Troubleshooting Guide Troubleshooting Guide for Rentals & Margarita Machines

If you need help diagnosing a broken frozen drink machine, call 615-353-5715 and ask for Marla. 

Click for Contact Information

Marla charges $50 per hour with a 1 hour minimum.
With 18 years experience selling, leasing, renting and fixing frozen drink machines, she can help you. 

Here is the Troubleshooting Guide for Margarita Machine Rentals or Slush/Smoothie Machine Rentals.

We hope this will help your frozen drink machine rental experience be a pleasant one.

If you can't find your answer here, Call us at 615-353-5715








Machine Outdoors:

Machine Indoors & Outdoors:

  • Really High Ambient (combination of heat and humidity) Temperature
  • Machine placed in direct sunlight

Keep the machine as cool as possible. Provide plenty of air circulation and DO NOT place the machine in direct sunlight.

  •  Circuit overloaded
 These machines need a DEDICATED 15 - 20 Amp Circuit. Many builders string several plugs on one circuit. Make sure your plug is the only one being used on the circuit provided.
  • Wrong type of extension cord
ONLY USE THE EXTENSION CORD THAT WE PROVIDE. It is a 12 gage, 25 foot extension cord. Do not plug another cord on to our cord. Your cord will possibly burn and the machine's compressor won't turn on.
Worst case you could have to pay to rewire the machine. The machines MUST be placed within 25 feet of a regularly wired (commercial or residential) plug using our extension cord.
  • Another appliance plugged into the same plug or circuit 
  • Not enough time given for freezing
  • The machine switch is in the "Clean" position
  • Machine vents are blocked/poor air circulation
  • Too much alcohol used

 Only use on of our machines on a dedicated circuit.  Visual "Granita Machines" require a 15 AMP dedicated circuit.  Larger Crathco or Taylor machines require a 20 AMP dedicated circuit. Don't share the circuit with anything else (this includes all lights, warmers, microwaves, DJ power, guitar amps, A/C, heat, bubble machine, snow machine.......NOTHING else on the circuit)

Make sure the unit is plugged into a 3-prong grounded circuit only. Do not use a 3-prong to a 2 prong adapter.



Make sure that the machine is turned to the "ON"  or "FREEZE" position  and NOT the "CHILL" or "CLEAN" position.

Be sure the machine is free from any blockage to the air vents on all sides. Don't put anything (i.e. crepe paper, boxes, table cloth, tape, balloons, signs etc.) on the machine that could block the air vents.

The more liquor used the slower the freeze time.  Just be patient.  Remember that liquor/alcohol is an anti-freeze. If you are trying to get liquored up, these things take time.  Stay thirsty my friends.





  • Overloaded circuit
  • Breaker tripped
    Machine(or extension cord) unplugged
  • Power switch not in the "ON" or "AUTO" position

See above solutions for keeping the circuit dedicated to the machine.

Go to your breaker box and turn the breaker back on. See above electrical solutions.

Make sure a guest didn't trip on the cord and accidentally unplug it from the wall.

Make sure the machine is turned on.





Immediately turn off the machine and find a plug on a dedicated circuit.


  • Too many high energy appliances running at the same time
  • Surge in power courtesy of your Electricity Provider

  • Wiring in the room may not support this large appliance along with normal electrical needs for the room.

Turn off and unplug any unnecessary appliances while the machine is being used.

Call your Electricity Provider.

You may want to move the machine to another location that has more power available or try to find another circuit that can be dedicated to the machine.

NOTE: Some dimming of the lights can happen from time to time. But if it is dramatic and seems that the power is struggling to keep up with demand, you may need to make some changes.




Machine makes a knocking sound and shakes a little while it is running

  • Not enough mix in the freezing chamber
  • Machine is freezing and the thicker product has "shifted" in the freezing chamber.

Always make sure the machine is full while you are using it. If this occurs at the end of the party, go ahead and shut the machine off.

There isn't enough product in the freezing chamber to run properly.

When the product equalizes the machine's augers will be more centered. Think of this as a washer that became slightly off balance. It will correct itself if there is sufficient product.


  • The mix is low in the chilling (top hopper) chamber.

If it is during the course of the party, replenish the machine with more product. If it is at the end of the party, then turn the machine off. You can also push the switch to "Wash" or "Clean" so that the auger will push the remainder of the product out. You must then drain the machine and turn the machine off.





Keep in mind these are just estimates. 
Varying factors such as ambient temperature and electricity provided will change the times.  The hotter it is outside, the longer the freeze time. Good rule of thumb for freeze time of a machine outdoors is normally 2 - 3 TIMES the indoor rate of freezing.(Depending on the factors mention).


7-20 minutes indoors
20-40 minutes outdoors


20-45 minutes indoors
1-1.5 hours outdoors


20-45 minutes indoors
1 - 1.5 hours outdoors

2 head
Visual Machines:

1.5 hours indoors
3-4 hours outdoors


10-20 minutes indoors
1-1.5 hours outdoors


Video of a Carpigiani Sencotel Coldelite machine in use (Thanks to Sencotel for the video)

Top of the Page