How does a Portable Ice Maker Work – Key Functions


One last question we have seen many times about Portable Ice Makers and that is how do they work or how do they operate or function so if you would like to know how a portable ice maker works – then take a quick look through this post which explains all the main points that you need to know.

Main Functions

  • Delivers Ice Cube in a few minutes without you having to run to the local store
  • Several types of Ice Cube can be achieved depending on the model
  • Many different size of ice cubes can be produced also if you opt for a model with variable size features.

Water Source

There is no water pipe or drain line attached to the Portable Ice maker – simply pour in the water into the reservoir and then press the start button. As the name implies, it is intended to be Portable and can be moved around your kitchen or be taken away with you on your trips as you need it. Only fill up to the maximum threshold line and don’t fill beyond it.


Once the water is added, it is pumped into the ice trays above to start the formation of the Ice Cubes. The water pump is located at the base of the Portable ice maker and it then goes through the filter and up into the trays above.

Compressor and Fan

When the tray is filled the compressor and fan will then start to work on freezing the water into ice. Here the half inch prongs which are located on the heat exchanger are then lowered into the water. These prongs then get cold straight away, the temperature lowers significantly and ice is then formed.


Once the ice cube is formed, a warm refrigerant and the heat exchanger working in reverse is used so that the ice cube can be released easily from the ice tray which is then collected in the Ice bin storage. The prongs heat up slightly which acts as a releasing mechanism from the ice tray.

Ice Cube Capacity

This is the amount if ice that the appliance can produce over a 24 hour period. The higher performing models will be able to generate more ice however the price will always be somewhat higher.

Storage Capacity

This is the amount of ice that can only be stored which is always a lot less that the Ice Cube Capacity. There is an auto shut off sensor system to shut down when filled so you will need to remove the ice once complete to start the next batch of production.

Intelligent Water

When the water has melted, the feature of Intelligent water will funnel the melted water back into the reservoir which is then made as frozen ice cubes once again. This will reduce the level of water you need to add when filling it on an ongoing basis.


The amount of time you have to wait for the ice is only a matter of a few minutes as the speed of the compressor acts quickly and efficiently.

Ice Cube Types

The type of ice cubes that the model will make is generally the bullet shape type or the cylindrical shaped cubes. If you need an Ice maker to do more than just one type, you will need to be prepared to pay a little extra.

Power Supply

The appliance will need to be plugged in only when water is added and normally works off a standard 110 to 120 volt power outlet.

Auto Stop

Once the ice maker machine has filled up with Ice Cubes, the appliance will go on auto shut down to prevent any unnecessary spillages across your countertop. This works by way of a sensor built in to detect the maximum filling threshold.

Internal Temperature

Please note though that these appliances are built to make ice - not to store ice and keep it frozen so if needed, you should remove the ice tubes and add to a suitable container and simply add to your refrigerator freezer or chest freezer if applicable.


In addition – if you are interested - feel free also to take a closer look at popular Ice Makers currently on sale with Wayfair by clicking on the image provided below…


Finally, it would be greatly appreciated by the community if you can share your own favorite Portable Ice maker and the reasons why by leaving a comment in the comment box below – So that other people in the community can learn also!!!


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