Commercial Ice Machine Maintenance and Cleaning Requirements 

Did you know that your commercial ice machine could quickly become a public health hazard without regular maintenance, cleaning, and sanitizing? 

It’s true! 

Any part of the machine contacting the water supply can develop. 

  • Mineral deposits
  • Scale buildup
  • Slime (usually pink or brown)
  • Mold

Without regular cleaning and sanitizing, your hotel, bar, or restaurant could serve potentially contaminated food to guests and patrons.   

Because ice is edible and ingestible by humans, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers ice a food product. As a result, ice-making, storage, and shipping fall under its jurisdiction and regulation. Typically, the FDA inspects large ice-producing plants that provide bagged ice to retail outlets. However, local health departments handle most food prep, food service, retail, and medical facility inspections. 

The FDA guidelines recommend following the specific installation, maintenance, cleaning, and sanitizing procedures per the manufacturer’s recommendations, but never less than twice a year. 

Once a contaminant reaches your ice machine, the ice and cold temperature can help preserve the germs while the inherent moisture allows them to reproduce. The result is a sticky “biofilm” (typically pink or brown in color) that is difficult to remove permanently without the proper cleaning and sanitizing products. Mold is also highly problematic because the colony can quickly reestablish itself in the corners, crevices, or missed spots. 

Ice Machine Cleaning and Sanitizing Schedules 

If you still need a formalized cleaning and sanitizing schedule, here are some essential factors to consider as you create one. 

Your business type – A busy bar or restaurant is a much different working environment than a medical facility. 

Ice machine location – An ice machine in a commercial kitchen will require more cleaning and sanitizing than one in a hotel lobby. 

Usage – Frequent and consistently used machines require more cleaning and sanitizing cycles.  

Local water conditions – Could be responsible for clogged lines and filters and contribute to mineral deposit buildup. 

Additionally, if your commercial ice machine exhibits the following performance issues, it’s probably time for a cleaning and sanitizing procedure. 

  • Diminished ice production
  • Ice does not release properly
  • Slow or extended production cycles
  • Shallow or incomplete cubes
  • Low ice capacity
  • The machine does not cycle through phases correctly
  • Soft or cloudy ice cubes

Lastly, if your machine requires excessive cleaning and sanitizing to work efficiently, you may need to test the water supply. Some localities may need water treatment to address high mineral content levels. 

How to Clean and Sanitize Your Ice Machine 

Before we jump into the cleaning and sanitizing, you’ll need to assemble a few items.  

Determine the make and model of your ice machine 

If you need access to the owner’s manual, locate the manufacturer’s tag and do a Google search to find the appropriate service manual online. For example, “Ice Master 2600 service manual” or “Manitowoc Elite Series Gold ice machine owner’s guide.” 

Assemble the necessary equipment and supplies 

Safety first! Always wear rubber gloves and safety glasses to protect yourself from splashes and minor spills when working with cleaning or sanitizing solutions. In addition, you may need wrenches or other tools to disconnect filters, water lines, and other parts of the ice machine to perform a complete cleaning and sanitizing. 

Next, assemble the cleaning and sanitizing agents listed in the owner’s manual. Always use the recommended ingredients and mixing ratios per the owner’s manual to comply with warranty requirements.  

Compared to standard cube machines, flake, shaved, and nugget ice machines utilize additional components which require cleaning and sanitizing. Read through the cleaning and sanitizing directions multiple times to become familiar with the parts and assemblies before dismantling anything. 

Commercial Ice Machine Cleaning and Sanitizing 

The first step is to remove the ice from the bin storage; you can shut off the machine and wait for the ice to melt or manually remove and dispose of the ice. 

Important Note: Any ice produced during the process and the first batch of ice after cleaning and sanitizing is complete and should be discarded.  

The first half of the process involves cleaning the ice machine per the manufacturer’s instructions. The cleaning process for commercial ice machines can vary, but most include adding the cleaning mixture to the water trough and selecting the “clean” option. 

