Many people are looking for ways to improve their homes efficiency and performance when they replace large fixtures such as water heaters. Today there are many options that allow you to improve efficiency and provide better overall performance. Here are some quick tips to consider when it’s time to replace your water heater.
Curious about different water heater sizes, and which is right for you? Let us break it down a bit for you:
The standard water heater in most homes is a 40 gallon gas water heater. This meets the needs for most homes with 2 to 3 people living in them, but may require some showering in the evening, to avoid being short on hot water in the morning.
With the average shower time of 8 minutes and 18 gallons of water used per shower, the typical 40 gallon water heater will allow for two morning showers without running out of water, a third shower may leave the third unlucky family member rushing to get out before their water runs cold.
If this is an issue for you, you may want to consider a larger 50 or 75 gallon hot water tank to provide the capacity needed if you want to avoid having to wait for hot water on busy mornings when everyone is getting ready for the day. For instance, a family of four on average would use 72 gallons of water per day just for showers. So a larger 75 gallon water heater will allow a family of four to all take hot showers each morning, if that is what you are looking for.
To maximize performance without increasing the size of your hot water heater, you will want to go with a premium water heater with a higher BTU rating. A water heater with a higher BTU rating will warm the water in the tank more quickly than a water heater with a lower rating. Most 40 gallon water heaters will have a range of 34,000 to 40,000 BTU’s.
Tankless hot water heaters are great space savers and provide unlimited hot water as opposed to an electric or gas hot water tank. A tankless hot water heater utilizes heated coils to heat water as it passes through the coils so that you can continually run hot water without running out. There is no large storage tank of water, instead there is a small, wall mounted unit which varies in size depending on the model selected.
Different size units are recommended to be able to provide the volume of water needed at any point in time. A general guide would be to go with a tankless water heater with a larger capacity output if you have more fixtures in your home. A typical range for the volume of water would be anywhere from 6.5 gallons per minute to 9.5 gallons per minute. An output of 6.5 to 7.5 gallons per minute can support a home with 2 to 4 fixtures. An output of 9.5 gallons per minute can support a home with 3 to 5 fixtures.
Does it take forever for the hot water to reach your fixture? Water heaters heat the water, but if that water is running through a long stretch of pipe to get to your shower or faucet, the cold pipe will cool the water as it gets to the fixture. Until the hot water warms up the pipe along the way, you will experience cold water. If this is your concern, you may want to consider a hot water recirculating pump. A recirculation pump will push hot water through your system so that it is readily available at your fixtures when you need it.
If you’re interested in installing a new water heater and would like help from a professional to help find the best solution for your needs, give us a call at Scott English Plumbing today at 949.777.6308