LED Lighting Upgrade Projects

LED lighting upgrades have become a prevalent topic among busy facility managers and company owners looking to reduce operating and maintenance costs. Besides the reduced month-after-month energy usage, LED light bulbs can last up to 100,00 hours, further reducing maintenance costs.

The LED Story

Many assume that LED lights are a relatively new product, but the green LED debuted in 1958. The red LED came about in 1962, and by 1964 the new lighting option was embraced by the engineers and researchers at IBM for building circuit boards for early computers. Finally, in the 1980s, the first generation of super-bright yellow, green, and red LED lights became available.

However, the first LED light bulbs for commercial and residential fixtures didn’t hit the market until the fall 1996. Since LED lights do not produce white light alone, they require one of two whitening techniques as part of the manufacturing process.

  1. Use a blue LED with a phosphor coating to convert blue light to white.
  2. Combining red, blue, and green chips at varying intensities to produce a white light.

Today’s LED light bulbs have various screw-in bases that work with your existing incandescent and fluorescent bulb fixtures. And plug-and-play LED tubes are readily available in standard lengths for your existing T8 (1” diameter) and T12 (1.5” diameter) fluorescent light bulbs.

While fluorescent is vastly superior to incandescent light bulbs, both compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and linear fluorescent lamps (LFLs) raise environmental concerns since every fluorescent light bulb contains a small amount of mercury.

LED outperforms traditional lighting options

The chart below compares the energy usage and lifecycles of the three most popular lighting options available today.


Light type Annual usage Typical lifecycle
Incandescent 3285KWh/year 1,000 hours
Fluorescent 767KWh/year 7,000 – 15,000 hours
LED 329KWh/year 100,000 – 250,000 hours

While there are several ways to dissect and interpret this data, it’s evident that an LED lighting upgrade could reduce your lighting costs by up to 90% month after month compared to incandescent lights and nearly 50% compared to fluorescent lights.


When comparing longevity, one LED light eliminates purchasing and storage concerns for 100+ incandescent or 8-15 fluorescent bulbs. In addition to lower  inventory costs, your facilities team can attend to other maintenance tasks or projects instead of consistently changing out light bulbs.


It’s no secret that incandescent bulbs are the least-efficient lighting option for companies like yours. However, last year, the Department of Energy issued a new ruling requiring all light bulbs to meet new energy-efficient standards by July 31, 2023. As a result, the incandescent bulbs (and some halogen options) used by many homes and businesses will no longer be available once current inventories have sold out.


This action leaves business owners with two lighting options. And while LED lighting will save on energy and maintenance costs, you’re probably wondering if an LED lighting upgrade has any other advantages.

Fluorescent lights emit UV light, which wastes energy and is responsible for eye strain and the fading of particular finishes, including paint, fabric, and carpeting. All LED light transmission occurs in the visible light range without any harmful UV side effects.

Their solid-state design makes LED lights more rugged than their fragile fluorescent counterparts, resulting in less transit and storage damage. And unlike their fluorescent counterparts, they are 100% mercury-free, simplifying the recycling process.

Fluorescent lights are not directional, meaning they radiate light in a 360° pattern around the exterior of the tube or bulb. As a result, only a tiny amount of light gets directed to the desk or workstation below. While deflectors can control more of the light toward the desired area, most remain scattered and unfocused.

In comparison, most LED light radiates outward in a 110° arc, directing most of the light to the desired surface or area. The result is a substantially brighter and safer workspace without light deflectors or diffusers.

Fluorescent light bulbs can produce 50-100 lumens per watt, while LEDs produce 130 lumens per watt. And LED lights convert 95% of their energy to light and 5% to heat, while fluorescent lights can release up to 20% of their power to light and lose the remaining 80% to heat.

Regardless of industry or company size, an LED lighting upgrade will reduce energy and maintenance costs. Lower operating costs translate directly into higher productivity and profit margins.

In addition to lower costs and increased longevity, an LED lighting upgrade may be eligible for rebates from energy providers and tax credits from the federal government.

If you want to discuss the benefits of an LED lighting upgrade for your business in greater detail, the MaintenX Electrical Team can answer your questions or provide a quote to handle the entire LED upgrade process.

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. 

Commercial HVAC and Refrigeration Services 

The MaintenX HVAC (Heating, Venting, Air Conditioning) and Refrigeration Division has the expertise to handle all your commercial HVAC needs. As a respected member of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) you can expect prompt, professional service day or night. 

