Do Portable Ice Makers Need Water Lines?

Do Portable Ice Makers Need Water Lines

A portable ice maker is a device worth having in your home. You can install this ice maker in many places, even on a large refrigerator or small table. However, installing water pipes in any ice machine is very troublesome. Do portable ice makers need water lines? Do you know how to install a water line? Does it need an inlet or outlet? We’ve done extensive research to get you the answer.

Portable ice maker

A portable ice maker is a small appliance which is capable of producing a steady amount of ice throughout the day and can easily fit any kitchen space. Depending on your needs, this ice machine can produce enough ice for you, even for home parties.

To be frozen and taken to an ice storage bin, it needs to be supplied with water. The water supply for the ice machine is significant because it will be one factor that determines the quality of the ice. You should not provide water with too many impurities because it affects your health and accumulates dirt in the parts of the ice machine.

The portable ice maker will take an average of 10 to 15 minutes to make a batch of ice. Some modern ice machines take only 6 to 7 minutes to produce ice. Compared to the production capacity of the freezer, the ice maker makes it much faster.

You can easily carry the portable ice machine anywhere from the kitchen to the living room, in the car space, or during outdoor parties and picnics. Compared to commercial ice machines, portable ice machines are easy to turn off and unplug like other kitchen appliances.

A portable ice maker makes it easy to take anywhere to use
A portable ice maker makes it easy to take anywhere to use

Further reading: The 10 Best Portable Ice Makers for Home Use

Do portable ice makers need water lines?

To work on freezing ice, any ice maker needs to add water to the freezer trays. With a commercial ice machine, you must provide it with a dedicated water line. However, with a portable ice maker, you don’t need to install a water line; just manually fill it with water. These operations are similar to filling the tray with water and putting it in the freezer.

In addition to the water supply line, the portable ice machine does not need to install a drain line. The portable ice machine can store the melted water and provide for the next operation.

Compared with other ice machines, the portable ice machine has no special requirements regarding the installation location. You can place it anywhere there is free table space. However, you should pay attention to the size of the ice machine to suit your needs.

A portable ice maker can work without a water line
A portable ice maker can work without a water line

How does a portable ice maker work?

When using a portable ice maker, you press the power button to start the machine and get into your process. What you need to provide for the ice machine is clean water and electricity; the parts of the device will perform their functions and produce ice.

The cooling tray in the ice maker is a tool that holds water for freezing. Depending on the type of ice machine, there will be different shapes and sizes of ice molds. After 6-15 minutes, the ice cubes will be frozen and transferred to the machine’s ice container. Each day, a portable ice maker can continuously produce up to 35 lbs of ice.

However, you should note that portable ice machines cannot keep ice frozen compared to freezers. Therefore, when the ice is transferred to the barrel, you should use it immediately to avoid the ice starting to melt into water. After the ice melts, the water will be recycled to make the next batch of ice.

How to adequately supply water to the portable ice maker

As mentioned above, portable ice machines do not need water lines or drainage lines. These ice machines all have a small part below to store water for the machine to operate. You need to do the following steps to supply water to the portable ice maker:

  • You pour the right amount of water into the small container below the portable ice machine.
  • The machine will pump water to the ice cube tray.
  • The cooling process takes place inside the machine, reducing the temperature of the water inside the ice cube trays.
  • After 7-15 minutes, the ice will be frozen.
  • Ice in the tanks is transferred to the ice storage tank.
Further reading:  Does Freezing Spinach Lose Nutrients?

You should use this ice as soon as it is created to prevent the ice from melting into water. This water is also not wasted because it can continue to be reused.

You may also like: Do Countertop Ice Makers Use a Lot of Electricity?

How to run water line for portable ice maker

If you want to install a portable ice machine, you can still try it. But you should remember, only people with experience in plumbing and the working of an ice machine can complete a perfect installation.

Before proceeding, you should know the steps you need to take, consult and determine the flow rate of the water line to be installed and the nearest electrical outlet and water source.

To provide the water line for the portable ice machine, you need to perform the following steps:

  • Turn off the nearest water source
  • Use T-valve and water line to run the water line from the nearest water source to the portable ice machine
  • Re-tighten the nut and re-wrap the connectors with special tape
  • Check that the water system is installed
  • Open the water valve to provide water for the ice maker

You may also like: Should You Run Soft Water to the Ice Maker?

Where should the water line for the portable ice maker be placed?

Most of the water lines that supply water to the ice machine are located under or on the top side of the ice machine. Your portable ice maker needs to be equipped with a plastic valve that attaches to the plumbing to allow water to get inside the machine.

All water lines require a connector to connect to the portable ice maker.


How small is the portable ice maker?

The portable ice maker is designed to be compact enough to fit comfortably on a countertop but large enough to hold a substantial amount of ice for families’ needs. Usually, they range in height from 13 – 16 inches and can sometimes be found as little as 10 inches wide. They can even weigh as little as 20 lbs, which makes moving it around the house or kitchen easily.

Besides, manufacturers also pay attention to design, so these machines can be suitable for all types of kitchen spaces, ensuring aesthetics.

What kind of ice does the portable ice maker produce?

Most portable ice machines make ice cubes. As the name suggests, these ice cubes are cylindrical in shape. There are ice machines that produce clear ice without impurities, like the ones commonly found in restaurants.

Do I need a special plug or power source to run my portable ice maker?

No. It does not need anything special. The portable ice maker uses a standard three-prong plug that will connect to a 110-120V outlet. In some cases, you may need a DC converter to connect the device to the power supply in your vehicle.

Can I use the portable ice machine outdoors?

Yes, you can use your portable ice maker anywhere power is available. However, the more extreme the ambient temperature, the harder it is for the ice maker to produce and keep ice. So, please consider this before taking your ice machine outdoors.


Portable ice makers don’t require a water line to operate and produce ice. However, you can still install a water line for your portable ice maker. But remember to follow the steps correctly.

Hopefully, the above article has provided all the necessary information about the role of the water line on the mobile ice machine and how to install and use it.


Does An Ice Maker Need A Water Line? A Drain?,, Retrieved on Jun. 29, 2022


Jenny Brown
Hi, I’m Jenny. On my blog, you will find helpful advice about using and organizing the kitchen appliances. You will also receive the recommendations on choosing a compact refrigerator or freezer that best fits your demands. Besides, frozen meals from the freezer bring many incredible benefits because they ensure freshness, deliciousness, and full nutrients. Many helpful tips from experts on frozen meals will also be found.