Most cleaning cycles will take 15-30 minutes, depending on the unit size and manufacturer. During this time, mix the cleaning agent with lukewarm water and remove the necessary parts (per the manufacturer’s instructions) for cleaning. Use ½ of the solution to clean the removed parts and the remainder to clean the exterior food zone surfaces completely. Thoroughly rinse all surfaces with water to remove any cleaner residue before starting the sanitizing process. 

Next, mix the sanitizer solution and lukewarm water per the manufacturer’s instructions. Finally, use ½ of the solution to sanitize the removed parts from the cleaning process by either soaking or using a spray bottle. 

Important Note: DO NOT rinse the removed parts with water after sanitizing them. 

Use the remaining solution to sanitize the exterior food zone surfaces thoroughly. Then, reinstall the previously removed parts and wait 20-30 minutes before continuing the sanitizing process. 

After restarting the machine and allowing the water trough to refill, add the proper amount of sanitizer and select the clean or wash cycle. The sanitizing process typically takes an additional 15-30 minutes. Once complete, your ice machine is ready to start making ice again. 

Important Note: The first batch of ice after the cleaning and sanitizing should be discarded. 

During the process, remember the ice machine condenser and any air or water filters utilized since dust and dirt buildup will reduce flow rates and could result in overheating and shorter equipment life cycles. 

MaintenX can service and install all makes and models of commercial ice machines including. 

  • Hoshizaki
  • Manitowoc
  • Scotsman
  • Ice O Matic

For questions about ice machine cleaning and sanitizing or setting up a preventative maintenance HVAC/R schedule, the MaintenX HVAC/R team of experts is never more than a phone call or email away. 

Hurricane Season Is Here, and MaintenX Is Here to Help

June 1 is the first day of a month that many of us associate with the start of the relaxing days of summer, but it’s also the first day of a time of the year that is one of the most important for business owners – hurricane season.

While we hope for a calm and uneventful season, which will last until Nov. 30, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), it’s crucial that we remain prepared and vigilant in the face of potential storms. Hurricane season brings with it the potential for severe weather conditions, including heavy rains, strong winds, and storm surges. By taking proactive steps now, you can minimize the impact of a hurricane on your life and your business.

Whether it’s your first time weathering the storm or you’ve grown up in a hurricane zone, understanding how to prepare for one of these catastrophic weather events can mean the difference between minor damage and major destruction for your business. And as we continually build our knowledge of hurricanes, we understand more and more just how destructive their power can be.

Consider that between 2019 and 2021, there were 56 weather and climate disasters, including hurricanes, with losses greater than $1 billion, according to NOAA, and that while Hurricane Katrina was the most expensive hurricane in recent history, with approximately $161 billion in damage, Hurricane Ian, which struck Florida and South Carolina last year, as a category 4 Atlantic hurricane, was the second-largest insured loss after Katrina, according to the reinsurer Swiss Re.

MaintenX, as one of the largest national facility maintenance and repair companies in the U.S., has a long history of helping business owners understand the risks of hurricane season, and, as we do each season, we’re here to offer our expertise as a resource in helping prepare for storms, make it safely through storms, and address any damage after storms as best as possible.

This year we’re kicking off this effort with a rundown of the most common types of commercial property damage risks from hurricanes to keep in mind as well as some of our top tips on how to prepare your business for a hurricane. We invite you to peruse them and stay tuned for more in-depth blog posts on many of these risks and tips throughout the next several months, as hurricane season reaches its peak, from mid-August and mid-October.

Most Common Types of Commercial Property Damage Caused by Hurricanes

  1. Roof damage – Water intrusion, gutter damage and metal roof panel destruction are the most common type of damage. Metal canopies can be blown away from the wind, and modified materials can similarly be torn apart.
  2. Interior damage – A powerful storm can cause doors and windows to be torn from their hinges or broken by flying debris.
  3. Structure and foundation damage – Extremely powerful wind gusts can cause a building to shift and leave cracks in the structure or foundation below.
  4. Equipment damage – It’s common for heating and air-conditioning units, appliances, and generators to be damaged.
  5. Utility damage – Infrastructure including power lines, internet connections, water systems and vital power grid components is almost always damaged after a hurricane.

