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.

Hot Water How To: Trust a Trained Technician

A trained water heater technician is immediately aware of the most suitable option and can source it directly.

You’re out of hot water. As a decision maker at your business, you rely on your dedicated maintenance crew to fix all the little (and big) breakdowns that come with your day-to-day operations. But when it comes to keeping your commercial hot water supply steady and solid, there’s just no substitute for a trained water heater technician. I’m talking big savings in time and money – and that’s a must if you want to keep your operation running successfully.

Read the full post here…

Diagnosing the Problem
First and foremost, it’s likely that your maintenance crew just isn’t trained on modern, commercial water equipment. In the old days, it was pretty straightforward: a water heater was basically just a big steel tank with a burner and a thermostat. So if the water was too cold you’d turn it up. Too hot? You turn it down. Nowadays, it’s a whole new ballgame – commercial water heaters are complicated pieces of machinery with intricate electronic components and finely tuned sensors. Think of it like car maintenance. It used to be that anyone could work on their car, but that’s just not the case anymore.

Thus, it’s important to engage a trained specialist who can accurately and efficiently troubleshoot the problem. Don’t waste four hours (or more) of your maintenance crew’s time; a skilled water heater technician will have the right equipment and the right knowledge to diagnose your hot water problem in about a half hour. You don’t want to waste your money paying your maintenance guy for four or more hours he might not have – plus, that entire time, you’re still out of hot water.

Changing Out Parts
It’s imperative that the parts on your commercial water heater are changed out safely and efficiently. Your maintenance department may not have the means to take on this challenge. For example, they need to be able to secure the parts in the first place. Due to the sheer number of parts alone, your maintenance team isn’t going to have them stocked and sitting on the shelf ready to go. Well-developed relationships with vendors and suppliers are required to obtain the correct parts quickly. And what if your equipment goes down after business hours? Access to parts is key, otherwise, you got it: you’re still out of hot water and who knows for how long?

Replacing Equipment – A Serious Liability
So now your heater needs to be replaced. Does your maintenance man have a plumbing license so he can pull a permit? Can he legally and accurately perform the required electrical work? If not, you’re looking at some major liability issues.

There’s always the importance of correct equipment sizing. Perhaps that water heater was installed two or three owners ago; maybe your establishment was a restaurant and now it’s a day spa, or vice versa. These two applications involve very different water usage. Your maintenance guy may simply order a like-for-like changeout, but this could be a costly mistake. You may benefit from downsizing to smaller, more efficient equipment. Or, more importantly, if your water needs have increased, the wrong heater won’t provide the constant level of hot water you need – and that may be why the unit failed prematurely in the first place. Not to mention, there’s a host of better, more efficient, new technology out there.

A trained water heater technician is immediately aware of the most suitable option and can source it directly; plus, he has the appropriate equipment required to get it into your building. When you’re likely to spend more than $8,000 replacing an 800 pound piece of equipment, it’s important to get it right the first time!

Of critical importance, incorrect water heater installation can result in injury or death, so it’s not something to be taken lightly. Improperly installed heaters can literally blow up, causing tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to your property and an enormous amount of liability. It could mean the end of your business as you know it – now that’s something to think about.

 


Image courtesy of Flickr user PEO ACWA

5 Responses to Hot Water How To: Trust a Trained Technician
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