Local ice machine manager says these temperatures are actually too cold to make ice

GARDNER, Kan. – It sounds a bit crazy, but a metro man says it’s too cold to make ice.

Russ Robinson manages several Heartland Ice Houses. The buildings sit in parking lots and house an ice machine and a big storage bin that pushes ice down for customers to drive by and pick up.

Robinson said the recent and upcoming temperatures are too cold for the machine to do what it’s supposed to.

"It’ll start making ice, and it’ll freeze up," he said. "And it can’t make that ice fall down into the bin, so it’ll make more ice on top of it. Then more ice on top of it and more and more."

That's when things get even more complicated.

"What happens is the ice starts flowing off the roof," Robinson said. "The water that we use to make the ice starts escaping, flows down into the street. It’ll look like a waterfall. A frozen waterfall on the side of the house if we don’t cut it off."

So for now, he said they have to use a heater on the ice to keep the machine at 37 degrees. That’s how they’re able to keep the ice loose instead of frozen into a solid block.

The storage units hold 7,000 pounds at a time. So even though they can’t make ice now, Robinson said there's plenty ready for customers stocking up for Sunday’s AFC Championship at Arrowhead.

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