Hot Water Usage Habits
The process of sizing a water heater will be different across family to family. For example, a family of 5 7 people may not require a 60 80 gallon water heater. In some cases, a family of this size may be able to get by with a 50 60 gallon water heater. In addition, a family with 2 members may require a water heater with a water tank that is larger than 30 gallons. The size of your water heater will vary depending on your water usage habits.
If you commonly utilize 2 to 4 water appliances at the same time, you should purchase a larger water heater size to ensure you have enough warm water to shower while the appliances are running. The process of sizing a water heater for your house is extremely important. If you purchase a water heater that is too small, you may be forced to shower with cold water. In addition, a water heater that is too small for your family is forced to work harder. This will lead to costly repairs and tune-ups. Alternatively, a water heater that is too large for your household will cause the total cost of your utility bills to increase. To receive help determining what size water heater you need, call a local professional in your area finding the proper model for your house.
Electric Hot Water Tanks:
- To heat water, one or two interchangeable heating components should be used. Compared to other sorts, it is less costly. There is a wide range of high-efficiency alternatives available
- Sizes range from 28 to more than 100 gallons.
- It is necessary to use a burner to heat the water
- It also requires flowing air around it. It is not possible to keep flammable items near by
- Water heaters that use gas are more costly than electric water heaters. Water heaters that use less energy than electric water heaters
- Sizes ranging from 30 to 100 gallons are available.
- Make use of the energy in the air to heat the water
- It is possible to utilize either outside air or air from the room where it is being kept. Water tanks are available as built-in units or as add-ons to existing tanks. Electric water heaters that are larger than conventional models
- An early investment that is more expensive
- It is more energy efficient, which results in cheaper utility expenses. Sizes available range from 50 to 80 gallons.
What Size Water Heater Do I Need For My House
Water Heater Size Calculator enables you to estimate the size of the water heater tank you need for your house.
Typically, residential water heater sizes range from 40 to 100 gallon tanks.
Usually, most homeowners find that either a 40 or 50 gallon hot water tank is the best fit for their needs. Consequently, these are the two most frequently installed sizes.
However, every family has different water demand requirements. This depends on the number of people living in the house, on the frequency of water use, as well as peak hours usage.
If you dont calculate the tank size properly, you will end up getting a water heater that is too small, and it will simply not be enough to service your household. In practical terms, this may mean running out of hot water when you are in the middle of the shower
Contact your local plumbers to get FREE quotes and advice on water heater installation.
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Sizing Tankless Or Demand
Tankless or demand-type water heaters are rated by the maximum temperature rise possible at a given flow rate. Therefore, to size a demand water heater, you need to determine the flow rate and the temperature rise you’ll need for its application in your home.
First, list the number of hot water devices you expect to use at any one time. Then, add up their flow rates . This is the desired flow rate you’ll want for the demand water heater. For example, let’s say you expect to simultaneously run a hot water faucet with a flow rate of 0.75 gallons per minute and a shower head with a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute.
If you dont know the flow rate, estimate it by holding a pan or bucket under the faucet or shower head and measure the flow for a minute. The flow rate through the demand water heater should be at least 3.25 gallons per minute. To reduce flow rates, install low-flow water fixtures.
Most demand water heaters are rated for a variety of inlet temperatures. Typically, a 70ºF water temperature rise is possible at a flow rate of 5 gallons per minute through gas-fired demand water heaters and 2 gallons per minute through electric ones. Faster flow rates or cooler inlet temperatures can sometimes reduce the water temperature at the most distant faucet. Some types of tankless water heaters are thermostatically controlled they can vary their output temperature according to the water flow rate and inlet temperature.
How To Determine How Much Water You Use
While the estimations provided above can be used to get an approximate idea of the amount of water heater you will want, there is a more exact technique of determining the size of a water heater. First and foremost, you must examine your water use patterns in order to estimate your peak water consumption hour. If your family showers from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. every morning, this is the time of day when you use the most water. Youll need to figure out how many gallons of water you use throughout this period of the day to be accurate.
