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Restaurant Tankless Water Heater Guide

Commercial Tankless Water Heaters For Restaurants 101
Commercial Tankless Water Heaters For Restaurants 101

Commercial Tankless Water Heaters For Restaurant 101

Perfecting the hot water requirements at a restaurant can be tricky. Restaurants need hot water for cooking, sanitation, cleaning dishes and several other functions. There are regulatory compliances that need to be followed and regular maintenance to be scheduled. Despite that, it is common for restaurant owners to suffer nightmares about flooding or a forced shut down due to a malfunctioning water heater. It is natural to have questions like “Are Tankless Water Heaters Recommended for Restaurants?” Here, you can find answers to some of the most common questions about water heating systems in restaurants. 

Table of Contents

Are Tankless Water Heaters Recommended For Restaurants?

Tank-style water heaters have been around for ages. And that is the number one reason for restaurant owners to be hesitant about change. However, it is a well-established fact that tankless water heaters are the better choice for restaurants. The core difference between the two is that tankless water heaters heat water on demand rather than storing hot water in a tank. Here is why tankless water heaters are better suited for restaurants:

  1. Tankless water heaters can reliably provide hot water on demand, matching the requirements of a restaurant of the highest scale.
  2. They conserve energy since they do not need to store and keep a tank full of water hot. Hence, they save recurring, variable costs.
  3. They mitigate common pathogens like the Legionella bacteria as well as hard water scaling, making them a more sanitary choice.
  4. Tankless water heaters are significantly smaller, making them ideal for small spaces without a dedicated boiler room.

commercial water heater for restaurant
Pancake Pantry Before: Consistently Failing Tank-Style Water Heaters
Restaurant Tankless Water Heaters
Pancake Pantry After: One Intellihot iN501 replaces the entire system taking 1/3rd space yet providing higher redundancy

Are Electric Tankless Water Heaters Recommended For Restaurants?

Tankless water heaters can be gas-powered or electric. Switching between a power source is usually not recommended if you do not wish to make major changes to your property’s infrastructure. However, electric tankless water heaters come with several advantages. For instance, their operating costs are predicted to be more stable since gas prices can be volatile. You can read up more about the differences between electric water heaters and gas-powered water heaters apart from other frequently discussed topics related to heat pump water heaters here.

Can Tankless Water Heaters Handle High Demand Loads in Restaurants?

It’s a Sunday and you have busy dinner service. Having uninterrupted hot water is crucial. In such a scenario, a poorly sized water heater can make a restaurant run into some serious challenges.

However, a common misconception is that a water heater’s capacity revolves around a single function. It is vital to know about a water heater’s capacity and recovery rate.

A water heater’s capacity usually determines how much hot water a tank-style heater can provide instantly at any time. It is measured in gallons since it is merely a reflection of the number of gallons a tank-style water heater can hold. This is the amount of hot water that your tank-style water heater can provide instantly.

A water heater’s recovery rate, however, is probably more crucial for restaurants. It usually determines how quickly a water heater can heat water. Hence, if a tank-style water heater’s storage tank runs out of water, the recovery rate determines how quickly the heater can refill its tank with hot water. On a busy service, recovery rate is what most restaurant owners should be concerned with.

For example, if a restaurant has a tank-style water heater which runs out hot water in its tank during a busy period, there might be a significant delay in the restaurant getting hot water if the water heater has a low recovery rate.

What happens to capacity in tankless water heaters? Since tankless water heaters do not store hot water, they do not function on the metric of capacity. However, most tankless water heaters are designed with a high recovery rate so that they can heat large amounts of water instantaneously without having to refill a storage tank. A more appropriate metric when it comes to tankless water heaters is the flow rate: a measure of the amount of water that a tankless water heater can move in a given time frame. 

Terms you need to know

Capacity (Tank-style): A reflection of the number of gallons a tank-style water heater can hold.
Recovery Rate (tank-style): determines how quickly a water heater can refill its tank with hot water
Flow Rate (tankless): a measure of the amount of water that a tankless water heater can move in a given time frame.

100 Gallon Commercial Gas Water Heater vs Intellihot iN199
Intellihot manufactures the world’s first, second, and third most powerful tankless water heaters ( iQ1501, iQ2001, and iQ3001 respectively). Moreover, our products employ our patented Dynamic Storagetechnology which, combined with our high-speed controller that checks temperature 20 times every second results in reliably hot water at the set temperature 99% of the time. For context, a comparable tank-style heater was shown to only maintain the set temperature 2% of the time. You can read about our study where Intellihot’s 0.5 gallon tankless water heater (Intellihot iN199) was able to outperform a commercial 100 gallon tank-style water heater here: 

How Can I Size Tankless Water Heater Correctly For My Restaurant? Will a Tankless Water Heater Fit in Small Restaurants?

Understanding the right size of tankless water heater for your restaurant can be complicated if you do not possess some technical knowledge, similar to tank-styled heaters. You would want to avoid a tankless heater that cannot handle your specific load. On the other hand, purchasing a heater that is significantly more powerful would result in excess costs and wasted space since more powerful water heaters tend to take up more space.

You can use our water heater sizing calculator to get an accurate snapshot of your hot water requirements. You will get an instant, personalized report containing multiple options of Intellihot’s products that can serve your restaurant’s needs.

All you need to do is a fill a basic form with information about your restaurant’s physical space like the number of sinks and washrooms. Our accurate calculator will generate a guaranteed and detailed report that is personalized to your query. If our estimates are wrong, we will pay for any additional equipment. Below are some snapshots of our detailed sizing results. 

How Can I Avoid A Water Heater Flooding My Restaurant?

Short answer: Go Tankless.

Tankless water heaters do not store water, thereby mitigating the risk of flooding. As a matter of fact, Intellihot was conceptualized when our founder and CEO, Sridhar Deivasigamani’s basement was flooded by a traditional tank-style water heater

Download this ebook to:
  • Learn the difference between Gas and Electric Tankless Water Heaters
  • Understand the Four Factors that Affect Tankless Water Heater Sizing
  • Discover How Commercial Tankless Water Heaters Differ From Residential Units
  • See A Cost Savings Example of Tank vs Tankless Systems
Tankless Commercial Buyers Guide

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