The Chicago Cubs Hit the Showers After Long Season

It's a drive … way back … it might be, it could be, it is! A home run, holy cow!" Echoing the renown words of the now departed voice of the Chicago Cubs' announcer Harry Carey, an afternoon at Wrigley Field can be an enjoyable recreational outing, especially if the Cubs win. But win or lose, once that final out is made, it's time to hit the showers.

10/01/2002


It's a drive… way back … it might be, it could be, it is! A home run, holy cow!"

Echoing the renown words of the now departed voice of the Chicago Cubs' announcer Harry Carey, an afternoon at Wrigley Field can be an enjoyable recreational outing, especially if the Cubs win.

But win or lose, once that final out is made, it's time to hit the showers. So when 40-some players and coaches simultaneously lunge for the hot-water taps, it's crucial that there's enough hot water to handle the load.

Consequently, when the ballpark's water heater failed a number of times a couple seasons back, Director of Stadium Operations Paul Rathje realized that it was time for a new water heater. Quaint as it is, Wrigley only had room for the replacement unit in a small, awkward space.

Fortunately, Rathje was able to find a unit that fit the bill. "It provided enough hot water for the showers, the tank fit under the stadium ceiling and the flue system was able to be vented out to the stadium wall," he explains.

Keeping up with demand

Working with incoming water temperatures of 37°F, the old water heater was unable to keep up with the hot water demand and required that heated water be stored at 200°F. By contrast, the heater's new storage tank operates at 150°F and can provide close to 2,000 gallons of hot water in the first hour of use.

"The units operate so efficiently that I expect to see savings on energy, utility and maintenance costs," Rathje notes.

Another advantage of the new system has been that heater vents are no longer visible to the public. Instead, it was possible to configure the new vent to run 100 ft. out to the stadium wall.

Wrigley Field stadium operators also found the new water heater to have more built-in flexibility when it came to gas pressure. Because the park would sometimes have problems with the gas pressure falling to less than 5 in. of water column, it was comforting to know that the new system had the capacity to operate with a minimum inlet gas pressure as low as 4 in. of water column.





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