The Boiler Room Blog

Advice on commercial water heater selection, maintenance and safety issues for businesses that rely on a steady supply of hot water.

Cost/Benefit Analysis – One Maintenance Man Fixing One Water Heater

More down time = more money down the drain!

We’ve already talked about the risks involved when you trust your maintenance crew with your hot water equipment in my Hot Water How To: Trust a Trained Technician post. This time around, let’s discuss the real cost/benefit analysis of using your existing maintenance crew to service your water heater vs. establishing a protection plan on your hot water equipment, which includes free service on your heater by a guaranteed-trained water heater technician.

Read the full post here…

The Real Cost of One Maintenance Man
Cost Breakdown

  • In the simplest terms, we can assume your maintenance guy is making at least $26/hr. With 2,080 workable hours in the year (not including overtime), you’re looking at at least $54,080/year.
  • On top of that, you can figure an additional 1/3 on top of that for loadings (including benefits, taxes, etc) and you’re looking at a total of around $72,107/year.
  • So, you’re essentially paying one maintenance man around $34/hr.

Water heaters have come a long way since this add came out! Some important water heater maintenance tips include getting a professional to service your equipment!Well, I’m Already Paying Him, So What’s My Loss?
So now you may be thinking, I’m already paying the guy and he’s already on site, so he might as well fix my water heater. Well, first off, check out my post Water Heater Explosions Are Real. Water heaters are much more complicated nowadays, due to sophisticated electrical components – do you really want to take that risk?

Here’s what’s really required to fix your water heater, in addition to that $72,107/yr you pay your maintenance man:

  • Diagnostic Equipment – To accurately repair a commercial water heater, advanced diagnostic equipment must be purchased.
  • Training – To ensure that that heater is repaired to the manufacturer’s specifications, you could run into some complicated liability issues if your maintenance man isn’t properly trained on that equipment. Not to mention, your maintenance man also needs to be a licensed plumber.
  • Wholesale Parts – Fixing that water heater will require purchase of the exact parts needed to complete the job. Because your maintenance man most likely has not established a working relationship with a major water heater parts provider, one part change out alone could run you ¼ to ½ the cost of the entire heater!
  • Time is Money – If you’re paying your guy 4 to 8 hours to work on your commercial water heater or boiler, you’re looking at an inefficient use of time. After all, his time could be better spent fixing beds, hoists, HVAC and/or lifts and maintaining your grounds. After 4 to 8 hours of paid work by an untrained maintenance man, your heater might not even be fixed in the end, or it could be fixed improperly, which means more future breakdowns and more liability for you.

The Benefits of a Service Plan on Your Commercial Water Heater
Plain and simple: You Save a Boatload of Money!
Think about it this way: that 4 to 8 hours you’re paying your maintenance man to attempt to repair that equipment is equal to, or more than, the cost of one month’s lease rate – with ZERO additional money out of your pocket for training, parts, wasted time and more.

Big $$$ Savings:

  • No Capital Expenses
  • No Parts to Inventory
  • No Training Costs
  • No Need to Purchase Diagnostic or Other Equipment
  • Potential Tax Advantages
  • No Worker’s Comp Costs when your maintenance man is injured fixing the equipment

Here’s a big one: No Down Time
If your water heater in your apartment complex, hotel, or restaurant goes down after hours (which is typically outside the hours of 7am to 3pm – so it’s very likely), your maintenance man will be unable to secure the necessary parts and equipment to fix your water heater. So you could be down anywhere from overnight to several days without any hot water.

And as we all know, more down time = more money down the drain!

So put some thought into how your maintenance man dollars might be better spent; sit down and hash out your own cost/benefit analysis. You could end up saving thousands of dollars. Plus, you’ll be eliminating a ton of headaches for you, your crew, your staff, your customers, and your business!

Perfection Kerosene Water Heater” courtesy of Flickr user Don O’Brien.

3 Responses to Cost/Benefit Analysis – One Maintenance Man Fixing One Water Heater
  1. This is some great advice- especially since it is true. If you hire a less professional company, they will not get the job as quickly, and since a majority of their money is made in their labor hours, you may end up paying more. If you need to repair your water heater, please hire someone who is very professional and has the right equipment for the job!

    Seth Ashford |

  2. Pingback: Why Would Anyone Rent a Water Heater? « Welcome to Reliable Water Services Blogs

  3. I like being familiar with the specifics of the cost breakdown of a water heater maintenance man. It is good to know that money can be saved with experienced workers to repair a water heater. I never want to have to live without hot water, so these are good things to know for future potential plumbing problems.


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