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Ordinary Water Heater Sizes
Most homes already contain a 40 or 50 gallon water heater. You may see a larger tank when homes have demanding hot water features such as spas or hot tubs. There are many water heater tank sizes available: 40-gallon, 50-gallon, 66-gallon, 75-gallon, 80-gallon, and 120-gallon. If youre wondering what size water heater you need, its important to consider the number of people in your household and the amount of water used by each person or at the busiest times of the day for the best estimate.
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Estimating A Proper Water Heater Size
Believe it or not, the amount of people living in your home is a consideration you should take when selecting a water heater tank size. An average couple with 2 kids will require a hot water heater with a 36 to 46 gallon tank. On the other hand, a family with 3 to 5 people will need a 46 to 56 gallon water heater to ensure there is enough water for daily tasks such as taking a shower or washing the dishes.
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A 23 to 36 gallon water heater will suffice for a single couple with no kids. If you have 5 or more people living in your house, you will need a 56 gallon hot water heater. Add 10 gallons per person in the household. To help you determine the correct water heater size for your house, we will be discussing the differences between first-hour ratings, recovery rates, and efficiency ratings.
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Is A Propane Tankless Water Heater Worth It
The decision to purchase a propane tankless water heater depends on a variety of factors. Generally speaking, a propane tankless water heater is an efficient and effective way to heat water in a home.
A propane tankless water heater is compact and provides an unlimited supply of hot water. Plus, it doesnt take up much space, making it ideal for small homes.
As for energy efficiency, propane tankless water heaters are usually more energy-efficient than electric tankless water heaters as propane produces more energy per unit. Propane tankless water heaters also have a longer lifespan than electric water heaters, so they may be a better long-term investment.
The cost of a propane tankless water heater is also something to consider, as they tend to cost more up front. However, in the long run, the energy savings may make up for the initial cost. Plus, with proper maintenance and care, it can last for many years.
Ultimately, the decision whether or not to purchase a propane tankless water heater depends on ones budget, electricity costs, and other individual factors. If all of these factors align, a propane tankless water heater is definitely worth the investment.
Estimating Peak Hour Demand: This Is The Key Step
Its fairly simple to size a water heater in theory . Just add up all the hot water you require in the most intense hot water hour. Thats usually the hour when a large part of the whole household showers.
The size of a water heater should match that capacity, and you can add some gallons on top of that.
Now, the key step is to adequately estimate the peak-hour hot water demand. That means that you have to add up all the hot water you use in that hour, including showering, washing teeth, hand washing, shaving, dishwashers, and so on.
To help you out, we specify some of the most common activities that require hot water with the hot water needs here:
- Showering: 20-gallons per shower.
- Top-loader clothes washer: 25 gallons.
- H-Axis clothes washer: 15 gallons.
Here is an example of how you can estimate the peak hot hour needs in practice. Lets say that you have a 4 family household with two bathrooms. From 10 PM to 11 PM 3 people have a shower, 1 person is shaving, and all 4 family members wash their teeth.
The accumulated hot water needs are:
3×20 gallons + 1×2 gallons + 4×0.5 gallons = 64 gallons
This means that you need a water heater with at least a 64-gallon capacity. You can easily get a 70-gallon water heater in this case but a 60-gallon water heater will likely be too small . An 80-gallon water heater for a family of 4 is generally too big.
Note: Undersizing a water heater will be more problematic than oversizing a water heater.
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Is A 40 Gallon Water Heater Big Enough For A Family Of 4
On average, a family of four consumes about 64 gallons of hot water each day. A 40-gallon water heater is typically not large enough to meet the hot water needs of a family of four on a daily basis. A 50-gallon water heater is usually recommended to provide sufficient hot water for a family of four.
However, the actual amount of hot water your family will use depends on a variety of factors such as how often you do laundry and how long your showers are. You can also consider installing a larger hot water tank, or two smaller sized tanks in series, if you need more capacity.
Additionally, there are high-efficiency tankless water heaters which require no tank at all and provide hot water on request. Tankless water heaters are usually more energy-efficient than traditional water heaters, but they tend to be more expensive to purchase and install.
Determining Tank Size Based On Family Size
Tank-style water heaters have a storage capacity of 30 to 80 gallons. For most homeowners, 40-60 gallons is sufficient. But again, it depends on your overall hot water demand. To get the right size for your household, you need to do the math. Heres a rough estimate to get you started:
- Households with one to two persons will likely only need a 30-gallon water heater.