Top Tips for Preparing for a Hurricane

  • Understand your property insurance – Check your policy or call your agent well in advance of hurricane season to discuss how to be prepared for a hurricane and to figure out any additional coverage you may need.
  • Put up plywood to seal off windows and doorways – This is the most practical method for protecting these openings.
  • Clean your gutters – This is particularly important during hurricane season. It allows water to flow properly and move away from a building.
  • Secure outdoor items – Anything left outside has the potential to become a missile, so it’s important to bring in or secure outdoor items, like trash cans, tables, and chairs.
  • Prepare an emergency kit – If you have to remain at or near your business, include fresh water for drinking and sanitation (one gallon per person per day), several days’ worth of non-perishable food items, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, and a charger for mobile devices. And don’t forget to pack extra batteries.

The key to reducing the risk of damage to your business is to begin preparing now. We hope you plan ahead using the insights here, and we hope everyone stays as safe and protected as possible this storm season.

Low Flow Plumbing Fixtures

Being a business owner or manager, chances are you’re always on the lookout for ways to reduce operating costs. As a result, many companies focus on reducing their electric bills through upgrades such as zoned HVAC systems, LED lighting, and energy-efficient windows.

But did you know that you can cut another major utility bill with minimal effort and expense?

The savings, ranging from 30% – 50%, are immediate; and your business won’t require another upgrade for several decades. Yes, today we’ll discuss the benefits of low-flow plumbing fixtures, and their impact on your operating costs.

What Are Low-Flow Plumbing Fixtures?

As the name implies, low-flow plumbing fixtures use substantially less water than their traditional counterparts: faucets, toilets, shower heads, and even dishwashers, too.

Many business owners assume that their existing plumbing fixtures are low flow since the Energy Policy Act took effect (1994 for residential buildings, 1997 for commercial buildings) nearly three decades ago. Unfortunately, the average age of a US commercial building is 53 years, meaning that low-flow plumbing fixtures were not an option during the original construction.

This Energy Policy Act includes the federal requirement that all new toilets must use no more than 1.6 GPF (Gallons Per Flush). Some drought-stricken states, like California and Texas, require that new toilets meet high-efficiency standards of 1.28 GPF, to conserve even more water. Since you’re already wondering, most older toilets use between 3.5 to 7 GPF. Here in the US, the average faucet and showerhead have a flow rate of 2.2 GPM (Gallons Per Minute), compared to 1.5 GPM for the low-flow options. Depending on the manufacturer, most low-flow faucets and showerheads use either a restrictor or aerator to reduce the water flow during usage.

Low-flow dishwashers are yet another option to reduce water usage. These units typically use no more than 4 gallons for a wash cycle, compared to 15 gallons for older models, and 27 gallons for washing dishes by hand.

US Commercial Water Usage

Below we’ve assembled the estimated daily water usage rates for several different industries and services for comparison purposes.

Service/Industry Daily water usage
Motels 100 gallons per unit/suite
Barber shops 55 gallons per chair
Beauty salons 270 gallons per chair
Resorts 35 gallons per person
Factories (without a shower) 25 gallons per employee each shift
Factories (with a shower) 35 gallons per employee each shift
Average restaurant 70 gallons per seat
24-hour restaurant 100 gallons per seat
Hospitals 250 gallons per bed
Retirement homes 100 gallons per bed
Office buildings 20 gallons per employee
Stores 400 gallons per bathroom
Movie theatres 2 gallons per seat
Service stations 10 gallons per vehicle

If you own an office building with 100 employees, that gives you an estimated usage of 2,000 gallons per day, or 60,000 gallons per month. Upgrading to low-flow faucets, toilets, and showerheads could cut your daily usage from 30-50%.

At 30%, that reduces your water usage by 18,000 gallons each month.

And at 50%, that works out to a 30,000-gallon reduction each month.

Commercial Water Rates

Water costs vary dramatically across the United States, as shown in the following chart. In Phoenix, the average cost for a cubic meter of water is $0.96, while San Francisco checks in at $6.07 per cubic meter.1

City Average cost (per cubic meter)
San Francisco $6.07
Indianapolis $5.17
Seattle $4.60
Los Angeles $3.79
Tucson $3.31
Boston $3.10
New York $2.00
Dallas $1.25
Phoenix $0.96

For comparison purposes, one cubic meter of water converts to 264 gallons.