The HVAC experts from MaintenX can handle all your commercial HVAC and refrigeration needs, from design and engineering to installation, maintenance, and emergency services. It’s no wonder many Fortune 500 companies trust MaintenX to keep their HVAC systems running at peak performance and efficiency. According to the Department of Energy, businesses can cut their energy usage by up to 20% with regular HVAC equipment maintenance. 

Comprehensive HVAC and Refrigeration Services 

Air Conditioning systems require that several smaller complex components work harmoniously to keep your building cool and comfortable during spring and summer. Whether your building uses a traditional ducted system or zoned VAV (Variable Air Volume) units, the MaintenX HVAC experts can keep your condenser and evaporator coils, fans, expansion valves, and blower units running at maximum efficiency. 

MaintenX can service and install all makes and models of air-conditioning systems. 

  •  Carrier 
  • Trane 
  • Lennox 
  • York 
  • Daikin 
  • McQuay 

Commercial refrigeration systems include refrigerated display cases for fresh and frozen foods and can be found in grocery, convenience, and big box stores alike. But several other companies also rely on commercial refrigeration systems as a component of their manufacturing, storage, and transport systems, including those in the fuel, chemical, aerospace, pharmaceutical, and medical industries.  

MaintenX can service and install all makes and models of commercial refrigeration systems, including: 

  • Master-Bilt 
  • Turbo Air 
  • Trenton 
  • Heatcraft 
  • Tecumseh 
  • Hussmann 
  • Zero Zone 

Dehumidification equipment and systems are available to meet the comfort, manufacturing processes, and medical services requirements for your specific business or industry. The most common dehumidification techniques used today include. 

  •  Dehumidification via cooling or air conditioning systems 
  • Compression 
  • Solid-desiccant systems 
  • Liquid-desiccant systems 

Since excessive humidity can affect the building materials, worker comfort, and the quality of work performed at the location, humidity control is a critical design aspect for new construction and remodel projects. 

 Ice machines must be cleaned and sanitized regularly because the FDA defines ice as food. Any machine part that contacts water can develop scale, slime, mold, or mineral deposits. Condensers require regular cleaning, or the accumulated dust and dirt will reduce airflow and could lead to overheating and shorter equipment life cycles. 

 MaintenX can service and install all makes and models of commercial refrigeration systems, including:

  • Hoshizaki 
  • Manitowoc 
  • Scotsman 
  • Ice O Matic 

Disposable, reusable, and HEPA filters are a key component of any HVAC system, as they provide the front-line defense for keeping dirt, dust, and pollen from being disbursed throughout the location. And most manufacturers require regular documented filter cleaning or replacement as part of their warranty program. 

Exhaust fan systems are designed to remove excess heat (and sometimes smoke) and can be found wherever food is being cooked/prepared, such as in commercial kitchens or food processing locations. These commercial systems typically feature reusable filter elements and a grease-trap system to minimize cooking flare-ups. 

 Ventilation systems are designed to remove unwanted odors or steam from restrooms and manufacturing spaces. Most of these systems rely on direct venting to an outside air source (roof or exterior wall) for maximum efficiency. 

Portable cooling/refrigeration units allow for quick reconfiguration of large areas or public spaces to meet changing local needs created by storms, floods, and other natural disasters. And portable cooling systems are ideal for short-term events such as weddings, pop-up restaurants/boutiques, and limited-run events such as festivals, street/vendor fairs, and concerts.  

 Duct cleaning services can remove the accumulated pollen, dust, and dirt trapped within your supply and return ducting system. Using a combination of brushes, hoses, cleaning agents, and negative pressure, MaintenX will have you, your employees, and your customers breathing easier in no time.  

Preventative maintenance and repairs will reduce energy usage while maximizing the life cycle of your entire HVAC system. In addition to filters and coil cleaning, preventative maintenance can include. 

  • Component testing and service 
  • Lubrication for motors and moving parts 
  • Duct cleaning 
  • Refrigerant levels 
  • Condensation pans and drains  
  • Switch and sensor testing 
  • Damper inspections/adjustments 

 Also known as Facilities Management, the HVAC experts at MaintenX can help reduce the number of unplanned and emergency HVAC repairs for your business. 

To learn more about the commercial HVAC/R services that MaintenX can provide for your existing location and new construction and remodel projects, contact the MaintenX Commercial HVAC/R Service Team today. 


The Anatomy of a Commercial Air Conditioning System 

As the temperatures begin to rise in the spring and peak over the summer months, so do the number of news stories regarding heat stroke (AKA sunstroke and heatstroke), where an individual’s internal temperature can reach 104°F or higher within 15 minutes of exposure or excessive exertion. 