- Two and three-person families need at least a 40-gallon water heater.
- For a four-person family, a 50-gallon water heater is sufficient. 50-gallons is good if youre using electricity, and 40 gallons will work for natural gas or propane.
- Families with more than five persons may benefit from an 80-gallon electric water heater or 50-gallon gas water heater.
Remember that the list above is just a guideline hence, you cannot draw solid conclusions. Hot water needs vary from one household to the next.
A three-person family, for example, might find a 40-gallon water heater isnt enough to meet their needs, while the same tank capacity might do the job for a 5-person family.
Some people take longer showers than others, or some households have too many appliances and fixtures drawing hot water from the water heater. So, its a matter of how much water a family uses per day.
To calculate your typical usage, you can start with these pointers:
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Calculate Your Homes Peak Hour Demand
Peak hour demand refers to the amount of hot water your household uses during the most demanding hour of the day.
To find your households peak hour demand, start by thinking about the time of day your family uses the most hot water at one time. Is it early in the morning, before people head off to work and school? Or is it in the evenings, when everyone is home again?
Next, youll want to list all of the hot water appliances your family uses during that time. For example, you might list the following appliances:
- Washing machine
- Bathroom faucets = 4 gallons
- Dishwasher = 6 gallons
In this example, your households peak hour demand would be around 41 gallons. After you calculate your households peak hour demand, youll want to find a tank unit with a first hour rating that matches your peak hour demand.
Sizing A Tankless Water Heater
Tankless water heaters, as opposed to tank-type models, do not store hot water inside the tank. They use the heat exchanger where water, while passing, is heated – on demand.
This is why we use a different approach when sizing and trying to answer the question: “how big a water heater do I need”.
The following should be considered:
What is the flow rate ? For example, if you want to run two fixtures at the same time, one with a flow rate of 0.5 GPM and the other of 1 GPM, the tankless water heater should provide at least 1.5 GPM.
What is the number of fixtures you want to use simultaneously?
What is the flow rate of each device and the total volume? Add up the flow rates of all the devices you want to run simultaneously.
What is the temperature rise? Figure out the temperature rise by subtracting the temperature of incoming and outgoing water. Keep in mind that the temperature of incoming water varies by region and climate. , the temperature rise is 120-50=70 F. Most of the manufacturers will provide a table or graph showing a variety of water flows in relation to different temperature rise.
Tip: Use this map to get the temperature of groundwater temperature in your region.
- Bathroom 0.5-1.5 GPM
When sizing tank-type water heaters, the main criteria are the tank capacity and recovery rate , while for tankless is the hot water flow rate .
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Tank Water Heater Considerations
There are a few other things to consider beyond just the size of your new tank water heater.
Whats your power source?
Some homes have a gas heating source and others have an electric heating source.
Gas heaters typically cost more upfront but have lower monthly utility bills than electric heaters. However, one great way to lower your monthly bills with an electric heater is to consider a hybrid unit, which can be more energy efficient.
Whats the warranty like?
Gas tank water heaters typically last 8-12 years and electric units typically last 10-15 years. Various appliances will come with diverse warranty lengths, so in addition to choosing your water heater based on its size, power source, and price, theres value in considering the length of the manufacturers warranty as well. You will have to pay more for an extended warranty.
How Do You Hook Up A Tankless Water Heater To A Propane Tank
To install a tankless water heater that is running on propane, you will need to first locate the propane tank and make sure it is in a safe and accessible outdoor location. Once the tank is in place, you will need to connect a flexible gas line from the tank to the gas control valve located on the tankless water heater.
It is important that you use a line specifically designed for gas applications. The proper fittings and components must be used to ensure a proper connection between the tank and the tankless water heater.
In some cases, the propane tank may require a pressure regulator to be installed before it reaches the tankless water heater. Once the flexible gas line is properly connected to the tank and the tankless water heater, make sure all the necessary valves are properly set to supply gas to the tankless water heater.
Once all the necessary connections have been made, check all the components and use appropriate leak detection methods .
After all the checks have been cleared, turn off the main gas shutoff valve that is connected to the propane tank, and turn on the supply.
Once the supply is turned on, the tankless water heater will be able to run on propane. Make sure to test it to ensure that the unit is functioning correctly and efficiently.
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