The plumbing is a critical aspect of any salon or spa. Without ready access to ample amounts of water of the right temperature, a salon or spa would soon be out of business. Here are some plumbing and water heater basics to wash away your water woes.
First of all, you will need the correct line or pipe diameter in order to supply ample water to reach several water outlets throughout your facility. These areas include multiple shampoo bowls, bathroom facilities, a sink for the color dispensary, a kitchen sink, and a possible dishwasher, laundry facilities, plus any needs for spa facilities such as showers, tubs, sinks or pedicure stations. Having to dig up the floor and route new plumbing for any of these water outlets can be very costly. It’s advised to place all plumbing within common walls as much as possible and to avoid having to add long spans of piping across your facility. The further away from the primary water inlet and sewer access you need to run plumbing, the more expensive the renovations become. These long spans of piping, plus any added water outlets also can affect your overall water pressure.
In addition to an ample supply of water and good water pressure throughout your facility, you’ll also require access to plenty of hot water, meaning that you’ll need an efficient industrial water heater.
Different business applications use hot water differently. Some businesses, such as restaurant, require a lot of hot water at peak operating hours while others like a salon need a constant amount of hot water throughout the day.
There are two main identifying characteristics of commercial water heaters: storage capacity and input. It comes down to how many gallons of hot water the tank stores and how much power the burner uses to raise the temperature of that water. To know which tank size and power input is the right combination, you’ll first need to identify the specific hot water requirements of your business.
Take into account:
- The number of fixtures that require hot water: dishwashers, washing machines, sinks, shampoo bowls, etc.
- Your hours of operation including peak hours (when your business uses the most hot water)
- Your geographic location for possible seasonal impacts
- Physical footprint limitations and venting requirements and/or restrictions
There’s a wide variety of water heater models with different gallon capacities and energy inputs because each combination of these factors produces different results. Using the qualifiers above, a water heater professional can calculate the type, necessary BTUs – a unit of measure for a gas water heater or kilowatts for electric versions, plus gallon capacity, and physical size of the specific water heater you need to provide your facility with consistent hot water.
Capacity Versus Recovery Rate
When operating at peak demand for your salon, you need enough hot water at the ready. If all of your hot water sources are turned on simultaneously at full blast and set to hot, this is called dump load. Measured in gallons per hour (GPH), the dump load is the number of gallons of hot water your salon requires at peak demand.
The next most crucial sizing factor for water heaters is the hourly input, which determines the recovery rate. The hourly output is how many gallons of hot water the water heater can produce per hour, based on the starting and ending water temperatures.
Smaller tank capacities will deplete and refill faster than larger tanks, and they’ll do so more frequently. That’s why finding the right balance between capacity and recovery is so important. Without sizing to correct dump load requirements, you run the risk of running out of hot water during your busiest business hours.
|Water||Water Supply||Hot Water Heater||Recovery Rate|
|1-2 bowls||¾-inch line||50 gallons||75 gallons/hour|
|3-5 bowls||1-inch line||75 gallons||150 gallons/hour|
|6-8 bowls||1.25-inch line||100 gallons||200 gallons/hour|
A licensed commercial water heater installer should be able to identify your commercial water heater options based on your particular building layout and hot water needs.