 As a result, a working air conditioner quickly becomes a necessity for most of the country and a legitimate life saver for residents of the ten hottest states. 

Rank  State  Average Temp.  Average Summer Temp 
1  Florida  73.4°  82.6° 
2  Louisiana  68.5°  82.9° 
3  Texas  68.0°  84.8° 
4  Georgia  66.2°  80.2° 
5  Mississippi  66.1°  81.5° 
6  Alabama  65.4°  80.4° 
7  South Carolina  65.4  79.7° 
8  Arizona  62.9°  79.9° 
9  Arkansas  62.8°  80.5° 
10  Oklahoma  62.8°  82.8° 

 While humans have used various crude air conditioning techniques (creating shade, changing location, and manual and mechanical fans) for centuries, you can trace today’s modern air conditioning systems back to 1902. 

Who Invented Air Conditioning? 

Air conditioning has changed people’s work environments and lives over the last 120 years. In fact, without air conditioning, our world would look much different. 

  • The modern high-rise building would not be possible.
  • Today’s supermarkets would look and function much differently.
  • Many of today’s common vaccines and medicines would not exist.
  • Computer servers, laptops, and the internet would still belong in a sci-fi program.
  • Medical treatment, surgery, and recovery would have higher mortality rates.

If the automobile was the most significant technological advance of the 20th century, then air conditioning must be number two on that list. 

Willis Carrier invented the first functioning AC system in 1902 to answer the original question. As the story goes, while waiting on a train platform in Pittsburgh, Willis realized that drying air was possible by moving an air stream through the water to create a fog. From there, he could control the air’s moisture, humidity, and temperature.  

The term “air conditioner” is credited to a mill engineer named Stuart Cramer. Shortly after Carrier introduced his new air-cooling system, Cramer invented a similar cooling device. Still, his machine added moisture to make hot mill work environments more comfortable while increasing productivity. Since Cramer’s version did more than merely cool the air, he settled on the name air conditioner.  

Then, in 1940, Frederick Jones received the first patent for a portable AC unit and launched Thermo King shortly after. Next, Jones installed mobile systems on his delivery trucks to deliver food, blood, and crucial medications to the front lines during WWII. After the war, numerous car, train, and airplane manufacturers discovered and incorporated his portable system. 

Commercial Air Conditioning System Components 

Central air conditioning systems use two primary components: the exterior unit (compressor) and the indoor unit (your furnace). While the furnace keeps you warm all winter, it also plays a crucial role in the cooling process. 

Since the indoor unit does most of the work, let’s look at its components first. 


The thermostat works much like the ignition key for your car. Whether you want to heat or cool, the first step is to select from heat/cool/fan options and set the desired temperature. 

Evaporator Coil 

Here is where your furnace becomes part of the air conditioning system since the evaporator coil resides inside the furnace unit.  

 When you turn on the AC, the system draws interior air into the system and across the evaporator coil, where the refrigerant gets cooled by removing heat and humidity from the flowing air. Then with the help of the blower, the cooled air is sent back into the building. 

Expansion Valve 

This valve controls the amount of refrigerant sent to the evaporator coil. Too much and the refrigerant can settle at the bottom of the refrigerant lines. Too little forces the system to work harder to produce the same amount of cooled air. 

 Blower and Blower Motor 

Designed to create air movement, the blower uses a rotating motor to distribute the cooled air throughout the unit or building. 


No matter the size or composition, air filters perform two distinct functions. 

  1. Filters prevent dirt, dust, and debris from entering the system. Excessive dust accumulations can result in overheating, excessive wear, and a shortened life cycle.
  2.   Filters protect tenants and occupants by blocking allergens, dander, and dust from entering your lungs, which can cause inflammation and discomfort.
  3.  Regular cleaning or replacement can maximize AC performance while lowering energy usage and unexpected system and component repairs. 


The ducting used to move the air can be rigid or flexible in its construction. And you will find the ductwork above the suspended ceiling, in the attic, and even in the basement areas of a suite or building. Supply ducts carry the treated air back into the building or suite, while return ducts bring used air back to the unit to begin the process again. 

Now let’s look at the outdoor air conditioning unit, typically called the condenser. Like the interior unit, the condenser also houses the remaining four commercial air conditioning system components.  

Condenser Coil 

Essentially, the condenser coil works like the evaporative coil, except in reverse. As the refrigerant passes through the condenser coil, it’s heated instead of cooled. Contrary to popular thinking, air conditioning doesn’t cool the air; it removes heat from the airflow via the condenser, where the heat can quickly dissipate into the outside air. 


