's only one ice company within 5 counties and they charge what they want.

Here locally, the restaurant supply companies offer some real good commercial ice machines.
 

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The Dude
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I.ve never heard of a Yeti cooler. Where do they sell them?
Bass Pro has them here. Also the Orca which looks like a direct copy, and made in the usa - and I've heard of the Pelican which BC mentions.

They are fiberglass, so you can put dry ice in them without cracking, or just use the rock salt trick. I think the 45 qt is about $350.

Dang that is some expensive ice!! Here a 10 lb bag is $4 and it usually lasts all day. At that rate I would just buy any ice machine lol!
You're not kidding! I thought YOU had expensive ice, I can get it for about $2 for a 10lb bag here :laughing::laughing::laughing:
 
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The Dude
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Gander Mountain, Cabellas, Academy They are are really expensive but are worth it in certain situations. I mainly use mine for camping/fishing trips. If you get in and out of them a lot they are about as good as a regular cooler but if want to put your meats for an entire camping trip in them and only get it in it 2-3 times a day they will hold ice for days.
My igloo marine will hold ice for a few days if you don't open it much. If you don't get into a Yeti but a couple of times / day and don't leave it in full sun it'll hold ice for 7-10 days.
 
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Gander Mountain, Cabellas, Academy They are are really expensive but are worth it in certain situations. I mainly use mine for camping/fishing trips. If you get in and out of them a lot they are about as good as a regular cooler but if want to put your meats for an entire camping trip in them and only get it in it 2-3 times a day they will hold ice for days.
They just opened up a Gander Mountain in Winston Salem, I'll check them out next weekend. :thumbsup:
 

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The Dude
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I put two bags in my big Igloo at 5:30 in the morning and the ice is gone by 3:00 in the afternoon.

A bag in the 5 gal Igloo water color with cold water, and it's gone by early afternoon.
I found that my biggest problem with wearing out ice was that my fkin guys were half ass closing the lid. I jumped on them about it "Close the lid like a fking man you pu$$y!!!" and it started lasting til 7pm with them in and out of it all day.
 
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The Dude
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I'd be looking for something along these lines:

http://www.air-n-water.com/product/fs-50imod.htm

It's made for outdoor use. The one my friend has - plastic cheesy flip up doors. If you like making ice to have it melt and run out the drain - you'll love those kind!
 

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