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  • Commercial Water Heater

    Here's one I'm sucked into doing tomorrow or monday for a business.

    It's a pizza parlor, was spec'd when it was built for a dishtank machine but they opted against installing due to space confinements. The plumber roughed it in (4 capped off lines in the wall according to the store owner) and they have no intention of putting it in.

    75 gas water heater, commercial.


    Owner wants to install a 50 gallon gas non-commercial for the reason of usage and price. The price would be obvious but the usage he has a good point.


    They hand wash dishes only, been doing it this way for 10 years at this store.

    Since this is an emergency, is it mandatory a commercial type heater goes back in or will a residential type heater be permissable. I've seen/witnessed numerous restaurants with heaters that came right out of the big box stores, supply houses that were not classified as commercial.


    Most times if I'm correct, Commercial heaters are non-FVIR and usually have a cast-iron burner, higher BTU output which coordinates with flue size, 4"


    I'm probably going to pull permits on this for reason of exposure to so many people/workers. Last thing I need is a heater without state approval sitting in a building and something going wrong.

    What would you do?

    The customer wants a 50 as he feels that there is absolutely no necessity for such a large tank for the application.
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  • #2
    Re: Commercial Water Heater

    dunbar, actually i think that the health dept. might have an issue with the size of the heater and the temperature output.

    a residential heater installed in a commercial application will make the 6 year warranty either void or down to 1 year.

    i would still be more concerned with the health dept. though.

    rick.
    phoebe it is

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    • #3
      Re: Commercial Water Heater

      He may fail his next Health Dept. inspection for not having a ASME rated tank.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Commercial Water Heater

        Thanks for responding. That statement alone will have me contacting the health department monday morning asking them what is permissable.

        That heater is probably over a grand and that's what they are avoiding I believe.
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        • #5
          Re: Commercial Water Heater

          I agree 110% with Rick. To install a residential heater in commercial will mean you have voided the warranty which is fine as long as the owner knows it. The big thing is the health department likely has a minimum temp and recovery requirement based on the type of business.

          Mark
          "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

          I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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          • #6
            Re: Commercial Water Heater

            Just got off the phone with the owner.....



            I instructed him to call the health department first thing monday morning

            He'll tell me what requirement they have for recovery and sizing for the building based on maximum occupancy rules

            I call the supply houses with the size tank I need

            Once I find one, have the owner call, let him pay for it (probably a grand or higher) and make sure they can deliver the heater

            to the store so I can install it monday night after the store closes.


            I'll then go ahead and pull permits to have it inspected.


            I'll make sure the owner pays for all transition fittings to get me from 1" dielectric nipples down to 3/4", ST-12 expansion tank like what's present now.

            I don't like turning over money of this amount, especially the tank itself because if anything goes wrong with it in the next 6 years......I'll be working for free to fixing it......even though it's under warranty. You know what I'm talking about; you bought it so therefore you need to fix it.....we can't wait for warranty repairs.
            Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 12-15-2007, 09:02 PM.
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            • #7
              Re: Commercial Water Heater

              Originally posted by DUNBAR View Post
              That's true. I've always wondered how that works when the public restrooms are also tied to this heater, requiring a certain mandatory hot water temp.....then having a required 140 degrees for dishtank equipment.

              Since the handwashing of dishes are involved.....wouldn't this set the requirement lower for sure?
              It really depends on how the store was originally approved. Most are not approved for hand washing as it does not always sanitize.

              Mark
              "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

              I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Commercial Water Heater

                Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                It really depends on how the store was originally approved. Most are not approved for hand washing as it does not always sanitize.

                Mark

                Most likely it was preapproved in this manner as both of them are tied to a second store, subway, and all 4 stores I do the service on have no dishtank setup.....all involves handwashing of utensils/pots/pans/cooking hardware.


                Honestly? I'm not thrilled with doing work on commercial setups as it keeps me in supply houses. This is only one of 10 commercial type plumbing systems I'll mess with.....the rest I pass on. I'll let the bigger plumbing companies mess with them. I can't afford to keep T&S products on my shelf for the next service call either; too expensive.
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                • #9
                  Re: Commercial Water Heater

                  I'm not a big advocate of tankless water heaters but this sounds like a good application for them. We'll see what Robert Rinnai thinks about this application.
                  Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Commercial Water Heater

                    You would do well to contact their insurance company and also the state regarding pressure vessels in small commercial applications. Some states demand only ASME National Board approved pressure vessels be installed anywhere but private homes. Protect your @$$ and check, check and recheck before you install. If anything ever does go wrong you don't need evil minded greedy lawyers on the attack.
                    Last edited by Woussko; 12-16-2007, 10:10 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Simply............wow

                      Store owner called the health department, no restrictions on any type of heating device going in. ????

                      Called the plumbing division, they have no problem with a residential heater going in for that application. ????



                      So....this guy took the path of least resistance and he's going with a 65 gallon residential gas water heater instead of a 75 gallon commercial. The price swing is a grand, have to be ordered since the supply houses aren't sitting much on slow stock these days.

                      They understand the warranty is void with the application, this against a 1 year exclusive, 3 year warranty offered by the mfg. of the tank.

                      I feel that the conditions on this install are based solely on the use of the unit and the fact that no dishtank exists.

                      Had the customer pay for the heater, the expansion tank, 1" fittings and the heater is being delivered to the store today around 3 pm so I can come up around 8 and do the switchout. No point of me turning over $800 if I can avoid it. That way when it malfunctions (which we all know it will) I won't be held to the flames of "you bought it, why isn't it working" scenario. This puts me on the defense, not the offense of owning the product liability. I didn't make it, I just installed it. I do this for all plumbing fixtures over $250 to keep it on the level. Plus this keeps me from losing an hour round trip to the supply house, emptying out my bed of my truck, yada yada yada.


                      The store owner stated that all they (health department) care about is the condition of the food, the possible contamination, that's it.

                      Is this a good thing? From the way it sounds...no. Especially with the comments stating the obvious concerns on this thread alone.
                      Last edited by DUNBAR PLUMBING; 12-17-2007, 11:25 AM.
                      Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                      • #12
                        Re: Commercial Water Heater

                        Note to self: Don't eat fast food while traveling through Kentucky.
                        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Commercial Water Heater

                          Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                          Note to self: Don't eat fast food while traveling through Kentucky.


                          Your right to be concerned Dunbar

                          The minimum our health dept. would allow in a food prep kitchen in my area was a 75,000 btuh 75gal.

                          This was only because they were not actually cooking.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Commercial Water Heater

                            You're right; they are very laxed on this issue.

                            What is also a determining factor is the two lavs serving the dining room, drawing on the hot water demand as well.

                            Large gathering of people, lots of hand washing, lots of dishes being done, heater can't keep up with demand. A scenario that's easily attainable.

                            I almost put 2 heaters in today but I got smart real quick; I'm not 20 years old last time I checked. What's even more unbelievable is that when I was 29 I was responsible for installing 3-5 water heaters a day between Sears/Home Depot/Lowes and American Home Shield. That'll never happen again in my lifetime.
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