I have been using the Frigidaire Countertop Ice Maker from Costco for two years and wanted to share my long term review in case you are considering purchasing one of these units for yourself.
We use a lot of ice at our house and the ice maker on our refrigerator/freezer is not that great. We had been keeping a spare eight pound bag of ice in our freezer but have been able to stop buying bags because of this countertop unit.
My quick review is, “The Frigidaire icemaker from Costco has been highly reliable and makes ice quickly. The one downside is that the style of ice produced by this unit melts quickly.”
Key Features of the Countertop Ice Maker
The important thing to know about this appliance is that the only thing it does is make ice. That may seem obvious but many people make the assumption that it also serves as a freezer and that is not correct.
How the Icemaker Works
You fill the reservoir with water to the indicated fill line. The unit holds just under a half gallon of water.
Turn the Power on and select whether you want Small or Large ice. There isn’t much of a difference between the two sizes and I use Large.
At this point the compressor turns on to chill a set of metal fingers while water is pumped over the chilled fingers to make ice.
In about six minutes the first batch of ice is ready and it gets dumped into the ice bucket in the front of the unit. As soon as the ice gets dumped the unit starts on a second batch of ice.
The unit continues to make ice until a sensor measures when the ice bucket is full (it holds about two pounds of ice) and the unit stops ice production and the “Ice Full” button on the control panel lights up.
When ice is removed from the bucket the sensor turns the compressor back on and the unit starts making ice again.
This process will continue until the unit runs out of water at which point the “Add Water” light turns on.
Ice Making Capacity
The icemaker has a stated capacity of 26 pounds of ice per day. Please realize that in order for it to make that much ice you will need to remove the ice from the bucket as soon as it becomes filled and either use it or transfer it to your freezer so the next batch of ice can be produced. You will also need to refill the water reservoir six times.
This unit does not act like a freezer to save the ice that is produced. If you just leave the ice in the icemaker then it will slowly melt and drip back into the water reservoir. After the ice melts the sensor determines the ice bucket is empty and the unit makes another batch of ice.
Cleaning the Unit
If the icemaker sits around unplugged with water in the reservoir for more than a day or two then mold can start growing inside the unit and it will need to be cleaned.
The cleaning process is pretty simple.
- Add a quart of mild vinegar solution (1 part vinegar to 6 parts water) to the reservoir.
- Press the Clean/On/Off button for three seconds until the unit enters the Self Cleaning mode.
- Let the vinegar solution circulate in the Self Cleaning mode for 10-15 minutes.
- Turn the power off, unplug the unit, and drain the vinegar solution into your sink.
To drain the unit you will need to reach underneath the reservoir and pull out the plug on the outside of the unit.
Do not drain the unit by tipping it over into the sink. The icemaker has a refrigerated compressor the unit should NOT be turned at a 45 degree angle or larger or you might damage the compressor.
Quality of the Ice
The unit makes “bullet style ice cubes” that are hollow. This shape provides a lot of surface area for heat transfer and this is both a good and bad thing.
The good part about this style of ice is that it is easy to produce which lets the unit make a batch of ice every 6-7 minutes. The bad part is that, because of the exact same reasons that the ice is easy to make, the ice melts quickly in your drink.
- If you are an optimist then we can say that the benefit is that this type of ice will cool your drink rapidly.
- If you are a pessimist then we can say that this ice is going to quickly water down your drink.
I bought the EFIC120 Frigidaire countertop icemaker at Costco for $79.99.
You can buy an equivalent Frigidaire unit from Walmart for $99 which means you will save about $20 if you buy the icemaker at Costco.
To me, the word that best describes this icemaker is “Adorable”. The unit has worked flawlessly at my house for two years and I am very happy with my purchase.
I like the ice that it produces and am a fan of the simple and elegant functionality. It makes me happy when I hear the ice drop into the bucket!
This is not a heavy duty ice maker. The icemaker is great for 1-2 people or as a supplement to a crappy Samsung refrigerator.