I just installed this icemaker to replace a Uline I've had and maintained for the last 18 years. First, you need to understand what a clear ice machine is. These appliances run water over a chilled grid until ice forms, then the ice drops to the insulated container--there is no chilled air. The ice starts to melt as soon as it's created, and you'll need a drain to dispense of the melted ice. If you don't like this concept, you should not buy a clear ice machine. These machines mostly cost in the range of twice the price of this Danby. So you'd think you'd be giving up something by going with the less expensive option. Based on my experience with my U-line, here are the reasons this Danby is SO MUCH BETTER.
- THREE options for draining the melting ice water: manual--you can actually have this machine and not have a drain. I wouldn't do that, but it's GREAT to have this as an option. You need to manually drain the water, I'd guess about once a day. OR, gravity drain, if you're lucky enough to have a drain below the level of the icemaker. OR, built-in drain pump--these usually increase the cost of an ice machine by a few hundred dollars, but it's BUILT-IN/included here, WOW!!!
- oversplash of the water flowing over the chilled grid: I struggled with my Uline the ENTIRE time I owned it, trying to stop the water splashing onto the ice. It made the ice melt quickly, and was continuously running. We tried everything from aluminum tape to plastic cups stuck in the machine, and it never really worked well. This Danby has a full plastic plate covering the water flow over the grid, which forces any overflow into the recycling water bin rather than onto the ice
- removable ice bin. Sometimes you want ice in a cup, but sometimes you want to fill a whole cooler. This is the only clear ice machine I've seen that has an ice bin you can pull out.
- separation between ice and melting water. There's a raised shelf that the ice sits on, and the melting water drains below...