Frozen Beverage: Troubleshooting Hopper Noise

FB: Troubleshooting Hopper Noise

Troubleshooting :: Frozen Beverage :: Hopper Noises


Most Spaceman USA machine models have hopper agitator installed inside the hopper(s).  The hopper agitator blades agitate the product in the hoppers to prevent ice buildup inside the hopper(s).  The hopper agitator blades can make noise when they start to build up product or ice, or especially if they are run dry (low or no mix in the hopper).  If your hopper agitator blades start to make noise, please follow the troubleshooting steps below.

Warning:  Please be careful not to place your hands or any objects inside the hopper when in operation.  Failure to do so may cause severe injury.

Troubleshooting Steps

  1. Tune the machine power OFF.  
    Note: If there are multiple flavors, turn power to both flavors OFF.  The following steps will be performed one side at a time.
  1. Remove hopper agitator blades from the agitator post. Remove all blades if there are multiple flavors.
  2. Turn the machine to WASH mode to allow the hopper agitator motor to turn on.
    Potential Solution:  If there is no noise, continue with step 4 below.  If there is noise, skip to step 12 below.
  1. Turn machine power OFF.
  2. Thoroughly clean the agitator blades, and inspect the o-rings for damage if present .
    Note:  If your hopper agitator does not have o-rings installed on the inside, Spaceman has upgraded this part to include lubricated o-rings for better performance.  Please see the proper Parts List for your machine to determine the correct updated part number.
  1. Lubricate the inside of the agitator blade using Spaceman High Performance Food Grade Lubrication
  2. Install the agitator blade back into the hopper on the agitator blade post.  Only install one blade at a time.
  3. If there is no liquid inside the hoppers, fill the hoppers with additional product (or water if machine does not have product inside).  The agitator blades will make noise when run dry.
  4. Turn the machine to the WASH mode to allow the hopper agitator motor to turn on.
    Potential Solution:  There should be no noise at this time, if there is noise, please proceed to step 12 to continue troubleshooting.
  1. Turn machine power OFF
  2. If your machine is equipped with two flavors, repeat steps 6-10 on the other side of the machine.
  3. With the power on the machine OFF, inspect the inside of the hoppers and determine if the Hopper Agitator blades are hitting anything inside the hopper (such as low mix sensor, air tube, or debris).  
    Potential Solution:  If the noise is coming from the hopper agitator blade striking another object, remove or correct the issue with that object and repeat these troubleshooting steps to verify the noise is gone.  If the noise is coming from inside the machine, proceed to the remaining steps below.
  1. With the machine power OFF, remove the side panels from the machine using appropriate tools.  Most machines have quarter-turn fasteners, and some small countertop machines require a Hex-Wrench.
  2. Turn the machine to WASH mode and observe the hopper agitator motor turning the green hopper agitator belt(s)
  3. Inspect the pulleys and condition of the belt.  The belt movement should be smooth and the pulleys should be parallel.
    Solution:  Slight squeaking noise from the belt is normal and may come and go as the belt wears.  If the belt has worn out and is making noise constantly, you may need to replace the belt with the correct part number.  If all above steps have been completed and the source of the noise is not the agitator belts, please contact Spaceman Technical Support for further troubleshooting steps.  Please be prepared to provide all steps performed in order for the technician to advise the best next step.

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