The Infamous Opal Ice Maker: Our Family’s Review

Last year, my family and I finally finished on the kitchen renovation that made us fall in love with our home all over again. With such a practical space for entertaining, we have opened up our home more than ever before, putting our kitchen to the ultimate test! While we are in love with almost every aspect of the remodel, there is one thing I would change.

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You can see the full details of our remodel right here!

Call us crazy, but in my household we place immense value on keeping our drinks cold. I’m not exaggerating when I say I have a minimum of two additional kids at my home all times! Between neighbors, family and friends, our fridge’s ice maker could not keep up (it never had a chance! haha) After scrolling around online one evening, I was shocked to find out you can buy an at-home nugget ice maker, producing the same ice my family loves so much from fast food restaurants! My sister has a similar one and just raves about it so I knew it had to be included in the remodel!

I purchased the Firstbuild Countertop Opal Ice Maker through Amazon a few months ago. After letting the entire family test it out, I am ready to tell my true opinions ( as an opinionated ice lover) to help you decide if you need a nugget ice maker in your home.

Opal Ice Maker

FirstBuild Opal Ice Maker: The Rundown

Firstbuild Opal touts their design to be the most elegant ice maker on the market. Sitting on your countertop, the machine is sleek and silent with the ability to make delicious ice for every drink.

What We Loved About FirstBuild Opal Ice Maker:

  • The capability to fit on every countertop
  • Quick turnaround time (only 20 minutes to make ice)
  • Smart bluetooth technology to preset ice making times
  • No water hookup required

Our Initial Experience

I cannot describe the excitement my family had when this came in the mail. With my kids jumping around in anticipation to watch the ice being made, I was very appreciative that the ice maker was simple to set up (just following the directions it came with). With the perfect spot in our new kitchen for the ice maker to sit, our remodel felt complete!

We all got a kick out of watching the ice being made, with the light in the machine illuminating the entire process. It took exactly 20 minutes for the ice to come out and it was delicious! There was no plasticy taste, just the nugget ice we all know and love. My family loved our little machine so much, up until it stopped working.

Opal Ice Maker review

Issues With Our Ice Maker

After about 6 weeks, the machine just stopped working. Even though I had been regularly cleaning it, I started the rinse cycle again just in case. No luck. 

After sending Firstbuild Opal ice maker an email regarding my issues and bringing up the limited warranty, I waited a week for a reply. I know it may not seem like a long wait, but I was hoping for better customer service after such an expensive investment in our kitchen. 

We were advised to defrost our machine, following it up by a cleaning cycle. Trying it 8 times with no luck, I emailed again. This time we ran the cleaning cycle 3 times with vinegar- still no luck. Another email exchange with the promise of cleaning the sensors to fix it…it just wasn’t working out.

After two weeks of waiting for responses and running the cleaning cycle, I was frustrated. My family has loved this ice maker so much, but it felt like we never got to enjoy it for a true amount of time. I sent one last email to customer service, kindly asking for any sort of replacement, but was met with a reply to buy their cleaning kit sold on the Opal iwebsite.

The Pros- What I Liked About Our Opal Ice Maker:

  • When the ice maker worked, it worked! The ice was great tasting and crunchy.
  • The cleaning cycles were simple to do and took little time.
  • It was quiet and easy to make.
  • Set up was quick and easy.

The Cons- What I Did Not Enjoy:

  • Customer Service- all aspects did not feel like they truly wanted to help.
  • The limited warranty proved to not be true.
  • The machine itself had fingerprints all over it, even after wiping down.

Is It Worth It?

Simple answer: No. We are still so sad that such a costly machine did not prove to last the test of time. Although we are a part of the nugget ice fan club, I am wary of buying any new ice maker again. For those of you looking at such an investment, try researching different companies and look carefully at the warranty they provide. 

If any of you have tried and true recommendations for ice makers, please leave them in the comments! There is an empty space on the kitchen counter just waiting to be filled.

5/5 (1 Review)

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  1. About the Opal First Build Ice Maker. I also ordered one. The first one I ordered from Amazon was dinged and dented so I sent it back and got a replacement. I have had and loved this ice machine for 4 years with very little problems. There were a few times I had to shut it off over night and let it defrost, clean it and vacuum the dust out of the vents then it would work fine. Then two days ago it quit. I cleaned it 3 times. The alarming thing I found when I cleaned is that the interior was full of mold. I have done extensive research. The newer Opal machines say they have to be cleaned and descaled weekly! That makes me think others complained about the mold. The one I had said to clean every month. I have ordered the Newair 44lb. Nugget Countertop Ice Maker with Self-Cleaning Function, Refillable Water Tank. I saw a review on YouTube and you can purchase an additional 5yr warranty for $23.30. It arrives tomorrow. I hope it works well. It’s cheaper than the Opal as well.
    Good luck,
    Lisa Boyd

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