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The Difference Between Regular and Clear Ice Makers (Reviews/Ratings)

June 12th, 2012 | 2 min. read

By Paul Groux

An undercounter icemaker is a great way to have extra ice available for drinks, parties and even for icing down injuries. There are two types of icemakers, clear and regular, both kinds need a 120 volt power source and a water connection. They are different from the icemakers inside your freezer because they produce more ice on a daily basis with a better quality of ice.

Regular Ice Makers

marvel ice maker 25IMBSF uline ice maker BI2115

Marvel 25IM-BS-F - $1,399

Uline BI2115S - $1,789

These produce cloudy ice similar to filling ice cube trays with water and freezing them. The ice is cloudy because impurities and air bubbles are trapped in the water when frozen giving the cube a cloudy appearance. Once frozen, the ice drops into a bin and is stored there until needed. There is no drain for this type and the unit stops producing ice once the bin is full.

The regular icemaker is more efficient because it uses less water and electricity than a clear icemaker. It is also quieter. Most brands produce up to 25 pounds of ice daily and can store the same amount, prices will range from $1,200 to $2,000. 

Clear Ice Makers

subzero ice maker UC15IP uline ice makers CLR2160 marvel ice maker 30IMTBSF

Sub-Zero UC-15IP - $3,239

Uline CLR2160-S-40 - $2,399

Marvel 30IMT-BS-F-P - $2,319

These produce clear, restaurant quality ice by spraying water upwards onto a metal grid at a temperature of 32 degrees. Because only pure water freezes at this temperature all the impurities in the water are discarded and you are left with pure clear ice. Most brands are able to produce up to 60 pounds of ice per day and store up to 30 pounds. Stored ice does not last long as it eventually melts and is drained.

To ensure the water drains properly and to prevent future service issues a pump attachment is a strongly recommended option. The prices for these range from $1,600 to $3,200, they are also more expensive to operate because they are operating more frequently to maintain new ice while the old ice drains. There are also different shapes of ice depending on the manufacturer.


Every 6 months you will need to clean and sanitize these, this will increase its reliability and performance and help minimize water and electricity consumption. On both styles a water filter is recommended.

Need some appliance help? Read a Yale Buyers Guide and understand the differences between products, features and terms. Our most popular:

Undercounter Refrigerator Buying Guide


Paul Groux has been with Yale Appliance + Lighting for over 10 years, specializing in appliance sales. He is a former U.S. Army Paratrooper and has completed two Boston marathons.

Read more about Paul here.

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Paul Groux

Paul Groux has been with Yale Appliance for over almost 20 years, specializing in appliance sales. He is a former U.S. Army Paratrooper and has completed two Boston marathons.

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