If you’re looking for an ice maker for your business, you have two choices, buy one or choose a commercial machine lease. While purchasing an ice machine may seem appealing because it’s your machine alone, you also are responsible for all the service, maintenance, and cleaning ice machines need to run efficiently. If you don’t maintain a regular service schedule for your ice machine, you’re in for a whole lot of problems.
The Full Cost of Owning a Commercial Ice Machine
When you buy an ice machine, all the costs of maintaining it falls on you. You’re also responsible for keeping track of all that maintenance – which can be a real hassle.
Neglecting maintenance and cleaning risks a host of problems like less ice production and unnecessary health violations.
Let’s discuss some of the costs you’ll likely encounter when you purchase an ice machine:
Preventive maintenance is one of the most important things you’ll need if you want your ice machine to continue to run efficiently. It involves checking that all your ice machine’s components are in working order, and if not, repairing or replacing them.
Preventive maintenance for an ice machine is like regular checkups for your car. Cars require frequent oil changes, but mechanics also check other areas like tire pressure, filters, or fluid levels.
Just like a mechanic would do for your car, an experienced ice machine technician should check all the internal components of your ice machine. Checking these components before they breakdown not only keeps the ice machine working but prevents further damage to the machine that can lead to a large repair bill.
Generally, you should schedule 2 preventive maintenance visits from a qualified technician – at a minimum. For environments that have a lot of dust or yeast in the air, like factories or bakeries, more than 2 preventive maintenance is suggested.
We’re not just talking about wiping down the exterior of the ice machine. Ice machines pull in a lot of dirt and dust, which can stick to vital ice maker components and slow down your machine.
When ice machines are dirty, they must work harder to produce ice, which leads to machine breakdowns and expensive repairs.
Dirty ice machines can also contaminate your ice supply putting your customers at risk for foodborne illness or lead to a damaging health violation.
Water filters are a necessity if you plan on installing an ice machine. Filters reduce sediment, particles, and mineral deposits from the incoming water supply, which can damage your machine over time.
Once you have a water filter, you need to make sure you replace it when necessary. Particles can build up and reduce the amount of water to your ice machine, which will lead to small or malformed ice cubes.
Phosphate water filters are used for water with high mineral content, otherwise called “hard” water. Without them, minerals bind together to produce “scale,” a hard substance that sticks to ice machine components and causes a range of different problems.
Like sediment filters, phosphate filters need replacing when necessary.
Even if you follow manufacturers’ guidelines for ice machine care, your ice machine will still require repairs from time-to-time. The goal of cleaning and maintenance is to avoid massive repairs that can result in a hefty bill.
If you choose to buy an ice machine, make sure you hire a qualified service technician who will charge you fairly.
Major repairs can add up quickly. For instance, if your compressor needs repairing, it can cost between $1,500-$2,000. Replacing an evaporator can cost as high as $2,500-$3,000. These are some of the most expensive repairs you’ll see, but at these prices, replacing an ice machine might be your best option.
When you own an ice machine, you’re also responsible for any extra ice you need to run your business. Most repair businesses won’t cover your ice while they are working on your machine for the day. If your ice machine is down for repairs, the cost of ice can be more expensive than you think.
Generally, a 10 lb bag of ice costs between $1-$3.
Assuming your business needs 600 lbs of ice a day to run, you’ll be spending around $180 a day to keep your customers’ drinks cold.
Why a Commercial Ice Machine Lease is the Way to Go
With all the maintenance, repairs, cleaning, and extra ice that come with owning an ice machine, a commercial ice machine lease is most often the most cost-effective option – and the most hassle-free! Smart business owners are more concerned with what makes their business money. Although ice is a necessity, it’s not a commodity.
With a commercial ice machine lease, most of the responsibility falls on your leasing service. More often than not, service, cleaning, and repairs are included in an ice machine lease.
With an Ice-Masters ice machine rental, we make sure your ice machine gets all the care it needs to stay running at 100%.
Overall, a commercial ice machine lease not only saves you money but time as well. Your time is better spent making money for your business, not sinking into your ice machine.