Going back to our office building example from above, let’s plug in the 60K gallon  (227 cubic meters) estimate and see what happens.

City Average cost (monthly)
San Francisco $1,377.89
Indianapolis $1,173.59
Seattle $1,044.20
Los Angeles $   860.33
Tucson $   751.37
Boston $   703.70
New York $   454.00
Dallas $   283.75
Phoenix $   217.92

Your zip code has a lot to do with your water rates. As you can see, Tucson and Phoenix are only separated by just over 100 miles, but Tucson businesses pay 300% more for the same tap water.

Learn More About Low Flow Plumbing Fixtures

If your commercial building was built after 1997, you most likely already have low-flow toilets in place. Most low-flow toilets can be identified by a 1.6 GPF or 1.28 GPF stamp inside the toilet tank, or on the toilet bowl.

To check your faucets and showerhead typically involves removing the fixture and looking for the flow rate stamp on the underside of the device.

As you can see, reducing your water usage can lead to immediate and long-term savings no matter what type of business you own.

Of course, we’re ready to answer any other questions you might have regarding:

  • Low flow toilets
  • Low flow faucets
  • Low flow showerheads
  • Low flow dishwashers
  • Remodeling
  • New Construction

Simply contact the MaintenX Plumbing Division, and ask the low-flow plumbing fixture experts.

Comprehensive Commercial Plumbing Services

With over 40 years of commercial plumbing expertise, our clients in the industrial, retail, medical, and restaurant industries know they can count on the MaintenX plumbing team to answer their plumbing emergencies day or night.

If you’re experiencing a plumbing emergency, please call us now at 855-751-0075.

In addition to our 24/7 emergency plumbing services, the MaintenX Plumbing Division can also assist with your next remodel or building expansion project. From developing the scope of work, to permits, to installing plumbing fixtures, our plumbing professionals are ready for your next commercial plumbing project or upgrade.

Comprehensive Commercial Plumbing Services

To date, our dedicated team has worked with hundreds of small, large, and Fortune 500 companies to handle not only their emergency plumbing needs but a variety of plumbing services including.

Drain cleaning
Slow drains are the telltale sign of dirt and debris accumulating inside your pipes to restrict water moving toward the sewer or septic system. Whether your building uses clay, cast iron, ABS, or PVC piping, we have the proper tools and experience to quickly clear your drains.

Sewer and utility location
Most cities and county governments require that all underground utilities be identified no less than two full business days before beginning any excavation or demolition project.

Hydro-Jetting drain lines
While not recommended for fragile piping systems, our 7500 psi hydro-jet cleaner can quickly clear most clogs, debris, tree roots, and grease build-up from your drain lines.

Lift Stations
Are used extensively to move wastewater and sewage from a lower to a higher elevation as it travels to the treatment facility. The MaintenX team can assist with the design, installation, and maintenance of an existing or new lift station. With proper maintenance, most effluent (or lift) pumps can last between 10-15 years.

Tankless water heaters
Looking to reduce your utility bills? MaintenX specializes in tankless water heaters (Navien 240 and Rinnai A replacements) that use the same amount of energy as a light bulb. With proper maintenance and servicing, these tankless water heaters can last 20-25 years.

Backflow Certified
There are over 7.15 million reported cases of waterborne illnesses in the US each year, and most could be prevented through proper backflow maintenance procedures. Our backflow-certified team members can install, inspect, adjust, or repair your backflow-preventer components and assemblies.

Commercial re-pipe projects
If you’re experiencing leaks, water discoloration, strange odor/taste, or a lack of water pressure, it may be time to re-pipe your building’s plumbing system. Our dedicated team will quickly identify and replace the supply and drain lines throughout your location.

Overhead irrigation systems
Water expands when frozen, potentially damaging the pipes, joints, fittings, and valves of your irrigation system. That’s why in addition to maintenance and repairs, we also provide winterization services for overhead irrigation systems.

