When a local hotel decided their existing commercial hot water heaters were no longer up to the job of delivering the hot water their guests and staff needed, they called Ultimate Plumbing & Repair to decide what their next steps ought to be.
We’re the contractor of choice in the Mooresville and Charlotte metro area for commercial and residential water solutions, including commercial water heater installation, repair, and replacement and we got to work fast to figure out what the best solution would be for their needs.
The first thing we had to figure out was roughly how much water they needed. Between on-site laundry, food prep and cleanup areas, public restrooms, and the guest rooms, the need for virtually unlimited hot water was high. Next, we had to decide between a tank or tankless units, condensing boilers versus combi boilers or hybrid water heater systems, gas or electric water heaters. After an onsite inspection to evaluate the current system and some discussion with management, we determined a commercial tankless water heater system would deliver the best results for the money. This would save space, reduce waste energy, boost system efficiency and offer hot water on demand for virtually any application. With the customer in agreement, we got to work.
Planning for the Tankless Water Heater Installation
Because of the size and complexity of the water system we were working with, the first step was figuring out how and where to install the tankless hot water heater units to deliver the best results. For the project sizing calculator phase, we used Building Information Modeling or BIM. This is a specialized type of Computer-Aided Drafting, also known as CAD, that allows the installer to pinpoint the right number of units and the ideal placement to deliver optimal thermal efficiency and meet the demands of the facility. For a hotel, the calculations can be very complex. More importantly, we needed to correctly engineer the system to ensure sufficient hot water is available for peak demand plus a little extra.
Then we needed to cross-reference the technical information on the
Armed with the BIMCAD files, site photos, drawings of the existing plumbing system, and other technical documents, we were ready to begin the installation.
Commercial Hot Water Heater Installation
Commercial water heaters bring their own unique challenges, especially in a larger space or when servicing a larger facility. The sheer size and complexity of a system of that sort makes choosing the right commercial water heater installer imperative. Because we were working in a hotel, we needed to ensure we didn’t compromise the air handlers or the indoor air quality through the commercial AC during the installation process. Case studies have shown HVAC systems facilitate the spread of any construction debris through the hotel, so we needed to keep the dust and particulates to the minimum possible so the air conditioner system wouldn’t pick it up. This makes Housekeeping’s job a lot easier and helps prevent breathing problems.
We installed a series of tankless systems where the original commercial boiler system had been. This required some adaptation of the existing plumbing and overhead feeder pipes to ensure a secure, airtight system with a good seal and solid flow rate. When we were done, tested the system, and verified the functionality, we found the new commercial hot water heaters should offer the hotel years of safe, efficient, and worry-free hot water for their guests and staff. The hotel was very pleased and we’re happy to have added another satisfied customer to our roster!
Ultimate Plumbing & Repair offers a range of commercial water heating solutions for businesses and industries of every size, from the craft brewery on the corner to hotels, hospitals, and more! Some of our commercial installations include:
- Commercial condensing tankless water heater installations
- Commercial water heater repair
- Electric water heaters
- Gas tankless water heaters
- Gas water heaters
- Liquid propane
- Oil furnaces
- Package heat pumps
- Rack system
- Solar water heaters
- Spa heaters
- Tankless rack system installation and repair
- And more!
To learn more about how an electric or gas tankless water heater can help your business access nearly unlimited hot water on demand for your staff and customers, keep reading for our FAQs about commercial tankless water heater installation. For more information on how Ultimate Plumbing & Repair can help with your commercial hot water heater needs, or to schedule a consultation to upgrade, repair or replace your existing commercial water heating system, click here to contact us today!
Frequently Asked Questions About Commercial Tankless Water Heater Installation
Ultimate Plumbing & Repair is committed to being your source for honest, straightforward answers about all your plumbing questions, including commercial tankless water heaters!
Question: What’s a commercial tankless water heater and why is it different than conventional water heaters? –Jacqueline, Mooresville, NC
Answer: A conventional water heater uses a storage tank to hold heated water. The problem with this is, the tank can corrode over time, meaning when it does, it often goes fast. Unlike a conventional water heater, tankless water heaters heat the water as it passes through the system using either natural gas, liquid propane or electricity. There are even solar electric heaters! “Commercial” simply refers to the size and capacity of the system.
Question: How does a tankless hot water heater work? –Frank, Davidson, NC
Answer: As the water passes through the unit, it is heated up to the temperature determined by the sensors in the thermostats. How the water is heated depends on the type of unit, but typically involves passing through either heated electric coils or being heated by a flame within the unit. Because the water is pushed into the system in small quantities and heated very quickly, it effectively produces a limitless supply of hot water whenever you need it!
