Three things you need to discuss with your equipment supplier before buying a central hot water system.
Hot water is a critical part of any processing facility. If precise temperatures are not met, facilities may face fines or even shut down. Having the wrong water heating solution can cause a variety of problems, including inaccurate temperature, running out of hot water, hammer and vibration, and scaling and fouling. That is why if you are investing in a new central hot water system, you need to get it right the first time – choosing the correct system can save you thousands of dollars on maintenance and downtime. By following the three things you should discuss with your supplier, you can make sure to get the proper central hot water system for your facility's needs.
Goals and Objectives – Take a Wider Approach
There must be a reason (or several reasons) why you are considering a new central hot water system. As you begin investigating equipment manufacturers, develop a set of goals that you want to achieve by implementing this new central hot water system.
What problems or concerns are you experiencing with your current water heating solution?
- Temperature control – wide temperature swings
- Unstable operation – hammer and vibration
- Crucial routine maintenance – scaling and fouling
It is better to decide your goals instead of experiencing the same problems again with new equipment. These goals and objectives need to be communicated with the equipment manufacturer to ensure your needs are addressed throughout the purchasing and commissioning process.
Some of the problems that you solely attribute to your central hot water system may be partially caused by the surrounding equipment – at times, equipment failure is due to a faulty steam trap or a damaged temperature control sensor. There also could be issues with the equipment above or below steam from your central hot water system. In that case, you also need to address them, or you may experience déjà vu with your new equipment.
Typical Processing Conditions Now and in the Future
A reliable central hot water system needs to be designed with your specific plant in mind. The equipment manufacturer should ask you a wide variety of questions, including what temperatures you need to achieve, what flow rates you are experiencing, and details about your steam pressure. All these details are critical in properly sizing a central hot water system.
If the information is inaccurate, the system may be under or oversized, resulting in problems down the road, including not reaching temperature or running out of water.
It is also important to consider what your processing conditions may look like a few months or even years down the road. Ideally, you want equipment that will adjust to the changing needs of your facility. For example, suppose you expect an increase in production over the next few months. It is critical to let the equipment manufacturer know this upfront, as they would need to size the central hot water system differently to compensate for this change.
Unique Processing Conditions
As mentioned above, processing information is needed when sizing the ideal central hot water system for your facility. When providing this information to the equipment supplier, offer a range of numbers. For example, what is the minimum, maximum, and average flow rate experienced on any given day? Those outliers will not only affect the sizing of the central hot water system, but they can also help you avoid headaches down the road.
The third shift at a processing plant is often used for cleaning and wash down needs. Unfortunately, it is also a common time to run out of hot water. After being shut down, it takes a long time to heat a hot water tank, resulting in wasted time I and production delays until the desired temperature is reached
If the equipment manufacturer knows this ahead of time, they can size the equipment to Compensate for this change. As the consumer, you should review the equipment's turndown capabilities before you decide to buy. Some pieces of equipment are not flexible enough to account for the varying conditions of wash down versus average production. At that point, other equipment may need to be considered, or resizing may be required depending on changes in processing conditions.
Hydro-Thermal is the Central Hot Water Heating Experts
Buying a new piece of equipment for your facility does not have to be stressful. If you find the right partner, they should help you navigate the process smoothly. Hydro-Thermal has industry knowledge and has worked with many companies in updating central hot water systems. Read more on the subject of how we helped a meat processing plant save money from maintenance and energy usage by installing one of our hot water on-demand EZ heater skids. Click here to read about the installation
The water heating experts at Hydro-Thermal are available to conduct a free steam audit to size your central hot water system correctly. In addition, we will supply tips on increasing your efficiency, reducing energy costs, and ensuring that you always have hot water. Contact us at