Commercial Hot Water – Is my electric immersion heater up to the job?


A common topic when it comes to hot water heating is commercial hot water. Many businesses have the need for plentiful instantaneous hot water on a commercial scale. Whether it’s in a restaurant packed with customers or perhaps a hair salon that’s gearing it’s customers up for the weekend these types of businesses have a constant and business critical need for hot water on demand.


Whilst this is a basic need for many businesses, when it comes to the equipment needed to provide hot water on this scale it is often under specified by the user or installer.

Electric water heating is ideal for commercial applications. It’s simple, space saving and doesn’t attract many of the safety issues associated with fitting gas into a work environment. Immersion heaters are fitted into a water cylinder to provide hot water for a businesses particular needs and it’s at this point when things often go wrong. The most mainstream solutions for electric water heating on the market are focused on domestic use. This would be classed as a “light duty” application as typically a household will use the majority of it’s overall hot water requirements in the morning and evening for showers, washing up, etc. For a typical family of four there is a reasonably well defined pattern of usage which a domestic hot water cylinder using immersion heaters is designed to serve.

Try to transfer that domestic hot water solution into a commercial medium to heavy duty environment and this is where many users wind up frustrated and often blaming the equipment that is surely designed to give them hot water!

The fact is that using a domestic hot water system to provide hot water for business often results in a poorly performing system which has regular reliability issues. Constant water demands overwork immersion heaters designed for domestic usage patterns which accelerates the build up of scale and can reduce the life of the heater from years to months.

Installers will often look for basic methods to mitigate the increased load by replacing standard domestic immersion heaters with heavier duty domestic heaters which are designed for more aggressive water environments. Using titanium sheathed immersion heaters will prolong the life of a heater being used in domestic environments that suffer from being in hard water areas or require the use of bore hole water. However this is often confused with the heavier duty demands of commercial applications and so using an increased spec domestic immersion heater is still like parking the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff rather than putting a fence at the top!

Commercial or industrial grade electric immersion heaters are designed for applications where increased water demands are the norm. It’s generally a slightly more involved process to ensure that the correct kit is specified in the first place but the pay back in reliability and business continuity can be considerable. Larger kilowatt ratings and increased heating element surface areas are generally employed in order to create less strain on the heater in a continuously rated environment.

Experienced cylinder and immersion heater manufacturers are well placed to advise installers and end users on the best solutions for their commercial applications and generally some simple information detailing how much hot water is required and how often can allow a manufacturer to determine what size cylinder/tank and what size immersion heater or in some cases multiple immersion heaters are required to fulfill a customer’s day to day requirements.

Heatrod Elements manufacture electric immersion heaters for all applications from Domestic to heavy industrial and as an active member of the Hot Water Association we understand how to calculate a customer’s requirements.

Low watts density immersion heaters from our commercial/light industrial HR range can often solve most commercial or catering applications. Larger industrial immersion heaters from our HRi range cover higher power requirements and options such as multi-stage 3-phase heating and control can be offered.

If you have an application why not give us a try? We have application engineers who are experienced and dedicated to specifying commercial and industrial grade immersion heaters into all types of business environments. Whether you have an existing installation that’s letting you down or you are in the process of specifying a new system just let us know and we’ll help you to specify the right solution for your business.


Contact us

Heatrod Elements
Unit 10, Top Deck
Smethurst Lane
Bolton, BL4 0AN
Tel: 0161 727 3713
Email: [email protected]

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