Article: Mariano’s Fresh Market

Eemax Electric Tankless Water Heaters…A Sensible Solution at Mariano’s Fresh Market 

By Jens Bolleyer

Safely Heating Water Right at the Point-of-Use  

Hot water is critical to cooking, cleaning, and sanitizing in the kitchen. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, transmission of certain bacteria, viruses, and parasites from raw food or from ill workers to food by way of improperly washed hands, continues to be one of several major factors in the spread of food-borne illnesses. Proper hand washing serves as a vital and necessary public health practice in retail and food service.

The U.S. FDA requires that retail food establishments provide a sufficient number of hand washing sinks conveniently located for use by all food prep employees. It is suggested that a hand wash sink be located within 25 feet of a work station.  But what is the best way to guarantee that employees will have safe, hot water on-demand every time they turn the sink on?

Hot Water When and Where It’s Needed

Hot water is a necessity in Chicago-based Mariano’s Fresh Market ( This state-of-the-art 50,000 sq. ft. bi-level grocery store features a variety of food-prep stations including a deli, Italian coffee shop, sit-down sushi bar, seafood, produce, and meat departments, as well as a full-service pharmacy, and more.  Workers wash their hands and utensils throughout the day and cannot waste time standing around waiting for water to heat up. And, their customers certainly don’t want to stand around waiting any longer than they have to.

Why all the wait? Traditional tank-based water heaters are typically housed in a mechanical room far from the point of use, so hot water takes time to travel through pipes, losing heat along the way. Large tank-based water heaters take up valuable space, are costly to operate and maintain, and create wasted time and resources waiting for hot water. There is a smarter way to get hot water delivered to each area within a multi-department, multi-level store like Mariano’s. The solution is Eemax Electric Tankless Water Heaters.

With the Eemax product line, when a hot water tap is turned on, cold water travels through a pipe into the unit. An electric element heats the water immediately to the desired temperature with minimal wait time.  As a result, Eemax tankless water heaters deliver a constant supply of hot water on demand,  at the point of use, with no stand-by heat loss.

Eemax Tankless units are 99% energy-efficient, allowing Mariano’s to keep their energy bills low. On-demand water heating is one of the most effective ways to conserve energy. Tankless point-of-use systems are much more energy efficient than standard tank systems because they don’t heat reserve water.  Electric Tankless Water Heaters are the perfect energy-saving solution for new construction and for green building renovations. They can provide decades of trouble-free performance, lasting twice as long as tank heaters which can rust out and need replacing.

Challenges Met

For a complex establishment like Mariano’s Fresh Market, Eemax’s team of engineers worked directly with the architectural firm, engineers, store owners and managers to design a tankless water heating system that is most suitable for their needs. Currently, 18 Eemax heaters are handling the job.
“In the case of Mariano’s, our team needed to take into account hand washing station locations, dishwashing locations, fixtures, types of units, number of units needed, and estimated daily hot water demand,” stated Kevin Ruppelt, Eemax President and CEO.  “Our technical support staff is the best in the industry at troubleshooting and specifying complex projects. They are prepared to provide the most suitable solution for the client.”

Food-service safety and protecting their employees from on-the-job hazards is also a priority at Mariano’s.  Water that is too hot could scald employees when they use the water to wash cookware, utensils, or their hands.

Mariano’s selected Eemax’s code-compliant AccuMix for several areas in their facility.  In order to meet the provisions of Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) 413.1, Eemax has engineered and integrated an ASSE 1070-2004 code compliant mechanical mixing valve into the AccuMix Series of electric tankless water heaters. Internal set-up with fewer connections and simplified fittings means AccuMix is installed in no time.  The heater temperature is factory pre-set to 105°F for hand-washing applications, so there is no risk of scalding.

In addition to AccuMix, Mariano’s also chose ProAdvantage for some of their lavatory hand washing sinks. The ProAdvantage Series heaters are ideally suited for commercial and industrial applications. The digital thermostatic temperature controlled heaters are externally adjustable from 100°F to 140°F and feature LED displays for outlet temperature settings.  ProAdvantage electric tankless water heaters are easy to install, requiring only one cold or hot water line. Additionally, installation cost for material is kept low because there is no T&P relief valve needed. ProAdvantage can be installed directly at the point of use, so there are no recirculation pumps required, which saves water and energy. With power ranges from 3.5kW to 32kW and voltages of 120, 208, 240, 277, 208 three-phase, and 480 three-phase, Eemax ProAdvantage heaters are engineered to meet a wide range of commercial and industrial needs.

In their food prep stations, Mariano’s is utilizing Eemax Three Phase Units, which are the perfect solution for three-compartment commercial kitchen sinks. With a high flow rate,  the Three Phase units include a thermostatic feature that insure an accurate outlet temperature with a standard range of 100 to 140 °F and ambient range up to 180°F for sanitizing purposes.

“The Mariano’s Fresh Market project is an ideal application for the Eemax line of tankless water heaters,” explained Rich Corcoran, Eemax V.P. of Sales. “This location called for 18 different heaters due to the unique store layout that features multiple food prep stations across two floors in the 50,000 square foot facility. Eemax was a one-stop solution for the client because our industry leading offering of 500+ models lets us meet the specific needs of our customers with our Eemax point-of-use electric tankless water heaters.”

Eemax Heaters Go Anywhere

As in many stores these days, frequent remodels occur. Food prep stations are added, redesigned, or repositioned. A point-of-use system like an Eemax Electric Tankless Water Heater makes it easier if and when remodels occur since there is no need to re-pipe or reroute the water system. “With tankless, it’s easy enough to just move the unit from one location to the next,” explained Kevin Ruppelt. “Our accessible and uncomplicated units save energy, water, space, and money making them the perfect fit even for complex retail facilities like Mariano’s Fresh Market.”

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