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Local Regulations and Codes for Commercial Water Heaters

Apr 24, 2024 | Plumbing

Even if your business doesn’t rely on a water heater for daily operations, your employees probably do. From having hot water to wash their hands to rinsing out lunch dishes in the break room, your business needs a functioning water heater. The appliance is even more important if your business requires a reliable supply of hot water. Even if you have an employee willing to tackle the installation task, you still want to go with a professional like CS Mechanical.

Specific codes and regulations apply to commercial water installations and you do not want to be out of compliance. Not only are you risking hefty fines, but you may also be placing your employees at risk.

Here’s a look at some of the local regulations and codes for commercial water heaters.

In-sight Disconnect

The International Code Council (ICC) is responsible for setting commercial water heater installation requirements.

Electric commercial water heaters must have an in-sight disconnect to meet code regulations. You must have the disconnect installed in a place with a clear line of sight. The purpose of the code is to prevent accidental electrical shocks.

For example, if a power breaker flips. The employee working on the breaker will be able to see if someone is working on the commercial water heater. Instead of flipping the breaker and hoping everyone is clear, the employee will know to wait until the water heater is cleared of personnel.

CS Mechanical will install your disconnect in a place that meets ICC regulations to help keep your employees safe from accidental shocks.

Combustion Air

Combustion air requirements for commercial water heaters are set down by the ICC. Along with meeting code requirements, a certain amount of combustion air is necessary to ensure your commercial water heater is functioning properly.

When combustion air levels are not up to ICC regulations, your water heater may not be operational.

Our technicians at CS Mechanical are familiar with ICC regulations and will evaluate whether your water heater will receive its supply of combustion air from indoors or outside.

Drain Pan

The location of the water heater determines if a drain pan is required. Commercial water heaters in areas where leaks can cause damage must have a drain pan. You are also required to install a drain pan if your previous model used one.

Failing to install a drain pan violates the International Code Council (ICC) regulations.

Sediment Trap

ICC regulations extend to the sediment trap. The trap prevents debris from getting into the water heater’s gas line. Along with preventing damage to the line, a sediment trap also helps keep potentially dangerous blockages from forming.

CS Mechanical will follow all code requirements, installing the sediment trap downstream from the shutoff valve while also keeping it as close as possible to the inlet.

Expansion Tank

Not sure if your commercial water heater needs an expansion tank? We will assess the water heater’s location and install an expansion tank if required to meet compliance regulations.

An expansion tank is a requirement for water heaters on closed systems. A closed system means your water heater has a backflow prevention device. Examples include a check or pressure regulating valve. The device prevents excess pressure from flowing into the municipal water supply system. Installing an expansive tank helps regulate water pressure, preventing fluctuations.

Along with meeting code compliance regulations, the expansion tank also reduces stress on your commercial water heater which can significantly shorten its lifespan.

Expansion tanks range in price and CS Mechanical will help you find the right one for your commercial water heater and budget.

Adequate Ventilation

Not having enough ventilation is one of the most common commercial water heater code violations our technicians encounter.

Your water heater needs adequate ventilation to prevent gases like carbon monoxide from building up in your facility. Our technicians will evaluate your unique situation and recommend solutions that will work best for your building’s design and the location of the water heater.

T&P Relief Valve Placement

A temperature and pressure (T&P) relief valve does what its name implies. The valve regulates pressure inside the water heater, preventing it from reaching potentially dangerous levels.

While it is a required safety feature, how the valve is installed is crucial to ensure it is working properly. Our technicians are familiar with T&P relief valve placement and will ensure yours is installed in the correct location.

Pressure Regulator

ICC also requires commercial water heaters to have pressure regulators. The small device prevents water pressure inside the tank from reaching dangerous levels.

Contact CS Mechanical For Your Next Commercial Water Heater Installation

Code violations are not only expensive, but they can also place your employees at risk. Improper installations can also shorten the life of your commercial water heater. Contact the professionals at CS Mechanical. Not only will our licensed technicians properly install your commercial water heater, but we can also ensure it functions optimally for years.