Video camera inspections
Depending on the type of pipe, we utilize flexible push camera systems including endoscopes and borescopes to quickly locate the roots, debris, corrosion, and cracks/leaks affecting your system.

Single-flush, dual-flush, power-assisted flush, and now high-efficiency toilets (HETs), too. Whether you’re updating to add some design or interest to the bathroom or to meet current 1.6 GPF (Gallons Per Flush) guidelines, we’re ready to answer any questions you might have.

Sinks and faucets
From the bathroom to the kitchen, or for specific industrial uses, we can supply, install, and service a wide variety of materials, finishes, and sizes to meet your specific sink and faucet needs. And yes, we can help you select the best low-flow faucet to save up to 700 gallons each year.

Hose bibs
Trust MaintenX to handle your hose bib draining and weatherization services.

During the winter, water not purged from the hose bib could freeze and expand, causing pipes to crack, leak or burst.

Electronic leak detection
Because water likes to travel, the water stain you see is typically not an indication of where a leak is located. Using an ultrasonic detector to measure different sound frequencies of water, we can quickly find the cause of the leak and repair it.

ADA compliance requirements
ADA refers to the Americans with Disabilities Act which includes specific requirements (handicap access, grab bars, open sink vanities) for public restrooms within a business location. Our ADA compliance experts are ready to answer all your questions.

Preventative maintenance plans
One of the simplest ways to minimize unexpected plumbing repairs is with a preventative maintenance plan designed around your business model or industry. Regular cleaning and service will keep all your pipes, drains, and fixtures operating at maximum performance.

To learn more about our commercial plumbing services, or to discuss a new project with our team of plumbing experts, please send us an email!

How Does the Commercial Re-Piping Process Work?

Much like a residential re-pipe, all the hot and cold water lines within your business are removed and replaced with either new copper, PVC, or PEX piping.

To help you better plan and prepare, the team at MaintenX has assembled this handy reference guide to explain the why, where, and how of a typical commercial re-piping project.

Commercial Re-Piping Projects: Understanding the Why

As the water moves through your pipes, dirt, debris, or the minerals in the water will begin to accumulate inside. When left unchecked, the build-up continues until the component is serviced, replaced, or fails.

The most common indicators that it’s time for a commercial re-pipe are:

• Poor-tasting, discolored, or foul-smelling water

• Turning the water on or off causes the pipes to bang or creak

• Visible corrosion or rust on pipes, fittings, and valves

• Visible leaks at connection points

• Low water pressure

If you’re experiencing any of these issues, don’t hesitate to contact the MaintenX Plumbing Division immediately.

All existing water lines, valves, connections, and shutoffs will be replaced during re-piping. As a result, you’ll have a brand-new water supply system throughout your business location, from the water meter to the hose bibs.

Typically, the drain and sewer pipes are not included in a commercial re-pipe, as they are isolated and independent from the water supply system. Also, the existing water heater, sinks, faucets, and toilets typically remain during a commercial re-piping project. However, if you’ve considered upgrading one or all these items, our plumbing experts can help you select the best options tailored to your business needs.

Commercial Re-Piping Projects: Understanding the Where

Many assume that the contractor must remove most or all the existing drywall to allow access to the water supply pipes. But, of course, this immediately conjures up images of you and your team trying to work in an active construction zone.

Luckily, you can put away your hard hats and dust masks since a commercial re-piping project requires removing only a small amount of drywall.

Most commercial walls range from 3½” to 7″ wide. The entire wall cavity (space between the wall studs) is easily accessible for materials, tools, and workers from either side.

Most plumbing standards follow consistent guidelines, reducing the amount of drywall to demolish.

6″ to 8″ above the finish floor (AFF) for toilet shutoffs
16″ to 20″ AFF for sink faucet shutoffs
32″ to 34″ AFF for shower/bath faucet
40″ to 44″ AFF for utility connections

As a result, the drywall is removed in 6″ to 12″ wide sections (horizontal stripes) at the corresponding elevation for the fixture/device.

