When purchasing a commercial ice machine, business owners often look to a cheap ice maker as a solution. However, while these machines may be less capital upfront, it could cost you thousands of dollars down the road.
To save money on an ice machine, business owners tend to:
- Buy a used, cheap ice maker
- Select the wrong size machine for a cheaper price
- Skip necessary maintenance and cleanings
Buying a Used, Cheap Ice Machine
When buying a used commercial ice machine, you take on all the problems from the previous owner, just as you would when purchasing any used equipment. Even commercial ice dispensers can have serious issues if not previously maintained. If you’re buying used ice equipment, you may be making a poor investment.
With a used ice machine, you must account for the problems that the previous owners might have never addressed. If the ice machine wasn’t maintained properly, you may face potential issues like:
- Internal ice machine corrosion
- Damage to the evaporator
- Scale growth
- Excess dirt in the condenser
- And more
If you are still set on looking at a used ice machine for sale, it’s crucial you inspect everything thoroughly. Before buying it, ask the owner to open the machine so that you can check for internal damage. Don’t buy the machine if you see any corrosion or if the machine is dirty. Also, ask the owner about previous maintenance and cleaning schedules to ensure that the used machine has been well taken care of.
With any ice machine, professionals recommend twice-yearly preventative maintenance and cleaning visits to keep the machine running it’s best.
Selecting the Wrong Size Ice Machine
Because quality ice machines can be so expensive, people often try and cut corners to save money by purchasing a smaller sized unit. To keep customers happy, business owners need an ice machine that can supply enough to meet the demand. Scraping by on an ice production rate that’s too small can leave you with no ice and unhappy customers. The type of ice machine you buy matters because the wrong machine can be more trouble than it’s worth.
Everyone always needs ice, so it’s much better to have more ice than not enough. Running out of ice doesn’t just mean disgruntled guests; it means wasting time and money purchasing backup ice that wouldn’t be needed with a large ice machine.
Sending an employee to get backup ice may seem like a small inconvenience, but if you’re having to do it every day it can really add up.
A 10-lb bag of ice, on average, costs $3. Most businesses need hundreds of pounds of ice per day to keep up with demand. This means that if they run out frequently, they could be spending hundreds of dollars in backup ice per year.
Skipping Necessary Maintenance and Cleaning
To run its best, a commercial ice machine needs regular maintenance and routine cleanings. Without these, your ice machine will inevitably break down.
People often think by skipping ice machine maintenance and ice machine repairs they are saving money on useless expenses. However, when the ice machine breaks down it may mean a machine replacement, costing you thousands of dollars again.
Keep in mind, if your machine breaks and can’t be repaired, you’ll also need to purchase backup ice in the meantime to keep your business running.
It’s also important to remember that an expensive ice machine comes equally as expensive repairs. If you have an ice maker not working, get ready to pay a small fortune. Even a small valve replacement on a machine can cost you almost $600. With more complex repairs, like cooling components, they can be as high as $2000.
If you follow the recommendation of two preventative maintenance and cleaning visits per year, it will give you peace of mind that you’re taking care of your machine the best you can. Twice-yearly visits give technicians a chance to catch issues early so that you don’t need a huge repair down the line.
Don’t Cut Corners with a Cheap Ice Maker: It May Cost You in the End
Cutting corners when looking to buy an ice machine may save you time and money upfront, but in the end, it will cost you. This expensive mistake can be avoided by purchasing quality machines that are the right size for your business and maintaining them properly.
If you’re still looking to save money on an ice machine, consider an ice machine rental with Ice-Masters. We provide businesses in Kansas and Missouri with top Hoshizaki or Manitowoc ice machines, along with preventative maintenance, cleanings, and repairs for one low monthly cost. Ice-Masters covers the upfront capital for you, giving you the convenience of owning the best commercial ice machine for your business without all the worry.