Will using 3rd generation ice make me sick?
July 30, 2006 10:46 PM   Subscribe

Will using ice that melts and is then refrozen over a couple of weeks (thru a portable icemaker) make me sick?

I have a portable icemaker in my office. Each day I pour some water into it and make a couple of pounds of ice. What ever is not used, melts back into the reservoir and gets refrozen the next day (usually with some fresh water added). This goes on for about two to three weeks before I drain it, rinse it out with some mild soap and a cap full of bleach. Then I leave the top open for the weekend to try to dry out the insides.
Is there a risk of getting sick from some bacteria growth or legionnaires disease or something?
posted by longlight to Science & Nature (8 answers total)
The water is frozen. Frozen water doesn't support life.
posted by Rubbstone at 10:56 PM on July 30, 2006

Rubbstone is wrong. While most bacteria that like to feast on humans can't survive freezing, some can. Some can start to grow again once the water has melted. Some release toxins that aren't alive anyway, but can still harm you. Some info here. Salmonella, for instance, can survive freezing and thawing - which is why we have rules about not refreezing meat etc.

To be honest the risk of you dying from this are slight, but I personally wouldn't do it, particularly not for weeks at a time.
posted by Jimbob at 11:16 PM on July 30, 2006

probably no diseases, but its still sounds nasty. I am sure I know the answer to this question, but why not just empty the ice out daily into the sink on your way home?
posted by Funmonkey1 at 11:16 PM on July 30, 2006

Is this covered? If so it's like keeping a pitcher of water on your desk for a few weeks, and then drinking it. Which should be fine. The freezing won't make it worse.
posted by aubilenon at 11:45 PM on July 30, 2006

Seeing as how you're sterilizing it regularly, you should be fine. I think the worst thing you might get is a weird taste.

Unless something gets in there which will support a lot of bacterial growth, like a piece of food.
posted by tomble at 12:17 AM on July 31, 2006

Is this covered? If so it's like keeping a pitcher of water on your desk for a few weeks, and then drinking it. Which should be fine.

Exactly. It's just water. Bacteria doesn't grow in plain water. It's no different then keeping a jug of water in the garage or something. Bacteria would need some sort of nutrients to survive.
posted by delmoi at 3:06 AM on July 31, 2006

Portable icemaker? Sorry to derail, but this is a dream of mine. Where'd ya get it, how much did it cost?
posted by Sweetie Darling at 3:34 AM on July 31, 2006

Response by poster: Because of the long hours I work and the fact that I have no sink in my office, cleaning it is a bit of a chore so I seem to put it off longer than I'd like. Yes, it is coverd but I open it each time to get the ice. And btw, it is a fantastic applience. I love it. Got it at home depot for like $125.
posted by longlight at 7:35 AM on July 31, 2006

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