Quality hot water supply systems: make sure your employees have warm water

Have you experienced a drop in the temperature of your hot water, which now more suitably fits the definition of tepid or cold water? Have you noticed a power and water bill increase with seemingly no explanation? Is there water located around the base of your hot water heater? These are all symptoms of a water heater that is failing.

Unfortunately, once you begin to notice these things, the situation doesn’t improve – it only gets worse. For the sake of your employees and perhaps your clients, don’t let this go on any longer – get your plumber out to your business today and get to the root of the problem.

Water supply items to check

If you inspect your water heater and see no water around the base of it, this means your water tank is not leaking, but there could be a lot of sediment built up at the bottom of it, which can cause issues. Check your hot water supply coming out of your tap for a rust color and/or bad odor, which sometimes can resemble rotten eggs. It’s advisable to flush your unit once a year to prevent this buildup from fowling up your system.

Make sure that if you have an electric water heater, the power is getting to the unit. It could be something as simple as a blown fuse that has your hot water turned cold. It’s also possible that if the unit has electricity, the heating elements could be broken/malfunctioning.

If you have a gas unit, look to see if the pilot light is lit and test it to see if it fires up by turning the temperature gauge up. Your unit could need a thermostat replacement if it’s not getting the flame it needs.

Most water heaters have a service life of eight to 12 years. If your unit at your business is getting up there in years, have a plumber give it a thorough inspection and talk, if necessary, about type of unit should take its place.

Gas or electric?

The gas water heater is the most common unit being installed in businesses, but it’s not the only option. First – a few pros and cons about gas vs. electric units: Gas heats the water fast, delivering 35-50 percent more hot water than most electric tanks of similar size. As for how much it costs to operate a gas unit, that depends widely on your local utility costs. Gas heaters costs more upfront than electric, but they are usually more cost effective when it comes to your utility bill, which quickly makes up the difference.

If you experience a particularly heavy need for hot water and the tank is depleted of hot water, gas units recover around three or four times faster than an electric unit. Also, should the power go out, your business is going to be without hot water if you have an electric unit. Gas requires no power to heat the water.

Gas units have more parts than electric units, which means they’re more challenging to repair and to maintain.

The tankless option

If your business has space concerns and a large electric or gas system can’t be installed, there are tankless units that offer considerable space advantages.

Tankless systems, also referred to as on demand-type systems, can be mounted to a wall and heated via electricity or gas. When an employee turns on a hot water tap, cold water will run up through the water pipe and into the tankless system. A heating element will heat the water as it runs through it and out to the hot water pipe to the tap.

This means a constant supply of hot water is possible. However, the heater’s output can limit the flow rate. In most units, you’ll see a two to five gallon flow per minute. For organizations that require a larger volume, the tankless option is probably not going to work.

However, if your business only requires around 40 gallons of hot water per day, you can save up to around 35 percent on your utility bill, because they’re more energy efficient than tank systems. Those savings come in handy because most tankless systems are more expensive to install than tank-based systems.

Talk to a reputable plumber

To really get the skinny on what type of system your business needs, talk to a plumber that has years of experience working with all types of water heaters. They should be able to take your information regarding space, volume of water being used and other variables to point you in the right direction for reliable hot water every time you turn the tap.

At Valley Fire Protection Systems, we might be known for our industry-leading design and build fire protection expertise, but we’re also experts in providing businesses with all the plumbing needs they require, including water heating systems.

Schedule a visit with us today and we’ll get you on the right track for consistent hot water. We’re certified, licensed and affiliated.

Related Topics: Hot Water // Plumbing Tips
By: Tom Hartel
I acquired my expertise by directing day-to-day operations of the business for over 20 years. Continuous hard work helped me become a nationally recognized speaker and expert on fire protection, fire sprinklers, special hazards, and plumbing systems. In this blog, I share my knowledge that will hopefully help you make better decisions for your projects.

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