Fans help keep the condenser from overheating by moving the heated air up, out, and away from the condenser unit. 


The compressor provides three critical functions of the air conditioning process. 

  1. When the hot refrigerant reaches the compressor, it’s heated again to become warmer than the outside air. This higher temperature ensures that the heat will transfer from the refrigerant to the cooler outside air more quickly.
  2.  The refrigerant must have a way to convert from gas to liquid before being pumped back into the evaporative coil.
  3.  And the refrigerant requires a pump for traveling through the lines between the condenser and evaporative coils where the refrigerant becomes so cold it removes the heat from the air moving across the evaporative coil.

 Refrigerant lines 

These lines utilize copper tubing and provide the following functions. 

  •  The suction line carries refrigerant between the evaporator and the compressor.
  • The discharge line connects the compressor to the condenser.
  • The liquid line connects the condenser to the expansion valve or device.

Always use Type L air conditioning and refrigeration (ACR) tubing when replacing refrigerant lines, as it’s manufactured to be cleaned, dehydrated, and capped to avoid contamination during transport, storage, and installation. 

As you can see, the anatomy of any commercial air conditioning system requires many moving parts working in unison to keep your office or building cool and comfortable during the spring and summer seasons. 

 MaintenX can service and install all makes and models of air-conditioning systems, including:

  •  Carrier 
  • Trane 
  • Lennox 
  • York 
  • Daikin 
  • McQuay 

 Should you have any questions regarding your current air conditioning system, the MaintenX HVAC/R Team can provide the answers, installations, equipment maintenance, and emergency repairs for all commercial AC systems. 

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 Electrical Services

Over the last 40 years, the MaintenX Electrical Team has provided comprehensive commercial electrical services to our clients across the medical, restaurant, industrial, and retail industries. Whether it’s a routine inspection or an emergency, our team of commercial electrical experts is never more than a phone call or email away.

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

In addition to our 24/7 emergency electrical services, the MaintenX Electrical Division is happy to assist with your next remodel or building expansion project. From developing the scope of work to permits to installing electrical fixtures, our electrical experts are ready for your next commercial electrical project or upgrade.

Commercial Electrical Services for Your Business

Our dedicated team has worked with hundreds of small, large, and Fortune 500 companies to handle their emergency electrical needs and various electrical services.

Electrical Repairs & Installations
Even with typical usage, the components of your power management system will eventually require repairs, adjustments, or possibly even replacement. So whether you’re having problems with switches & outlets, and sub-panels or need to add additional circuits for an expansion or remodel, our team of electrical experts is standing by.

Lighting and power supply replacements
While most commercial locations rely on fluorescent and LED lighting for the office or retail space, MaintenX can also provide specialized lighting fixtures for medical, dental, and industrial applications.
• Vapor-tight fixtures for wet or dusty environments
• High and low bay light fixtures
• Explosion-proof light fixtures
• Warehouse and loading dock light fixtures
• Surgery and operating room light fixtures
And our team of power supply experts can also handle power supply problems with your existing system of transformers and converters. And if you require a specialized power supply system, such as.
• Programmable power supply
• Uninterruptible power supply
• High-voltage power supply
• Bipolar power supply
Our team of experts can answer all your questions and provide a superior upgrade or installation for your business.

LED upgrades
As a business owner looking to reduce operating costs, it’s hard to beat the monthly savings that LED light fixtures can provide. LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights don’t produce the same heat output as incandescent, fluorescent, or mercury vapor options. And with an average life cycle of 50,000 to 100,000 hours, LED lights will last up to 14 years for office or retail locations and nearly 6 years for hospitals or warehouses that operate 24/7.

Additionally, many utility companies provide rebates for energy-efficient upgrades, such as LED light fixtures.

Emergency lighting
Emergency lighting typically refers to the battery-pack fixtures that turn on when the main power supply is lost. Typically, they are positioned at workstations, equipment locations, and along the egress path towards the exits to allow workers to stop work safely and evacuate the building.
The beauty of these lights is that once installed, they automatically charge the battery whenever the light is on. And once they sense the main power is lost, they automatically switch to battery power until power is restored.

Critical outlets
Critical outlets and backup generators provide an essential safety net when the main power supply goes down for companies in the medical or data center industries. Sometimes called uninterruptible outlets, your servers and medical equipment remain functional while printers, office lighting, and HVAC systems shut down.

Building code requirements can vary slightly from one local area to another, but all critical outlets must meet Article 517 of the NEC.