Commercial Re-Piping Projects: Understanding the How

The process described above is known as “selective demolition.” Removing enough drywall to facilitate the re-pipe process lowers the costs of demolition and replacement of drywall.
The first step of a selective demolition plan is to review any existing construction documents for your building to determine the position of water lines and any connection points.

Next, a small exploratory hole gets cut into the drywall for visual confirmation.

Once all the pipes and connections are verified, we remove the drywall to provide access.

After removing the old pipe or tubing lengths, the new lines (or tubing) are installed and connected.

After pressure and leak testing (and any applicable building department inspections), the drywall is replaced, finished, and painted.

Selective demolition reduces the noise, dirt, and dust to an absolute minimum, which your employees and coworkers will appreciate. But it also lowers the costs and shortens project timelines, a win for business owners and Facility Managers like you.

Once the re-pipe is complete, your commercial plumbing system should be ready for another 20+ years with regular servicing and maintenance.

Commercial Re-Pipe FAQs

1. How long does a typical commercial re-pipe take?

That depends on several factors, such as the building size and your business or industry needs. For example, an office building and a manufacturing or industrial site could be the same size and have very different-sized plumbing systems and fixtures.

2. Which is the smart choice, copper, PVC, or PEX pipes and fittings?

Each option has its pros and cons.

Copper has been used extensively in commercial and residential plumbing applications over the last 80 years. While its strength and durability are legendary, copper is typically the most expensive re-piping option.

PVC has a virtually indefinite lifespan but can only withstand temperatures up to 140°F. As a result, PVC will not rust or corrode and shouldn’t need replacing under everyday use. Unfortunately, these pipes and their required adhesives contain the highest levels of chemicals of the top three re-piping options.

PEX (cross-linked polyethylene) is made from plastic, so it’s affordable, flexible, and easy to work with. However, PEX is unsuitable for applications where it can be directly exposed to UV, which can cause the synthetic material to deteriorate.

The MaintenX Team  can help you make the best choice after considering local building codes, the plumbing system complexity, and your budget and project timeline.

3. I’m concerned about sustainability and building green; which re-piping option is the most eco-friendly?

Manufacturing PVC occurs through a chemical reaction between carbon, chlorine, and ethylene, and the manufacturing process releases other harmful chemicals and compounds. As a result, PVC is not biodegradable.

Because PEX is a cross-linked polyethylene product, recycling it into new PEX products isn’t possible. But it can be re-processed into other products, thanks to its low melting point.

Copper is the hands-down winner for sustainability and green building concerns. This every-day, naturally occurring element requires minimal processing and can be easily recycled hundreds of times.

To learn more about commercial re-piping or to get answers to your other plumbing questions, please get in touch with the MaintenX Plumbing Division experts.

Five Advantages of a Tankless Water Heater

MaintenX specializes in tankless water heater installations and maintenance. These eco-friendly water heaters provide numerous benefits to businesses, saving you space, money, and hassle with traditional water heater maintenance. If you are looking to upgrade your water heater, consider a tankless option for these five reasons:

Water conservation

A traditional water heater requires time to heat up the water flowing through your pipes. While you’re waiting for that hot water, you’re likely letting the cold water go down the drain, wasting valuable resources for your business. A tankless water heater will heat immediately, saving you both energy and your hard-earned cash.

Reduced contaminants in water

As traditional water heaters age, they begin to rust at the bottom. This rust can make its way into your water, which not only contaminates the water but decreases the tanks’ performance ability.

Reduced maintenance needs

Traditional water heaters are known to cause leaks and flooding which can spell disaster for your small business. If you experience a leak in your water heater, the flooring could be irreparably damaged and you may even have to shut down while repairs are being made. Tankless water heaters eliminate this risk and reduce overall maintenance requirements for your plumbing system.

Increase your storage space

Tankless water heaters take up approximately ⅕ of the space that a traditional water heater requires. This can free up floor space within your building to be used for storage or to be removed completely to add more room to your office.

Earn rebates for eco-friendly upgrades

Tankless water heaters are considered eco-friendly because they reduce water waste and energy consumption. Because they conserve so many resources, the federal government and some state governments provide rebates and other incentives to install a tankless water heaters for both residential and commercial buildings. Ask your MaintenX technician about rebates and other financial incentives you can earn when you upgrade your water heater.

