Water Heating Booster | NaturalGasEfficiency.org

Booster Water Heaters


  • Restaurants
  • Institutional Food Service
  • Catering, Banquette Halls

Commercial food service operations must use one of two approved methods to sanitize dishes in the dish washing process: water temps above 180F or chemical (chlorine) additives.

There are pros and cons of both methods, but for those who choose the hot water method, most use electric booster heaters to get up to 180F.   Standard natural gas water heaters are not designed for that high of temperature, so they either cannot get that hot, or are very inefficient at those temperatures. It is also not safe (or legal in many cases) to have water that hot be distributed to the entire facility for other use, such as hand washing.

Typically a gas water heater will be used to get the water to about 140F and then boosted electrically. Even a small electric booster heater can be 30kW, which substantially increases cost, especially if on a high demand charge tariff. (Large operations could use commercial boilers, but this is rare in average restaurants.)


Operating Cost Comparison

Sample Operating cost:   130 gal per hour x 6 hours = 520 gal/day (large, busy restaurant)


520 gal x 8.3 lbs x 140F rise = 604,240 BTUs (if 80% eff = 7.5 CCF)

7.5 CCF x $0.90 = $6.75 per day



604,240 BTUs / 3,413 = 177 kWh / 6hrs = 29.5 kW

177 kWh x $0.08 = $14.16 per day

PLUS 29.5 x $/kW demand per MONTH

If just Electric Boost: 29.5kW x say $8.00/kW = $236/month/20 days = $11.80/day in Demand   PLUS ~50 kWh x $0.08 = $4.00 per day (if 40F rise)


More Information

Calculate the savings potential by using the ESC calculator located atwww.energysolutionscenter.org/calculatorweb.html
Most of the manufacturer’s web sites below also have savings calculators.




The B-195 Gas-Fired Booster Heater dependably maintains an ample supply of 180°F water for warewashing sanitary rinse requirements. It’s copper finned tube heat exchanger and solid state electronic temperature control give the booster a near instantaneous response time and a temperature control band of ± 2°F.  Raypak now also has units with 50,000 and 130,000 BTU input.

Designed to work with most flight type dishwashers, the B-195 provides a cost effective alternative to electric booster heaters. The unit conveniently fits underneath standard kitchen counters and can be installed without major alterations to the existing kitchen layout.
RaypakRatingsSee installation manual for special venting requirements.

31111 Agoura Road
Westlake Village, CA 91361-4699
Telephone: 818-889-1500

2805 Slough St.
Mississauga, Ontario Canada L4T 1G2
Telephone: 905-677-7999





Hatco offers 3 models, PMG-60, PMG-100 and PMG-200, which also identifies their gas inputs (ie: PMG-60 = 60,000 BTUs).

Hatco Corporation
P.O. Box 340500
Milwaukee, WI 53234-0500   USA
Telephone: 800-558-0607, 414-671-6350


Web site includes product literature and a savings calculator to compare gas versus electric booster heaters according to a number of variables.


Not only do you get your dishwares cleaner, you reduce your operating costs. In most kitchens you will save over $400 monthly compared to electric boosters.

And the PrecisionTemp Model 56 is ventless!

This high efficiency gas booster heater is ventless because it uses our patented Variflame Control.   It performs 80% more efficiently than the allowable code. This means lower operating cost and easier installation where space is usually at a premium.

Even if you are using a low temperature chemical washing system our gas booster heater may still cost no more.   And, you would have the many benefits of a high temperature system for as little as 1 cent per cycle!

Using the Variflame Control. your primary water temperature is checked over one hundred times each minute. Then, Variflame uses the precise amount of energy needed to deliver a 180º rinse. No more, no less. The Model 200 delivers 180º rinse water with as little as 110º primary water.

The Model 56 is reliable and designed for easy serviceability. The standard stainless steel case provides easy access and all components can be reached from the front of the booster when service is required.

1006 Kieley Place
Cincinnati, OH 45217
Telephone: 513-641-4446



Vanguard Technology “got into hot water” for restaurants in the early eighties. Almost immediately, we realized that the commercial dishwasher was one of the most costly pieces of equipment to operate in the food service industry! At that time there were four ways to make 180° degree water for a conveyor dishwasher: a high kW electric booster (expensive/high maintenance), steam (expensive/high maintenance) a 200,000 btu high temperature water heater along with 2-100+ gallon water heaters (all over fired with a footprint that required a separate room) and the infamous rooftop boiler (the plumber’s friend)!

Where most people saw problems, we recognized opportunity and began experimenting with small wall hung gas water heaters to produce a SMALL, efficient, cost-effective gas booster. It had to provide 180° water first rack, every rack, no matter how the dishwasher cycled without the water going to steam (becoming unstable*).

In 1990 the PowerMax™ model was introduced to the market by Vanguard and is currently marketed as the company’s primary product. With sales spanning two decades, and many of the first units still operating, Vanguard has distinguished itself as the most experienced and most reliable vendor of gas-fired booster heaters in the world.

Vanguard Technology Inc
29495 Airport Road
Eugene OR 97402
Telephone: 541-461-6020







Source:   Text Bob Fegan 1/2009; Manf web sites listed above 4/02; 3-10-03; rev 11-2004; rev 2/2007; rev 3/2008;

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