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What Size Water Heater Do I Need?

What Size Water Heater Do I Need?
January 10/2021

What Size Water Heater Do I Need?

Whether it has been over 10 years since you installed your water heater or you are just ready to upgrade to a more efficient or bigger water heater, you are going to want to know what size water heater to get. If a new water heater is in your near future, then take some time to read through this article and consider the factors. Your friends at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of New Jersey are always happy to help you by answering questions or concerns and scheduling a flexible appointment. Our qualified plumbers are regularly trained and equipped with the latest tools and technology so that your water heater replacement goes as smoothly as possible.

Types of Water Heaters

Before we dive into deciding the right size of the water heater, let’s go over the two main types of residential water heaters. Each has its own benefits as well as drawbacks, so read through each to decide which is best for your household.

  • Storage tank water heaters are the most common type of water heater. Just as the name suggests, they have an insulated tank that stores hot water. There are electric- and gas-powered models available. Storage tank water heaters have a low upfront installation cost, but they can run up your electricity or gas bills significantly compared to the other types.
  • Tankless water heaters save space in your property and are more energy-efficient in the long run, but they are generally more expensive up front. Tankless water heaters produce hot water on demand.

Rather than a capacity restriction, they have a flow-rate restriction.

Fortunately for homeowners in New Jersey, Mr. Rooter Plumbing of New Jersey has certified plumbers who specialize in repairs, replacements, and installations of both types of water heaters, so do not hesitate to call for assistance.

Choosing A Storage Tank Water Heater

The output for a storage tank water heater is more or less fixed. Water inside the tank is heated and available until used. Therefore, the tank capacity (measured in gallons) is the figure to pay attention to when choosing your storage tank water heater. The general rule of thumb is to have about 10 to 15 gallons per person in the household. A two-person household can make do with a 24- to 30-gallon tank while a 40- to 50-gallon tank is good for a 4-person household.

Selecting A Tankless Water Heater

Tankless water heaters, also called on-demand water heaters, will heat water as needed. So, flow rate is the specification to pay attention to when selecting a tankless water heater. The metric used is “gallons-per-minute” (gpm). Here is a list of typical flow rates that common fixtures use:

  • Faucet: 1 gpm
  • Shower: 2.5 gpm
  • Bathtub, Dishwasher, Laundry Machine: 3 gpm

Calculate the maximum amount of hot water you would expect to use and choose your tankless water heater accordingly. For example, if you expect to use, at a maximum, one dishwasher (3 gpm), one shower (2.5 gpm), and a faucet (1 gpm) at the same time, then you will need a tankless water heater with a minimum of 6.5 gpm (3 gpm + 2.5 gpm + 1 gpm).