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Old 05-01-2013, 01:41 PM   #1
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Making ice at home

This is a little off topic, maybe way off topic but maybe the appropriate place to post.
The admiral and I live in a home with a well and not so good water. We have always purchased water for drinking and ice for drinks. We use 5 gallon refillable bottles for drinking that we purchase from a vending machine and purchase ice from the supermarket.

The other day I removed the icemaker aboard the boat. We never use it and it just adds weight, which cost money to haul around. So I began to think, maybe I could use the icemaker at home. I would have to purchase a DC pump to supply bottled water to the icemaker and a float switch to remove power from the pump when the water got too low. I’d also have to get a transformer for the DC portion of the setup.

But then I began to think again realizing I already have an icemaker in our refrigerator. It would be more cost effective from an energy use standpoint to use our existing icemaker, but the problem is I would have to get a filter to use our well water. I don’t want to do that because the filter would constantly need changing.

So can I rig up a device that would allow bottled water to supply the water for the icemaker in the refrigerator? Could the water be supplied to the icemaker by gravity by placing the bottled water on top of the refrigerator? This of course would be the easiest way but I suspect some pressure would be required to make the icemaker work. So is there an AC pump that I can use that has an auto shutoff built in that will prevent the pump from pumping when the bottled water container goes dry and wouldn’t require constant monitoring?

I’m looking for ideas!
Thanks guys.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:51 PM   #2
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Tim, why don't you try the gravity feed and see if it works? It won't cost anything to try. If it doesn't work you can figure out the pump application.
I think Jabsco makes some small AC demand pumps for automatic dispensing machines. It certainly wouldn't be hard to rig a boat demand pump to run off a 110 / 12 volt power supply.

Take a look at this: BW PLUS Series Bottled Water Dispensing System PLUS > Xylem Flow Control - Let's Solve Water.

No idea what it costs.
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Old 05-02-2013, 05:38 AM   #3
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Most std RV water pumps are aviliable in 120V instead of 12V , just ask.
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Old 05-03-2013, 04:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timjet View Post
So can I rig up a device that would allow bottled water to supply the water for the icemaker in the refrigerator? Could the water be supplied to the icemaker by gravity by placing the bottled water on top of the refrigerator?

1. Yes
2. No... well maybe.

It would have to be higher than the icemaker in the freezer, by a long way. Or the ice may only be small chips or droplets.
Normally the Icemaker is getting 50-60 psi of water pressure from the well pump or municipal water company.
By reducing the flow to gravity, it would be difficult to create that kind of pressure the valve and small 1/4" line it uses. The fill valve for the Icemaker is at the bottom of the refer, next to,if you have a chilled water dispenser valve.
It's a long way down and back up.

An auto pressure/ on demand RV pump, I would think, ( and already mentioned) would work out nicely. You'd just have to supply it with a tank above the pump ( typical RV water set-up). then just keep filling the tank how ever much you're making Ice.

Good luck and Take pics and post on your project if you go thru with it.
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Old 05-03-2013, 11:00 PM   #5
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I think fishbucket is right, gravity won't provide enough pressure.

HopCar nailed it. The bottle water dispensing system is cheap and was designed for my purpose. Thanks
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