For any business in any niche, having effective water heating is key. This helps keep commercial kitchens, bathrooms, water features, cleaning areas, and just about any other water-related area. As a result, for plumbing companies, mastering commercial water heater repair, service and installation are valuable additions to your suite of services. However, there is a right and a wrong way to go about putting these in place. Here’s a set of essential tips regarding how to implement these services.
What Is The Best Commercial Water Heater? It Varies
Let’s say that a customer asks you outright to recommend the best commercial water heater for them. This is a pretty loaded question to answer, and the truth is that it’s more dependent on their needs than the actual quality of the heater itself. A commercial water heater that works for a restaurant may not necessarily work for say, a mall. The easiest way to do this is to break down the different types, which are as follows:
Different Types of Commercial Water Heaters
Gas heaters: These heaters are powered by propane or natural gas, which heats the water up.
Electric heaters: These heaters use electricity to heat the water and keep it at a set temperature. This involves less effort than gas heaters.
Oil-fired heaters: These are heated by oil, but generally only work for mid-sized operations.
Along with this, you also need to think about the types of storage that are available. These can include storage tank water heaters or tankless water heaters. Storage tank heaters are preferred for commercial settings, as the other type only heats the water when you use it.
Size Is Important
Some would argue that size is the more important consideration of all for someone looking to install a water heater. Purchase something that’s too small, and a commercial business won’t be able to provide enough hot water during peak usage periods. Buy something too big, and you’ll be sunk by utility bills for water that you don’t need. So, what exactly determines the ideal size for your tank? There are several factors, including:
— The type of business
— The amount of customers
— How many hot water outlets there are
— The local climate
— The rate of hot water usage throughout the day
This last point is an extremely important one, as size and heating ability aren’t always linked. For example, a hair salon may use a lot of hot water, but at a consistent rate. This means they need lots of heating power, but little storage. However, a restaurant with a large dinner rush and little hot water usage outside of that may need the opposite.
Because of this, both commercial property owners and plumbers alike should invest in a commercial water heater sizing calculator. These tools use basic algorithms to determine the approximate size commercial water heater you need based on square footage and water usage. Just be sure to give this proper consideration before you commit.
Don’t Forget Energy Efficiency
All business professionals should be looking for ways to save money, and commercial water heating is no different. Your water heating bill is an essential part of your overall utility costs, especially if you are one of the businesses we mentioned earlier that uses a lot of hot water. As a result, you want to take a few measures in your installation to try and help your clients out here. There are a few things that you can do.
Insulate the storage tank: This applies to gas, electric, and oil-based heaters. Insulating the tank helps minimize heat loss and keep the unit from coming on when it isn’t needed. Insulating piping can also lower fire hazards and keep heat from escaping.
Use heat traps: Heat traps let cold water flow into the tank, while keeping hot water from flowing out of the unit. This is standard for modern installations, but if you have a unit over 10 years old, you can also add one on. If your customer is frustrated over their water bill, this may be an option.
Consider paying more for an energy-efficient model. Many older structures rely on older heaters that can only go so far in terms of efficiency. Paying for an upgrade now may mean saving money later.
Think Ahead With Maintenance and Services
Commercial water heaters are similar to residential water heaters in that most issues with them aren’t apparent until they get out of control. As a result, you always want to recommend a maintenance plan for any commercial customers that you have. This means your professionals will regularly examine and test the heater to notice any problems or any signs that could lead to problems. This will greatly reduce the chance of a breakdown that could halt your operations. Going back to efficiency, you may want to expand this plan to your fixtures as well. A single leaky faucet could result in a lot of lost hot water over a period of time.
Don’t Underestimate The Value of Project Management Software
Whether we are talking about a commercial tankless water heater or commercial electric water heater, there are some universal concerns for any plumbing company. For one thing, you want to keep close track of your field teams to make sure they are handling their commercial water heater installation/repair jobs as efficiently as possible. You also want to make sure that any bids you take for a commercial hot water heater job are accurate enough to stay profitable, even if there are hitches on the way.
This is best accomplished by implementing project management software like eSUB. We have all the tools that commercial plumbers need in order to improve or refine their business. Track your equipment, vehicles, and staff with our software capabilities. Or, if you are concerned about financial efficiency, look at your bids and actuals to try and find any potential problem areas.