Emergency generator installation and inspection
Preparing for the next significant power outage is easy with some help from the MaintenX team. After a review of your business needs for emergency power, we can assemble and store your emergency generators off-site. Then, before the big storm hits, our team will transport and distribute them across the property.

After the storm has passed and the power grid returns online, we’ll collect the generators and return them to storage after a thorough inspection.

Standby prime generator installation and inspection
Unlike the portable emergency generator, a standby prime generator installs permanently on the property. According to the NEC, four distinct types of standby generator classes exist.

Emergency systems are a legal requirement for providers whose operations are vital for human life safety, such as hospitals and medical providers. NEC Article 700.

Legally required standby systems are legally required by code and covers systems whose failure could create hazards for first responders. NEC Article 701.

Optional standby systems are not required by code but can be used to protect business systems from economic losses. NEC Article 702.

Critical Operations Power Systems (COPS) became part of the code in 2008 due to 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. If the incapacitation or destruction of your location would disrupt national security, the economy, or public health, then NEC Article 708 applies to your business.

From design and installation to periodic inspections and maintenance, the MaintenX team will keep your standby generator operating at peak performance.

All ADA required electrical compliance
Since 1990, all electrical switches and outlet heights have become standardized to provide uniform accessibility for people with disabilities. As pre-1990 buildings get remodeled, most jurisdictions require the work and sometimes adjoining areas to be brought to the current ADA requirements.
The MaintenX Electrical Team is ready to answer all your electrical service questions.

You can call us at 855-751-0075, or send us an email to get started with a quote for your next electrical maintenance needs or services.

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.

Commercial Interior Construction Projects

Commercial Interior Maintenance, Repair, and Remodeling Services

Interior Commercial Construction Projects

Depending on your business and customer traffic, every commercial interior will need repair at some point in time. Most interior construction projects fall into one of three similar, but uniquely different categories.

Commercial Interior Maintenance
Just like your vehicle, commercial interiors require regular maintenance to keep all the building systems working at peak performance for the comfort and safety of your employees and customers.

Unlike a fresh coat of paint, or changing a floorplan, most maintenance work goes unnoticed because the systems involved are hidden in the walls or above the ceilings.

The plumbing, electrical, and mechanical building systems use a variety of filters, relays, switches, solenoids, and mechanical components to do their job. When these components aren’t serviced regularly, their performance and longevity declines, and they move on to the repair category.

You can learn more about MaintenX commercial interior maintenance services here.

Commercial Interior Repairs
Can be but aren’t always caused by a lack of regular maintenance. Sometimes normal wear and tear will create the need for repairs to the building systems as well as the walls, doors, ceilings, or cabinets. And of course, natural disasters and extreme weather are responsible for billions in commercial interior repairs every year.

Whatever the cause, the biggest challenge for commercial interior repairs is finding a general contractor with the expertise to perform the work while the business remains open serving customers.

“Occupied” repair projects require special considerations for:

• Access to the work area
• Working with the insurance company (if applicable)
• Material storage
• Noise and dust mitigation
• Employee and customer safety
• Expedited completion schedule

You can learn more about MaintenX commercial interior repair projects here.

Commercial Interior Remodeling
In many cases, a commercial interior remodel can be more cost-efficient than moving to a new location as you grow your customer base and service area.

These remodels are typically known as Tenant Improvement (TI) projects because the work is being performed to meet the tenant’s floorplan requirements. These interior remodels can vary dramatically in size and scope, but typically include:

• Selective demo
• Framing
• Insulation
• Drywall
• Cabinets
• Flooring
• Ceilings
• Painting
• Doors and windows
• Trim and hardware

When the work occurs after the tenant moves in, or where the business is in operation, its known as an “Occupied” TI project, and must also consider the key points listed above under Occupied Repairs.

General Contractor FAQS

In case you haven’t worked with a general contractor for a commercial interior construction project before, here are a couple of the most frequently asked questions about commercial interior construction projects.

1. What is commercial construction?

In a nutshell, any building that is non-residential, is classified as commercial construction. While the building techniques and products are very similar, commercial spaces must meet emergency and ADA compliance standards for the general public’s safety. As a result, many general contractors choose to specialize in either residential or commercial projects.

2. What’s the difference between an interior repair and an interior remodel?

Repairs are normally deemed as essential work for the safety and comfort of the building occupants, and usually involve a third-party payer such as an insurance company.

Remodels are planned changes to a space to improve usability for the occupants and funded through bank loans or direct payments.

Contact the MaintenX Team today to save time and money or your next commercial interior construction project.