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Do you need a decent amount of ice every now and then? Does it make sense to pay for a dedicated ice maker instead of running to the store every time? If so, then you should take a good, long look at the U-Line BI95 ice maker.
The BI95 is a popular model that will fit well in any decor, either as is or after you personalize it. In this review, I’ll show you the details about this model so you can decide whether to get one for yourself or whether you need to look elsewhere for your ice.
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What Are the Features and Specifications of the BI95 Ice Maker?
The table below shows you most of the important specifications for the U-Line BI95 ice maker. I’ll comment on a few of these items later.
|Cube Size (in.)
|½ x ¾ x 2 ¼
|Production per Day (lbs.)
|Built-in or Freestanding
|Dimensions H x W x D (in.)
|25 1/16 x 13 15/16 x 17
|1 year parts and labor
What Are the Pros and Cons of the BI95?
The BI95 makes crescent-shaped “cubes” which is fairly common. Note that they are just over 2 inches long. That’s not the longest crescent available among ice makers, but it is over twice as long as what you get from many models. If 2 inches is more than you like in your drinks, then it might be time to look elsewhere for your ice maker. (But see below first.)
U-Line says that this machine “uses less than 3 gallons of water.” I assume they mean that it uses no more than that to produce the maximum of 23 pounds of ice per day. Twenty-three pounds is a fair amount of ice – according to U-Line, that’s about four times more than the average refrigerator with a built-in ice maker will create. Your needs may be less or greater than that. There are ice makers for either side of this amount. Determine how much you regularly need to figure out if 23 is your magic number or not.
You can store about half – 12 pounds – of ice in the bin inside the BI95. This seems to be normal. Most ice makers require you to empty the bin once, if you plan to make the maximum amount within a 24 hour period. Note that, with all ice makers, the actual amount you can produce depends on external conditions such as humidity, etc. Don’t be surprised if you don’t quite get up to the stated limit in the stated amount of time.
Some models of ice makers require a drain to handle ice that has melted back into water. The U-Line BI95 does not need one. I can’t find it explicitly stated anywhere that this is also a freezer, but that’s the only reason I can see for not requiring a drain. If the machine keeps the ice frozen, there is no water for a drain to process.
This unit has an on/off switch, but I can’t tell you exactly where to find it because U-Line can’t either. On the company site it says that the switch is “conveniently located on the grille.” However, I can’t see any evidence of one in any pictures. The user manual says, “To turn the unit on or off: Press the rocker switch located inside the door on the front panel, or behind the grille.” So I guess you’ll just have to look around a little when your ice maker arrives. It’s not a big deal, but you’d think we could be easily told where to find it.
You can get this ice maker in either black (BI95B-00) or white (BI95W-00). If you don’t like either of those colors, you can optionally install your own front panel to match your decor better. The panel would measure just under 13 ½ inches high (13 15/32), 13 inches wide (12 15/16), and ¼ inch thick.
When installing the machine, which you can do either under counter or as a freestanding unit, you will need to be sure that it is on an absolutely level surface, because there are no leveling feet on the BI95. According to U-Line, “if it is not level, the ice mold will not fill evenly.” If the mold doesn’t fill properly, you will not harvest ice cubes properly either.
When first using your new machine, “U-Line recommends discarding the ice produced during the first two to three hours of operation to avoid possible dirt or scale that may dislodge from the water line.” U-Line doesn’t specifically mention it, but it’s often a good idea to install an external filter to prevent anything by pure water from entering the ice making system.
If the cubes you are harvesting aren’t the size you want (see measurements above), you can adjust them slightly. See the user manual for exact instructions. I don’t know how much of a difference you can make with this adjustment. Note that U-Line warns, “Too large of an adjustment to the [size] screw can cause the water to overflow the ice maker and can cause property damage.” I’m not sure why they would design the adjustment screw so that you could turn it too far, so be careful if you do decide to make this change.
You can also change the speed of production somewhat. Again, I don’t know how fast or slow you can make the machine work.
What’s the Verdict on the U-Line BI95 Ice Maker?
This is quite a popular ice maker based on sales and reviews online. It produces a good amount of ice daily. The question is whether this amount is what you often need or not.
One very positive feature is that this unit seems to be a freezer as well as an ice maker. (See lack of drain mentioned above.) Assuming that it is, being able to store a bin of ice in the machine for an extended period of time is a real plus.
If you want to check out a few other machines first – some larger and some smaller – see this overview article about the U-Line compared to other ice makers.