If you’d like to find a tankless water heater that meets your business needs, contact MaintenX today for more details!

How A Plumbing Camera Inspection Works

There is no worse feeling as a business owner than realizing you have plumbing repairs to attend to. A toilet overflow, sewage leak, or other plumbing problem can not only cause unsafe working conditions but can cost you thousands of dollars in invasive repairs. Because plumbing is installed underground, it can sometimes require excavation and days of hard labor in order to locate and complete the repair.

In previous decades, all plumbing repairs require technicians to dig up the piping in order to locate the issue. However, new technologies allow for a much less invasive approach that saves you both time and money. Camera plumbing inspections are now the standard at MaintenX and can help resolve your plumbing issues quickly and affordably.

What is a Camera Plumbing Inspection?

Today’s plumbers can use a specialized video camera to diagnose plumbing problems rather than excavating the entire pipe to find the damaged area. Similar to a plumbing snake, the technician will use a camera attached to a wire in order to view the plumbing from the inside. They can then locate corrosion, blockages, line breaks, and other issues within your piping.

The Benefits of a Camera Inspection

Prior to camera inspection technology, plumbers had to dig up the piping and hope they could locate the problem with minimal disruption to the property. However, if the blockage was difficult to detect, the inspection process alone could cause days of excavation that would completely disrupt the property landscape and potentially the work being done onsite. With camera inspections, the plumbing team can locate blockages before touching the pipes, eliminating unnecessary service time and changes to your property landscape.

MaintenX uses camera inspection technology to make your plumbing repairs as painless as possible. If you’d like to schedule a non-invasive plumbing inspection, contact us today to learn more!

ADA Compliance for your Plumbing and Restrooms

ADA compliance is not only required for most business types, but ensures you create a welcoming space for everyone who walks through your doors. ADA compliance covers not only entrances and exits, but a great deal of your bathroom design and the subsequent plumbing installations required to fulfill them.

Below are the general guidelines you must follow for ADA compliant bathrooms, as well as the considerations you’ll need to make for your plumbing installation and maintenance:

Bathroom dimensions for ADA compliance

Bathrooms must be large enough for a wheelchair to complete a 180 degree turn easily within the accessible stall and the common space. This is generally considered 60+ inches.

ADA compliant toilets

An accessible toilet stall must meet a certain height and stall capacity size to ensure a wheelchair can fit and that the toilet is easily used. ADA compliance requires:

  • Each appliance must have a minimum width of 60 inches and enough space around to accommodate a wheelchair.
  • Seat height must be between 17 and 19 inches above the floor.
  • Flush controls must be placed no higher than 44 inches above the ground and placed on the open side of the toilet
  • Grab bars must be placed behind the toilet and on the nearest wall or partition
  • Toilet paper dispensers must be between seven and nine inches in front of the water closet.
  • Dispensers should allow for continuous paper flow rather than control flow.

ADA compliant sinks and mirrors

In addition to stall requirements, The ADA requires certain sink, soap dispenser, and mirror heights and design elements to ensure accessibility:

  • Sink or counter height must not exceed 34 inches above the floor.
  • If hand soap and/or towel dispensers are available, they must be between 15 and 48 inches above the ground and not be obstructed by other design elements.
  • Hand dryers must either be motion-activated or touch-free devices and not protrude more than four inches from where they are installed.
  • Mirrors should be installed 40 inches maximum above the ground if located near a sink or countertop; stand-alone mirrors should be installed 35 inches maximum above the floor.

ADA compliant drinking fountains 

While drinking fountains are not required for most businesses, they can be integral to public buildings, schools, playgrounds, and recreational facilities. If your facility has drinking fountains, they must be between 38 and 43 inches above the ground, and provide a stream of water that is between four and five inches from the spout. This is to ensure that a cup can be used under the stream.

To meet these standards, you must ensure that your plumbing system is set up to meet height and space requirements and provide the correct water pressure for water fountains. If you are upgrading your facility to meet ADA compliance, talk to your MaintenX team to learn more!

