Historic Resort Replaces Failing Water Heaters

April 9, 2024


In the heart of Colonial Williamsburg, a historic hotel facility faced a pressing challenge — the inefficiency and unreliability of two aging PVI Water Heaters. As key components of the facility’s daily operations, these heaters were causing disruptions and significantly impacting energy costs. Recognizing the need for a transformative solution, the facility management embarked on a journey to revolutionize its water heating system. The task was to replace the outdated with the innovative, and the result was the installation of the cutting-edge Intellihot iQ-1501 High-Efficiency On-Demand Water Heater. 

The Intellihot iQ-1501 achieves up to a 40% reduction in gas bills with a industry-leading turndown ratio of 50:1.


New isolation valves were installed before demolition of the existing PVI Water Heaters could begin. The new valves allowed the Domestic Cold-Water Supply (DCWS) to provide potable water to the building while isolating the DCWS to the water heaters. The Water Heaters and the Domestic Hot Water Supply (DHWS) piping were drained, and all piping was removed from the WHs, including the natural gas piping and flue piping. Once the piping was removed, the Water Heater could then be removed from the site. This entailed removing the heat exchangers from the units and cutting them in half. The units were rigged out of the basement using specialized rolling castors and a crane.

Once the existing equipment was removed from the basement, we were able to rig the new Intellihot iQ-1501 into place. We again used a crane to lower the new Water Heater into the basement and used the specialized castors to set the new unit in place onto concrete supports.

The new condensing water heater uses multiple heat exchangers to absorb the maximum possible heat from the flue gas. Low-temperature flue gas condensates in the flue stack, which necessitates the use of a non-corrosive flue pipe like Stainless Steel or Polypropylene Flue piping. We removed the existing chimney liner and double wall flue pipe from the basement. We then installed new polypropylene piping down the chimney, into the basement, and connected it to the new Water Heater. We also installed new condensate drain piping from the flue to a condensate neutralizer trap and onto the nearest floor drain.

The existing DCWS and DHWS piping were then connected to the new Water Heater, including the installation of taps for the future installation of a water softener. This included the installation of a new Tempering Valve, relocation and integration of Domestic Hot Water Return (DHWR) lines, and the installation of boiler drains and isolation valves to allow for future isolation and service of the new equipment. The piping was then insulated with All Service Jacket (ASJ) faced fiberglass pipe insulation, PVC fitting covers, and labeled with pipe designation and flow stickers.

The existing natural gas piping was modified to connect to the new water heater. New piping, fittings, and support hardware were installed to facilitate connection to the new equipment. The piping was leak checked to ensure there were no leaks in the building.

We installed a new 30A 115v 1ph electrical circuit for the new water heater. This work included the installation of a new breaker, service disconnect, conduit, and cabling from an electrical panel in the adjacent electrical closet. The existing electrical circuits that fed the original Water Heaters and Recirculation pumps were reworked to provide power to the relocated DHWR pump and to power the controller for the new tempering valve.

The Water Heater was brought online and tested for proper operation. Once proper operation was confirmed, we placed the new Water Heater into normal duty service. Necessary inspections were performed with the local municipality. We trained the staff in the proper use and care of their new equipment, including access to the Wi-Fi connectivity of the new unit.


In embracing the future of water heating technology, the decision to replace two failing PVI Water Heaters with the Intellihot iQ-1501 has not only resolved immediate operational challenges but has also positioned the facility on a course of sustainable efficiency. Beyond the monetary savings, the facility now enjoys peace of mind with a seamlessly integrated and intelligently controlled water heating system.

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