The quality of the water that will be flowing through your ice vending machine is critical. Besides the resulting clarity and taste of the ice being vended, the water quality will determine the frequency of maintenance, and the life span of your investment.
When you are researching different ice vending machine placement locations, take a digital water quality tester along. This simple to use handheld tester will enable you to determine the amount of total dissolved solids (TDS) in the water. If the water has a high level of TDS, and you are still certain you want to place your ice vending business there, then find a local water-testing firm and ask them to do a complete analysis of the water and provide that analysis to multiple water filtration professionals, including your ice vending manufacture. Multiple opinions are necessary, as some companies will use scare tactics to sell you unneeded equipment. Most ice vending machines come equipped with a filtration system and can be further equipped with expensive water softeners, ionization, and or reverse osmosis systems. In most cases reverse osmosis systems are unnecessary as most cities and counties already R/O their water and are constantly monitored by the EPA. If you are attaching your vending machine to a well, R/O or additional water filtration systems may be necessary.
Before you start your ice business, you should understand that poor water quality means you will be replacing water filters and cleaning your ice maker and its components often. Water filters range from $18 – $50 each and most ice vending machines use three filters. Ice vending business owners sometimes spend up to four hours cleaning their own ice maker, and some hire commercial ice machine or refrigeration companies to clean their ice makers at a cost of $200-$300. This can become very expensive and tiresome, resulting in an unhappy ice vending business owner.