Commercial Booster Heater Connected to Dishwasher

For owners of restaurants or food businesses, there are two ways of sanitization of their dishes: chemicals or hot water. Low-temp appliances sanitize dishes with chlorine or iodine. Although using a low-temperature machine is more energy efficient, the cost of chemicals is much higher than the electric bill, which makes high-temperature warewashers more appropriate in the food services.

Restaurant kitchens using hot water for sanitation, need to provide the water temperature of at least 180° F to kill germs and bacteria. If you decide to clean dishes with a high-temp device, you’ll require a booster heater to rise sanitizing water to the correct temperatures.

In this guide, you’ll figure out what is a booster heater, models and features.

What is a Booster Heater?

Booster heater is a specialized type of water heater mostly used with dishwashers to heat rinse water to adequate sanitizing temp. In contrast to a conventional water heater, a booster heater uses water that is yet warm and heat it to a higher temp among 180 and 195° F to suitably rinse and sanitize your dishes and kitchen utensils.


Even, the initial costs are higher, it’s paying off in the long term. These are the benefits of this appliance and why it should be plus for your business:

  • They produced quick self-drying and shiny clean dishware due to the high temp mean that water will evaporate rapidly from dishes once loads are removed from the dishwasher
  • They provide the final rinse water temperature is hot adequately to comply with sanitation codes
  • Energy savings about 50%
  • Water and space saving
  • Constantly hot water
  • Flexible for new construction and remodeling
  • No venting and no extra piping

Why you Need a Booster Heater?

It produces water at temp from 180 to 195° F for final rinse, providing adequate sanitation. Here are some regulations you need to fulfil when choosing a heater booster for your restaurant or food-service.

  • If you have a high-temp dishwasher without heater that is required to reach 180° F according to the federal and health regulations
  • If you install a low-temp device, but incoming water doesn’t achieve a minimum 120° F to provide capable removal of germs and pathogens from dishes.

Necessary Features

When buying dishwasher booster heaters for your food establishment, these are the features that you have to consider:

  • Temperature regulation/display: You can choose a model with electronic controls and a digital temp display that provides you to set the water temp that your appliance or sanitation codes need. On the other hand you can pick simpler models with electro-mechanical control and a standard output temp of 180° F, which is the most common type of devices
  • Low water cut–off: It prevents the device from overheating by running dry. In pair with a leak detection sensor, this can alert the dishwasher operator to a potential leak in the appliance and also stops water damage to the electrical part and the surroundings
  • Tank type: There are two main models of booster heater tank designs: cement lined steel and stainless-steel. Both models have their advantages, but stainless-steel tanks are more durable, and last longer, extra they fulfill ASME’s regulars for the boiler’s 
  • Construction and pressure vessels

How to Choose a Proper One?

To select a proper device for your food facility follow the lines below:

  • Choose between Hubbell or Hatco models; These two are market best sellers
  • The temp of the incoming water to your dishwasher must be adequate and meet local health standards
  • The rise of temp that you’re attempting to reach; For high-temp devices you can achieve this number by subtracting the temp of your incoming water to achieve 180° F. For low temp, chemical sanitizing appliances, subtract the temp of your incoming water to accomplish 120° F
  • The gallons per hour (GPH) of water that your machine uses for the final rinse operation; This info is available in the user manual and on your machine’s data plate


The first call you’re going to make when you’re selecting a dishwashing booster is what energy source will produce heat. You got a 3 option: electricity, gas, and steam.

Electric Booster Heater

They may be the simplest models to get up and start. A certified electrician should be capable of installing the equipment quite promptly. Electric devices are the cheapest equipment of these 3 types.

Depends on the expenses of utilities, an electric appliance may be the most expensive to use than gas for the amount of heat produced by $1. That’s why the gas is the most money-saving way to heat the water.

Gas Booster Heater

In many parts of the US, gas is the cheaper utility in comparison to electricity when you evaluate how much heat will generate by dollars spent. It means that gas cooking equipment and gas boosters are the primary solutions in many industrial and commercial kitchens.

Its equipment is more complex than an electric one, that means higher initial costs.

Steam Booster Heater

These types of heaters have typically heated with steam provided by buildings central boiler. This system is excellent since you’ll not need money for extra utility costs. It means same price energy bills every month.

They are the most expensive model rely on initial costs, since the steam appliance equipment for connecting to a central boiler is very expensive.

High vs. Low Temp Dishwashers

If you’re the owner of the restaurant or other food-services, you’re familiar with state regulations that sanitizing rinse water must be at 180° F. Except, you use a low-temp device. Low-temp appliances need a minimum of 120° F, since they use chemicals, commonly chlorine-based sanitizers, to destroy germs on tour dishes and kitchen utensils.

If you use a high-temp machine, you require a booster heater to boost your hot water up to 180° F to eliminate all that pathogens. Still, how to choose between high or low-temp chemical sanitation?

At first glance, it looks that low-temp devices will save your energy costs. By the way, you don’t require a booster heater when you’re running with low-temp appliances. But, you have to calculate that against the disadvantages of using chemicals on your loads. The low-temp dishwasher may not eliminate all the dirt from your loads on the first rinse cycle, causing more re-washing.

Also, you must train your staff to use those chemicals properly. Sanitizing chemicals need specialized wall-mounted equipment that must be maintained to comply with safety regulations. You must beware about the safe storage of chemicals in your facility and keep in mind that they impact very harmful and unhealthy for the environment.

High-temp devices destroy germs with blasting 180° F hot water, making the dishes clean with no need for a second wash. Although if you’re probably looking at a higher initial expense, the savings are long-lasting and beneficial. Also, they have a quick wash cycle and need less water overall. Still, you need to provide a space for the booster heater, so if you don’t have enough space, that can be a problem.

Have additional questions about commercial dishwashers, or in this case booster heaters, for your business?  Talk to a specialist today! (714) 784-5522 or fill out our contact form