If you use a lot of ice at home and get fed up with buying bags of ice or using fiddly trays that take up a lot of space in your freezer, it might be time to install an ice machine. There are a few factors that make up the cost of installing an ice maker, so read our guide to find out more.
How much it costs to install an ice maker depends on how long your water line needs to be and where you are in the country, as plumbers’ hourly rates differ based on your location.
HaMuch has a large database of hourly and daily rates for plumbers across the UK, but here are the average costs for installing an ice maker:
Water line installation
Fridge freezer with plumbed ice maker
Counter top ice machine
In the UK, most people with ice machines have them integrated with their fridge freezers to save space. It’s more common in the USA to have built-in or counter top ice makers.
As we said, most people buy fridge freezers with ice machines built into them, but you can also get ice machines that sit on or under the counter or are integrated within the kitchen. Fridge freezers tend to be the more cost-effective option.
To keep costs low, try to fit your ice machine as close to the kitchen sink as possible. This reduces the length of the water line so it won’t take your plumber as long to install.
How much your plumber charges for installing an ice maker will depend on your location and their experience. The average hourly rate for a plumber is £50. Plumbers in the south east tend to charge more than plumbers in the north of England or Scotland. You can take a look at the average hourly rates of plumbers in hundreds of areas across the UK below.
Most ice makers will require a water line to work, so there is a water supply for it to make the ice cubes. The ice machine will draw on the water supply when it needs to create ice cubes until the storage tray is full.
The average cost to install a water line for an ice maker is £100, assuming it is a straightforward install and your plumber charges the average hourly rate of £50. You may find that it costs more if you need a particularly long water line or accessibility is difficult.
Yes, most ice machines need plumbing. You will need to run a water line to your ice maker to allow it to make the ice cubes.
You can get fridge freezers and ice makers that don’t need plumbing, which means that you would need to fill up a tank with water every time you wanted to make ice cubes. This isn’t ideal as you could easily forget to fill up the tank until you need the ice cubes, meaning you’d have to wait for them to be made.
With non-plumbed ice machines, it’s also easy to forget about unused water in the tank. If the ice cube tray is full and the water in the tank stays unused for a few days, it can start to go stagnant. While not necessarily harmful, it could lead to your ice cubes tasting odd next time you make them if you use the same water.
There’s also a risk of mould growth with non-plumbed ice makers if water is left standing for a long time.
It may be possible to install an ice maker yourself if you have some knowledge of plumbing, but we wouldn’t recommend it. If you install a water line to your ice maker yourself and it’s not connected properly, you could cause it to leak.
With an ice machine in a fridge freezer, a leak could go unnoticed behind the appliance for a long time, causing damage to your flooring, cupboards or nearby appliances. Plus, since kitchens are full of electrical appliances, you could even cause a shock or fire risk if a leak goes on for a long time.
It’s much better to leave your ice maker installation to a qualified plumber that knows what they’re doing. They should be able to get the job done in less than 2 hours.
Ice machines aren't particularly expensive to run if you have one integrated in your fridge freezer. You can work out how much your ice maker costs to run by finding out its power output.
If your fridge freezer has an output of 500 watts, divide that by 1,000 to get the kilowatts per hour, which is 0.5 kWh in this case.
Then, multiply the kWh by your electricity cost per kWh. In March 2023, electricity costs around 35p per kWh depending on where you are in the UK.
So, 35p x 0.5 kWh = 17.5p. That means a 500-watt fridge freezer with an ice machine costs 17.5 pence per hour to run. While that might seem like a lot, bear in mind that this is covering the cost of keeping your food and drink chilled or frozen too.
If you've bought a new fridge freezer with an ice maker that you need to plumb in, post your job on HaMuch. We'll put you in touch with trusted plumbers in your area that are available to do the work.
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