You know the feeling. You’re taking the last shower of the morning and, what was once steaming two hours ago, is now ice cold. *sigh* You check your water tank and realize it’s just too small when you bought it before having two teenage children who play sports and eat from every plate in the kitchen. Constant showers, constant clothes washing, and dishwashing lead to cold showers very quickly. It’s time to consider a new water heater, but how many gallons do you need for you and your family?
How many people are in your household is a great place to start calculating gallons. On average, hand washing takes about two gallons, Running the dishwasher uses 14 gallons, bathing/showering per person is 20 gallons, and washing a load of laundry is 30 gallons. So if you’re in a family of four, a 50-gallon water tank should cover all those showers and washings.
Another number to calculate when buying a new water heater is the First Hour Rating (FHR). When a water heater tank is fully heated and waiting for activity, the FHR shows how efficiently the tank can handle refilling and heating in that peak hour of usage where showers and washing happen. For example, if you buy the 50-gallon hot water tank, it should have an FSH of 90, telling you it can provide 90 gallons in that peak period.
Here’s a general estimate of gallons needed depending on household size:
- 1 or 2 people—23 to 36 gallons 30-gallon tank.
- 2 to 4 people—36 to 46 gallons 40-gallon tank.
- 3 to 5 people—46 to 56 gallons 50-gallon tank electric or 40-gallon gas tank.
- 5 or more people—over 56 gallons (add 10 gallons per additional person) 80-gallon tank electric or 50 gallon-tank gas tank.
Another number to calculate when buying a new water heater is the First Hour Rating (FHR). For example, if you buy the 50-gallon hot water tank, it should have an FSH of 90, telling you it can provide 90 gallons in that peak period.(Video) Sydney Plumbers call 0434 724 523 in Sydney
When considering the purchase of a new hot water tank, the cost of heating the water is 20% of your household energy budget. However, if you purchase less than 55 gallons, there is a 4% energy efficiency boost. New water heaters 55 gallons or more now have more efficiency (25-50%) when using a heat pump or condenser to heat the water. According to EnergyStar.gov, an Energy Star certified heat pump water heater could save a family of four more than 50% on energy bills over the water heater’s lifetime.
Whether you have a small household with less hot water needs or a large home with constant needs, some research and understanding of the SEER on the Energy Guide, you can find the perfect water heater for your needs and save money in the long run.
Ready to upgrade your water tank size? Call Turbo Pro Pros today!
How do I know what size water heater to get? ›
A small (50- to 60-gallon) storage tank is usually sufficient for one to two three people. A medium (80-gallon) storage tank works well for three to four people. A large tank is appropriate for four to six people.
...a gas tankless water heater or heat pump water heater could work well for you. Both gas tankless water heaters and heat pump water heaters work well for households who don't have a high demand for hot water at any given time. And both can provide considerable savings on water heating bills.Should I get a 50 or 75 gallon water heater? ›
Typically, the rule-of-thumb is that you want a 40 gallon tank for 1 to 4 people, a 50 gallon tank for 4 to 6 people, and a 50 gallon high recovery or 75 gallon tank for 6 to 8 people.Which is better 40 or 50 gallon water heater? ›
50-gallon water heaters have a longer lifespan. In general, 40-gallon heaters last eight years, while 50-gallon heaters can last 12 years. This is because 50-gallon heaters have thicker tanks. As a result, they are less likely to develop leaks.What is the most common size hot water heater? ›
Based on average household size, 40-gallon tank water heaters are the most popular size. Important features include the venting type, energy efficiency ratings, first-hour rating, and whether it's a Low NOx or Ultra-Low NOx unit.What brand of water heater is the most reliable? ›
The Rheem Marathon is the best electric water heater on the market today. Its guaranteed 40-year life-span implies it will be the last water heater purchased by homeowners, avoiding the need to replace a water heater every 10 years.Is a new water heater tax deductible? ›
You are eligible for a $300 home improvement tax credit if you replace your non-solar water heater with a more energy-efficient model.What time of year is best to buy water heater? ›
6. Water Heaters. Water heaters turn over in early fall. Time your purchase for September or October, if possible, or wait until the new year (January) for postholiday clearance sales.What is the number one rated hot water heater? ›
Our best overall picks are the Rheem Performance 40 Gal. Natural Gas Tall Water Heater and the Rheem Performance Plus 50 Gal. Electric Water Heater, both of which offer large capacity, durability, and longevity.How many people can shower with a 50 gallon water heater? ›
A 50 gallon water heater is the most common tank we install. It is such a common size because it can supply hot water for 3 – 5 people. Considering an average shower uses 17.2 gallons of water you can typically have enough hot water for up to five people to take a shower within an hour.
How many people can a 50 gallon water heater shower? ›
On average, hand washing takes about two gallons, Running the dishwasher uses 14 gallons, bathing/showering per person is 20 gallons, and washing a load of laundry is 30 gallons. So if you're in a family of four, a 50-gallon water tank should cover all those showers and washings.Is a 30 gallon water heater enough for a family of 4? ›
For 1 to 2 people: 30-40 gallons. For 2 to 3 people: 40-50 gallons. For 3 to 4 people: 50-60 gallons. For 5+ people: 60-80 gallons.Is a 50 gallon water heater enough for a family of 5? ›
3 - 4 people, you'll need at least a 50-gallon capacity tank (electric) or a 40-gallon capacity tank (natural gas or liquid propane). If your family size is 5 or more, you'll need an 80-gallon tank (electric) or a 50-gallon tank (natural gas or liquid propane).What size water tank do I need for a 3 bedroom house? ›
2-3 people need a 40-gallon water heater. 3-4 people need a 40-50 gallon water heater. 5 or more people need a 50-80 gallon water heater.What size water heater do I need for a 4 bedroom 3 bath house? ›
Many clients ask me, "What size water heater is right for this home?" Common rule of thumb is that a 40 or 50 gallon tank is suitable for most 3-4 bedroom and 3 bathroom homes. In the 2010 California Plumbing Code, there is a chart on page 71 which shows what size water heater is required.Is 40-gallon water heater enough? ›
What size of a house is a 40-gallon water heater good for? Based on typical water usage, a 40-gallon water heater should provide enough daily hot water for 2-4 people in a household.