How Long Does An Opal Nugget Ice Maker Take To Make Ice?

Whether you've just turned it on for the first time, you're turning it back on after a deep clean or you've just emptied the ice bin and are ready for your Opal to make more ice. You might be wondering just how long it takes the GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice maker to begin making ice and how quickly will it make ice?

The Opal Nugget Ice Maker will produce it's first nuggets of ice within just 15-30 minutes time and will then produce 1 pound of ice per hour or 1 ounce every 3-4 minutes. Filling your water reservoir with cold or iced water can slightly speed up this process.

The Opal Nugget Ice maker is relatively quick. Once you turn it on, it will take around 15 minutes for the ice to start to form and fill the tank. You will be able to produce around a pound of ice an hour. Because of this, the storage tank will be full in approximately three hours. 

See the latest price of the GE Opal Nugget Ice Maker at Amazon
(or compare to the price of the GE Opal Nugget Ice Maker at Walmart)

Below you can see a video where someone fixes their Opal Nugget Ice Maker and turns it back on and they get their first nugget within about 15 minutes and when they open it up you can see lots of other nuggets ready to fall into the bin.

How Does The GE Nugget Ice Maker Make Ice So Quickly?

It works so quickly because it uses a unique way of creating ice. It has a freezing cold metal cylinder which water is poured into. Water quickly freezes to the walls of the cylinder and is scraped off with a spiral auger.

The ice is then pushed upwards, compacted and pushed through small holes and then broken in order to create the nugget ice shapes we know and love. You can see a full deep dive into exactly how the GE Opal Nugget Ice Maker works here.

This unique design means you don't have to wait 2-4 hours for ice cubes to freeze in molds before you can have ice and within the first 1-1.5 hours you can have a full pound of ice.

In 3 hours the GE Profile Opal Nugget Ice Maker will make a similar amount of ice that your traditional freezer ice maker will make in an entire day!

It also has a fairly large storage tank. You will be able to keep three pounds of ice in the storage bin. The water reservoir is 1 gallon in capacity which is enough to make approximately 8+ pounds of ice. That's nearly enough to fill the ice bin 3 times over

However, if you want more, you might want to consider using a side tank. This gives you an extra capacity, extending the size of the tank, doubling the capacity of the machine.

However, you'll still have the limitation of the ice bin which can only hold 3 lbs of ice and the machine switches off when this is full. If you're regularly using ice the machine will continue to make fresh ice cubes.

Alternatively you can take the nugget ice out of the bin and place into a large ziplock bag and place into your freezer for longer term storage.

The good news is that it is very easy to use. It uses magnets on the side of the device to hold it securely in place. 

See the latest price of the GE Opal Nugget Ice Maker at Amazon
(or compare to the price of the GE Opal Nugget Ice Maker at Walmart)

Making Ice With the Nugget Ice Maker

Now that we have a better idea of what’s going on inside the machine and how quickly it makes ice, we can talk about how you can use the ice maker.

If this is your first time, you will need to clean it out first. This removes any harmful chemicals that were used during the manufacturing process. 

This is an easy procedure, you just need to follow these steps:

  1. Use warm water to use the tank and the reservoir. 
  2. Run the “Clean” setting
  3. Remove plugs and drain out the water
  4. Replace the plugs
  5. Put in clean water and run the clean cycle again. You might need to run this cycle a few times before the ice maker will be ready to use. 

One of the most interesting aspects of the Nugget Ice Maker is the ability to use it wirelessly, through your mobile phone. Setting this up is relatively easy. You just need to download the SmartHQ app. Then, move to the select appliance section and add the Opal ice maker. 

You will then need to enter some identifying information. For example, you’ll have to list the serial number of the device. Then, you’ll need to hold the power and light, this will allow it to pair with your phone through the WiFi networks. 

This presents a few interesting possibilities. For example, you will get an alert when the reservoir is running low on water.  It also allows you to use the WiFi systems to turn on the machine remotely, which can make planning for your parties a lot easier. It will also be able to tell you how much ice you have produced. 

Common Opal Nugget Ice Maker Problems and How to Fix Them

While it’s a popular device, the Opal Nugget Ice Maker isn’t perfect. There are a few common issues that you might experience when you are using this device. Most commonly, you’ll start to get worried when the device stops making ice.

Here are some of the things that you should check

  • Look at the amount of water the device has. This device doesn’t come with a water line into the back of it. So, if it runs out of water, it will stop working. 
  • Cleaning mode. If the device is in cleaning mode, it won’t be producing ice. There are a few ways to confirm whether this is a problem. You can look at the app to check the status of the machine. You might also want to look at the front of the device. If it has a round button, it might start flashing yellow. 
  • Defrosting mode. Similar to cleaning mode, if the ice maker is in this mode, you’ll need to give it a little time. 
  • The storage container isn’t in place. If you haven’t locked the storage container in place correctly, it will stop the machine from producing ice properly. If this is the problem, the device will keep turning itself off every five minutes.   

In most cases, one of these simple mistakes will be the reason why you are having problems with the ice maker. If not can try turning it off for a few minutes. This will reset the device.  

Another potential solution is cleaning the machine. Sometimes, when the machine has started to get dirty, it can convince itself that it is full. This is because of the minerals that are present in tap water.  As a result, it will keep turning itself after a few minutes. If this is a common problem, you might want to consider using distilled water in your ice maker. 

If you are still having issues, you can consult the owner’s manual or look at the app to see if there are any error messages. Look at the light in the middle of the ice maker. This will often tell you what the problem is. If the issue doesn’t go away, you can consult the manufacturer. It might still be covered by the warranty period, so you don’t need to pay to have it repaired. 

See the latest price of the GE Opal Nugget Ice Maker at Amazon
(or compare to the price of the GE Opal Nugget Ice Maker at Walmart)