What makes it a great buy?
Just to mention a few, it makes plenty of ice (44lbs every 24hours), it’s easy to use, and it’s Energy-Star approved meaning it won’t add much to your power bill.
Undercounter and standalone ice makers tend to be expensive, often costing over $2,000.
But there’s a reason why.
Ice machines from brands like Ice-O-Matic and Scotsman produce a LOT of ice - 60 lbs to 85 lbs - each day.
But what if you don’t need all that ice, but still need something that makes a decent amount of ice for your family and the occasional dinner party?
The Orien FS-55IM built-in ice maker is your answer. This unit produces 44lbs of ice in a day and costs just a bit over $1,000.
Because it has a front venting system, you can build it into your cabinetry. It needs just a little clearance space on the sides and back. You have to install a water line and a drainage hose.
This is a gravity drain model, meaning it doesn’t have an internal pump.
This means you have to drain the water into floor drainage where the water can flow out on its own.
If gravity drainage is not possible, then contact the company’s customer support about purchasing a condensate pump. This pump is installed externally behind the unit rather than inside as it is with most ice machines. Adding a condensate pump also means you’ll need more depth space behind the ice maker, around 6 inches.
Overall, this is a great ice machine.
The ice quality is excellent and after setup, it’s really easy to use and maintain.
The 44 lb Orien FS-55IM falls somewhere in the middle between portable ice makers which make about 26 lbs of ice in a day and full-size undercounter or standalone ice machines with a daily capacity of around 60-80lbs.
In a way, it’s perfect for most families. Not too much ice that the machine feels like a waste and not too little that it can’t handle a few extra drinks when you have guests over.
The storage bin can store as much as 25 lbs of ice. So you can make a large batch ahead especially if you have a home event.
Unfortunately, you can’t store ice in this unit too long, as it will start to melt. The bin is insulated but not refrigerated.
If you are looking for a refrigerated ice maker, try the EdgeStar IB120SS though it makes just 12 lbs of ice per day.
As with any other ice maker, make sure you install the Orien in a cool place. If the surrounding environment is too hot, it will work at less-than-maximum production capacity.
This ice machine produces normal ice cubes that are clear with a cloudy center.
It does not produce gourmet (completely clear and hard) ice cubes nor nugget ice (soft and crunchy).
The ice cubes measure 3/4” by 3/4” by 1”.
The manual strongly recommends adding a filter to the water line. It will eliminate odors and tastes from the ice.
It will also remove any particles that could result in lower ice quality.
Do not use deionized water. It will produce low-quality ice and could potentially damage the ice maker.
It’s also important to regularly clean the unit. This gets rid of any scale that might have built up in the machine and keeps your ice fresh.
The Orien FS-55IM requires a bit of work to install. You need to connect both a water line and a drain hose.
You can do it yourself if you have an hour to spare and some experience with basic home improvement.
If you are busy or uncomfortable, then get a plumber to install this ice maker.
After installation, the ice maker is super-simple to use.
There’s a single on/off button. You cannot change the ice cube size, and there are no indicators for ‘no water’ or ‘bin full’.
Regular maintenance involves cleaning the inside of the unit to remove scale, dust and particles that may have accumulated. Check the manual for cleaning instructions.
Lots of verified customers love this ice maker. They say it works quietly, produces plenty of ice and is not a pain to install and operate.
The most common complaint is that the ice comes out as a connected sheet rather than individual ice cubes. So you have to break the sheet to get your cubes.
But this is a minor inconvenience. The cubes are attached delicately to each other; just one gentle hit is enough to tear them apart.
If you are torn between smaller ice machines that make too little ice and more expensive undercounter ice makers that are far too expensive, then the Orien FS-55IM is a perfect, affordable compromise.
It makes just the right amount of ice without breaking the bank. It’s an especially great buy for most families and small offices
The Orien FS-55IM is one of the most affordable undercounter ice makers. It produces less ice than most other under-counter ice machines, but it’s still enough for most homes.
This is an excellent buy for anyone looking for a reliable, affordable and long-lasting home or office under-counter ice maker.
Vicky Norris is a legal professional who enjoys researching, reviewing and writing about the latest developments in home appliances. A fan of saving money, Vicky started icemakershub.com when it became clear that a whole new class of less-expensive portable ice makers began replacing what used to be a really expensive built-in kitchen appliance.