No Water In Water Trough January 08 2015, 3 Comments

For a Manitowoc ice machine to make ice, it needs water.  No water in a water trough can be caused by a number of issues and I’ll cover the most common issues in this guide.  Although some of these solutions may seem simple, it’s important to start with the basics, to ensure your commercial ice machine is working optimally.

Start with ensuring you have water supply to the machine.  Just because you have a water line hooked up, does not mean that water is always available.  It’s possible that another piece of equipment has been added to the line, that robs the ice machine of water.  Another reason could be that the lines are clogged with debris, due to a line breakage.

Ice FilterNext, check the water filter, if your Manitowoc ice machine is equipped with one.  Water filters should be changed at least every 6 months, but may need to be changed more frequently.  Part of an ice filters job is to take debris out of the water, which will eventually clog the cartridge.  If in doubt, change the water filter and check pressures.

If you are sure you have water supply to the ice machine, next check the water inlet valve.  A water inlet valve can get trash in it, causing it to clog.  Or, the water inlet valve could have failed, not opening at all or not enough to fill the water trough.  A Manitowoc water inlet valve is normally closed, which means it will only open when power is supplied to the coil.  Check voltage during the water fill cycle, if the valve does not have power, then you may have a control board problem.

Losing the water that is supplied to the ice machine can also cause an empty water trough.  This can be caused by a leaking dump valve or a water trough that is damaged or not properly installed.  Check the dump valve by removing the drain and see if any water is coming out during the freeze cycle.  In addition, a water trough that is hanging loose or cracked, will leak water into the ice storage bin.  Look for signs of water outside of the foodzone.

Last, look at your water level probe, to ensure that it’s sensing properly.  The board will only tell the inlet valve to open when the water level probe is not satisfied.  If the water level light is on, then it’s telling the ice machine that there is water in the trough.  If no water is visibly touching the probe, then check for cleanliness or signs of water tracking from the bottom of the evaporator.  In most cases, replacement of the water level probe is necessary, if it’s there is too much limescale to get thoroughly cleaned.

If you are still having water problems, feel free to contact us at for diagnostic assistance.  We will do our best to help get you back in ice.