When it comes to heating the water in your house, there are myriad dynamics that could stand to negatively affect the consistency and quality of your warm water. Many of these dynamics entail a thorough estimation of your water needs in order to properly know what size water heater you need.
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How to Choose the Correct Water Heater Size
The first step to determining what size water heater you need is to analyze your water usage habits. Do you continuously operate the dishwasher and washing machine at the same time? How many people in your household shower at the same time? The correct water tank size is dependent on your water usage behaviors and the total number of people that live in your house. Below is a rough estimate of the correct water heater capacity you will require.
Water Heater Sizes
-1-2 Person Household: 23 to 36 Gallon Tank
-2-4 Person Household: 36 to 46 Gallon Tank
-3-5 Person Household: 46 to 56 Gallon Tank
-5+ Person Household: 56+ Gallons (and 10 gallons per person)
This is where things really start getting complex — but in general, a 40-gallon water heater tank should be sufficient for a standard family of four. This changes, however, depending on how your household uses the water flowing through your home.
To understand how to proceed, you will need to learn how much water your water heater can heat in the timespan of an hour. This is called the “First Hour Rating”.
Understanding the Water Heater First Hour Rating
The first-hour rating is essential because it can be used to signal whether your water heater meets or exceeds the amount of hot water your household will need.
For this, you’ll need to calculate a rating based on the daily water needs of your household. This requirement is derived from the activities that could simultaneously use hot water at the busiest time of the day.
Types of Hot Water Activities
-Bathing/showing: 20 gallons per person
-Washing hands: 2 gallons per person
-Hand-washing dishes: 6 gallons per person
-Shaving: 3 gallons per person
-Running dishwater: 14 gallons
-Running washing machine: 30 gallons per person.
This is relevant because, in short, if the calculated size of your water heater will not be sufficient due to the lack of space in your home, then it’s worth considering whether you should invest in a tankless or a wall-hung water heater.
Comparing Water Heater Sizes
Most households in the United States operate with a 40- or 50-gallon water heater. Sometimes, homes that have a very demanding hot water tank include features such as spas, steam rooms, or hot tubs.
There are plenty of different water heater tank sizes available for use. Whether you have a 40, 50, 60, 66, 75, 80, or 120-gallon tank, the size of your heater matters and there is likely one that is optimally suitable to the size and activity of your home. The size of your water heater will most likely not be too far off from the ordinary size range listed — but be sure to think about the people in your household and the busiest time-of–day estimate.
Rating Your Water Heater’s Efficiency
The efficiency of your water heater is gauged by the amount of heat transferred from your unit’s heat source to the water in your house. While specifics vary, the general rule of thumb is that electric water heaters have an efficiency rating of around 88-95%, whereas gas water heaters have an efficiency rating of around 67% (or more).
In essence, electric heaters’ high rating in this case comes from the fact that the electric heat source is directly submerged into the water — rather than from having the heat to heat the water from an element underneath the water tank.
Sometimes, despite the higher efficiency rating,electric water heaters can be more expensive to operate because natural gas is not only chapter than electricity, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you will waste less energy during your water heating process.
Water Heater & Plumbing Repair Services
Assessing and fixing a broken water heater system is not an easy task. Our team of licensed technicians offers trustworthy water heater repair and replacement services to homes in New Jersey. In addition, we offer other types of plumbing services for damaged sewer lines, cracked water pipes, inefficient sump pumps, and clogged drains. Our timely consultations and reliable maintenance services allow us to be among the most trusted teams in the area. Give our staff a call by phone at (732) 201-3305 to receive help with a plumbing problem.