Question: Why are tankless water heaters called “on-demand units?” -Harbir, Charlotte, NC
Answer: Unlike tank water heaters, which hold and heat water by continuing to expose it to either a flame or heating coils under or within the outer walls of the tank, tankless water heaters use sensors to determine when and where there is a need for hot water. Then the heater starts warming up the needed water so it can be delivered to where it needs to be. As long as the inflow supply of water is greater than the output demand, it is virtually impossible to run out of hot water with a tankless system, unlike a tank water heater which has a clearly defined upper limit on how much water it can store and heat at once. This makes tankless commercial water heating solutions very popular in industries with a high demand for water, such as hotels, hospitals and large food service operations.
Question: Why should I consider using a commercial tankless water heater? -Frida, Mint Hill, NC
Answer: If you install a commercial water heater with a tank, you’re gambling on running up against the storage capacity of the tank during high-demand times. For some businesses, this is no big deal. But if you plan to use a lot of hot water, you’ll probably want to have a tankless water heater installed instead. The design of these systems allows for a lot more flexibility and fresh, hot water whenever you need it, rather than having to wait for hot water again during peak usage times. Ultimate Plumbing & Repair can evaluate your existing system and your water usage needs to help you choose the right commercial water heaters for your business’s unique needs!
Question: Are gas or electric tankless water heaters better? -Bruce, Statesville, NC
Answer: Commercial water heating is just one of the latest battlegrounds in the ongoing debate between gas heating and electric. Tankless electric and tankless gas using either propane or natural gas are both viable options. Many customers swear gas gives them better, more reliable results, but just as many argue for electric with equal passion. In reality, the determining factor will most likely be what your existing water heating systems use. If you have a gas system already, it’s generally going to be easier and more cost-effective to stick with gas. If you don’t have gas service, you’ll probably want to go with commercial electric. Of course, it’s usually possible to retrofit your pipes and service to accommodate either, but many companies won’t want to go to that kind of expense unless it’s absolutely necessary. Ultimate Plumbing & Repair is happy to help you select the type and model of tankless water heater that best suits the needs of your business and tenants!
Question: Can a commercial tankless water heater system deliver enough hot water to handle peak demand times? -Sinead, Indian Trail, NC
Answer: Yes! As long as the usage doesn’t exceed the maximum inflow capacity of the system, you and your clientele can be assured of ample hot water when you need it, where you need it, without worry. The biggest stumbling block here is choosing a properly sized unit for your needs. Fortunately, this is fairly simple to determine, but for larger buildings such as hospitals and hotels, you will likely need multiple units to handle the overall flow.
Question: Can a single tankless water heater unit meet the water demand for a hotel or hospital? -Luz, Huntersville, NC
Answer: Unfortunately, no. Even the largest individual units on the market can only deliver so much water at one time. For larger buildings, you will need multiple units with high capacity to ensure access to as much hot water as you need. When we plan and design a system, we over-engineer it to allow for your “standard” peak usage plus an additional tolerance to help ensure you and your guests always have all the hot water you want, when and where you want it.
Question: What’s the cost differential between conventional water heaters and tankless water heaters? -Brianna, Denver, NC
Answer: Conventional water heaters tend to be cheaper, even on the higher end. However, there are a couple of tradeoffs to consider. The average lifespan of a tank water heater is 7-10 years, whereas a tankless unit has a life expectancy of 15-20+ years. A water heater with a tank has a limited capacity for providing hot water by design; a tankless unit does not, as long as the demand on the unit does not exceed its ability to take in, heat and pass through fresh water. A tank water heater typically requires less maintenance because of the simpler electronics involved, while a tankless water heater has a lot of sensors which require regular inspection and maintenance. Tankless water heaters cost more to install initially than tankless water heaters. However, a tankless water heater tends to be more energy-efficient than even Energy Star-rated tank units, resulting in significant savings over time, and of course the increased lifespan and virtually limitless hot water on demand are a major selling point. At Ultimate Plumbing & Repair, we offer a range of commercial products including tank and tankless water heaters from well-known manufacturers like Noritz Commercial and Rheem Manufacturing Company, so we can help you choose and install the right heater for your business needs!
Question: Are tankless water heaters worth the initial expense?
Answer: This is a very subjective question with a lot of facets. For industries that require ready access to a lot of hot water around the clock, there’s no question a tankless water heater system is probably the way to go. The initial expense of installation is usually offset by the reduced energy consumption and longer lifespan of these units. You can always tell your accounting department, in complete honesty, that your business may qualify for manufacturer-sponsored commercial financing and commercial warranty plans, as well as tankless water heater rebates which can help offset the sticker shock of going from tank to tankless and reduce the initial installation cost even more.
At Ultimate Plumbing & Repair, we’re committed to giving you, your business, and your customer’s great results and a great solution to all your plumbing needs, issues, and emergencies. Let our friendly, knowledgeable staff help your business choose and install the perfect hot water heater system for your needs, backed by our well-known work ethic, strong values of honesty and integrity, and our promise to never sell anyone anything they don’t really need. Click here to contact us or call (704) 741-3462 today!