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Old 07-24-2013, 11:27 AM   #1
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Plumbing for an Ice Machine


Hello. My church recently purchased an air-cooled under-the-counter Manitowoc ice machine. In the cabinet slot where it is going to be installed (on the far end of the kitchen with its back against an exterior wall consisting of sheet rock/insulation/metal siding), we do have a water hookup available but do not have any drain to accommodate the gravity drain on the back of the machine (for ice melting in the storage bin).

We have thought about just piping a drain out the wall to the exterior of the church since it would be on the back side of the building. However, I don't really know the best way to do that. We would also like it to be where we could slide the machine out from the wall if needed for maintenance, etc. Also, we don't want bugs or other creatures getting in through the pipe. Is an air gap needed in the drainage? Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

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Old 07-24-2013, 01:16 PM   #2
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Plumbing for an Ice Machine


Typically ice machines drains are plumbed to a floor sink or hub drain by an indirect waste line- never to the outside.
There length limitations for the indirect line and when it needs a trap and/or a vent, depending on your local code.
An air gap is needed and should be 2x the discharge pipe diameter.
The water is also plumbed with backflow protection.

I strongly suggest you permit the installation as public health is at stake here.

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Old 07-24-2013, 02:36 PM   #3
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Plumbing for an Ice Machine


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Originally Posted by TheEplumber View Post
Typically ice machines drains are plumbed to a floor sink or hub drain by an indirect waste line- never to the outside.
There length limitations for the indirect line and when it needs a trap and/or a vent, depending on your local code.
An air gap is needed and should be 2x the discharge pipe diameter.
The water is also plumbed with backflow protection.

I strongly suggest you permit the installation as public health is at stake here.
We are out in rural MS, so we are not subject to code inspections or anything like that. Nevertheless, I would obviously like to do this so as to avoid future problems and mainly to ensure the safety of those using the ice it makes.

When you say "The water is also plumbed with backflow protection.", do you mean the inlet water supply?



I was hoping to do something like the following if plausible:

1: Come out of ice machine and turn vertically down towards the floor (put a valve here so drainage line could be shut off if machine were to be pulled away from wall for maintenance/repair/cleaning)
2: Air gap approx. 2x the diameter of the pipe
3: Horizontal catch pipe (with P-trap) that runs through the wall to the exterior of the building
4: Once outside, turn pipe vertically down into buried 5 gallon bucket (bucket is 1/2 full with pea gravel and 6-8" pea gravel underneath).

This would prevent anything from getting through drainage pipe, would allow machine to be removed as it would not be rigidly plumbed in place, and would prevent any backups directly into the machine to avoid contamination of the ice/storage bin.

Last edited by Squidbilly; 07-24-2013 at 05:29 PM. Reason: Updated with initial plan of action
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:08 PM   #4
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Plumbing for an Ice Machine


Why not just put it out the wall with chicken wire in the pipe to prevent rodents and birds entry.. The water inlet should have a dual check valve installed. Make sure you air gap the drain from the ground. The ice melting will probably over saturate what your planning on doing anyway. Do not add any valve on the drain. Some one well forget about it.
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Old 07-25-2013, 12:48 AM   #5
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Plumbing for an Ice Machine


I have attached a simple schematic of what I had in mind. I also purchased an Everpure (EV910010) water filtration system. Does anything need to be changed? Thanks.
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Plumbing for an Ice Machine-drainageplumbing.jpg  
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Old 07-25-2013, 05:22 AM   #6
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Plumbing for an Ice Machine


Well, you don't have too many days/nights that the outdoor temp is under 32. But then again, it doesn't take log to freeze 32 degree drain water.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:26 AM   #7
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Plumbing for an Ice Machine


I had thought about adding a vertical pipe just before the drain pipe enters the interior wall to make it easier to pour liquid down (Chlorox) to keep the drain open.
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Old 07-25-2013, 06:19 PM   #8
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Plumbing for an Ice Machine


Squid it's not good to over engineer.. You do know what KISS means right?
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Old 07-26-2013, 12:12 AM   #9
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Squid it's not good to over engineer.. You do know what KISS means right?
Good Point.
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Old 07-26-2013, 06:00 AM   #10
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Plumbing for an Ice Machine


If you need to pour something down the drain to clean it just pour it down the funnel until the trap flows.
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:15 AM   #11
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Plumbing for an Ice Machine


why not have the ice machine drain run in to a condensation pump like used on a/c units? then run the hose out the wall or to a drain.
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:17 AM   #12
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Why use a pump when you don't have to? KISS Principal.
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Old 07-26-2013, 08:21 AM   #13
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Why use a pump when you don't have to? KISS Principal.
Just thinking out loud COLDIRON. If he did that, he wouldn't have to go through the wall, he could run the hose to the nearest drain and would never have to worry about it freezing up. May not be a problem for him, i didn't notice where his location is.
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Old 07-26-2013, 09:51 AM   #14
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Just thinking out loud COLDIRON. If he did that, he wouldn't have to go through the wall, he could run the hose to the nearest drain and would never have to worry about it freezing up. May not be a problem for him, i didn't notice where his location is.
Thanks for your reply. I had thought about it. However, the nearest drain is ~30 ft away, and I would have to run behind fridge/freezer, commercial oven, and 2 sets of cabinets just to get to it.
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Old 07-26-2013, 05:04 PM   #15
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Plumbing for an Ice Machine


I don't know if food service inspects your facility. SO if you do have a real drain that would be the best option to use.

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