It doesn't take any time at all for ice cubes to freeze for they are already made of ice! How long it takes cubicles of water to freeze, however, is a completely different matter.
It does depend on conditions. With a refrigerator freezer it will vary by temp mostly. Of course the obvious is how cold the water is to begin with. However, average the range is wide being 3 - 4 hours.
How to figure it out may be a fun experiment. Really, it will depend on conditions. Some are:
What the freezer temp
Hot water freezes faster than cold.
If the container is centric to the sides of the freezer (Is it on a pedestal?)
If something else inside
What the vessel is made of - Aluminum vs. Plastic
How big is the vessel and type - bowl vs. ice tray
If the water contains salt - tap water vs. water softener
Remember firstly water freezes in layers. It is not solid until through and through. Water basically freezes top down - ice bergs.
To discover how long within 3 - 4 hours the easiest experiment would be to check in intervals probably beginning every half-hour and then shortening. Maybe using a glass container? to see the layers? Just speculating since the air bubbles within ice will make it cloudy? At first one could break up the upper layer each time seeking uniformity.
Adding to the fun keep in mind a possibility is to use a pocket A/C probe thermometer for clues. You could see the overall temp change of the water related to time. You can get one beginning around $7 at a Tool Store like Harbor Freight or possibly Sears. Another is a cheap infrared laser unit that easily can be aimed. Those begin around $20.
Remember it will freeze top down. So, you will have to break through the ice most likely at 32º F to measure the remaining water seeking through and through. Keeping records of time, overall temperature, thickness of layers if not broken up. Maybe contrast that with breaking it up as a second experiment.
They won't freeze if you watch how long it will take because you have to keep the freezer door open. I know I tried it once in college -- well you get the picture.
Lizzy, either Google it or do your own experiment. Check on them every 30 minutes to see how long it takes.
Does your fridge not have an automatic icemaker????????
It does--or used to. I crapped out, leaking and making icicles and stalactites all the way down the back corner of the freezer, so I'm back to manual ice trays. :-(
Liz, if that's happening, your fridge probably needs to be replaced. What gases that propelled the icemaker are leaking into the rest of the unit - and your food?
The rest of the fridge works well, and we have turned off the ice maker and its water supply. A new fridge is so far out of range of our budget that if this one gives up the ghost, we are totally screwed.
You might want to start looking on Craig's List or your local paper. My Sunday paper has an area in the classifieds called Cheap Stuff. There are some things we simply can't do without.
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