How To Keep Your Grass Green in The Summertime

In Florida, where MaintenX is headquartered, many of our clients struggle to keep grass green in the hottest summer months. This can also be true for those throughout the Southern United States, where high temperatures and sporadic rainfall can make grass either dry out or drown rather than thrive. It can be difficult even at home, let alone at your business where you don’t have the time to put in the yard work on your own.

While it’s best to hire a landscaping company to manage the grass for your facility, if you are a small business there are many ways you can improve the look of your grass without a professional. Below are just a few ways we help our clients keep a green lawn all year long:

Let it grow out.

One of the biggest mistakes property owners make is cutting the grass too short when they mow it. While it may look nice and clean-cut immediately after mowing, you’re likely tearing the grass out at its root in many areas. This will lead to patches of dead grass across the lawn in a few days. If you raise your mower blades by just a few inches you can help maintain healthier grass.

Install a sprinkler system.

In Florida, we experience sporadic downpours followed by days of intense heat and humidity in the summertime. If you want to avoid the drowning/dry-out cycle for your grass, install a sprinkler system to ensure your grass is watered every day. We recommend opting for a manual one to ensure you’re not overwatering on rainy days.

Water in the morning.

If you water our grass in the morning, the water is less likely to evaporate in the heat and can sink down into the soil where it needs to be. The earlier you can water, the better. In areas of intense summer heat, we recommend as early as sunrise to ensure the water soaks in and can provide for your grass all day.

Aerate the grass.

As people walk over your grass and the elements solidify the soil, it becomes more difficult for oxygen to penetrate the ground and reach the roots. Aeration is the process of loosening up the soil so that oxygen can reach the roots and provide a healthier environment for your plants. Aeration every few weeks or months can help maintain a healthy environment and doesn’t take any special equipment other than a garden rake.

MaintenX can help you with landscaping and exterior maintenance services throughout the summer. If you’re interested in what we have to offer in your area, contact your local MaintenX team today!

Three Times You Don’t Need To Call Your Maintenance Service

At MaintenX, we always want our customers to call us first for repairs and preventative maintenance on their buildings. However, we also want to save our customers as much money as possible so they can keep coming back to us year after year. We strive to provide fast and affordable service, but there are some regular maintenance tasks we believe management can handle on their own if they want to save a few bucks.

If you’re looking to cut costs in your maintenance plan, these three services are easy and safe for you to DIY:

Cleaning the gutters or outdoor HVAC units.

These may be dirty jobs, but they don’t necessarily require a professional HVAC technician or roofer to complete. Gutters can be cleaned by janitorial staff as long as they have the equipment to safely go on top of the roof. Outdoor HVAC units can typically be cleaned of leaves and dirt along with landscaping service but should be serviced for mechanical maintenance annually by your HVAC team.

Unclogging drains (the first time).

Before you call your plumber for help, there are several options you can try for a clogged drain in the restroom or commercial kitchen. We don’t recommend you ever use drain cleaning solutions as they can be corrosive, but you can make a makeshift snake with a wire hanger or other piece of long wire as a hook. For hair or food particles stuck in the drain, you can sometimes fish out the clog or break it apart this way if it is close to the surface. You can also use a plunger if the clog is relatively recent and hasn’t been building up for some time. However, if you have tried these DIY measures and are still having a slow-draining sink or toilet, call a licensed plumber for help.

Paint interior rooms.

Unless you have unusually high ceilings, painting rooms within your facility should be a simple DIY project you as the owner or manager can do yourself. Painting only requires a few tools and a day or two of work per wall. But will save you hundreds of dollars and major headaches depending on the service available in your area. While you can hire a professional if you want to save time, this is an easy cost-saving project you can take on at your facility.

While there are plenty of other tasks you can complete on your own as a small business owner or manager, there are some areas where you should never take chances. Your HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and roofing repair are some areas where it’s always best to call a professional, even if you think you can get the repair done cheaper by someone else. When it comes to the systems that keep your business open, don’t take chances and instead call MaintenX for fast, reliable service!