When you find an ice machine, you will typically find an ice dispenser, especially in a public location such as a hotel or motel. We get many inquiries as to why a less costly ice bin cannot be used instead of a dispenser and the simple answer is safety. If the general public used an ice bin there is tremendous risk of cross-contamination of both virus and bacteria, which can flourish in the cold and wet environment. Most people assume that the cold environment is safe, but that is a great misconception. There are health regulations in restaurants so workers who handle ice from a bin are less likely to introduce a virus or bacteria into the ice. In a public location, there is no way to regulate who has access. The safest way to distribute ice to your guests is with the use of an ice dispenser. These dispensers sit under the ice machine and capture the ice in their storage bins ranging from 100-180 lbs. The customer then can dispense ice on demand from the outside of the machine using one of the many controls available such as "push for Ice", pressing a lever or by a sensor on the newer models.
The first problem can be solved with the use of an ice dispenser, but the second issue that arises is the cost of the dispensing equipment. We carry refurbished ice dispensers, which can save you thousands of dollars off a new model. The nice thing about ice dispensers is that they are built to last and buying a refurbished model from us will work just as well as a new model at a substantial savings. We also know that these dispensers will be in the public view, so we do also take care on the physical appearance of the unit. Since they are refurbished, they may contain scratches or slight dents, which can be expected, but most are in very good condition. Most important is they are all in perfect working order when they leave our facility.