Is A 50 Gallon Water Heater Enough For A Family Of 4?

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Is A 50 Gallon Water Heater Enough For A Family Of 4?

When homeowners are in the market for a new water heater it’s critical to choose the right one for your Waterford, MI home. The decision starts with the basic question: How many people live in the home? No surprise there, more people use more hot water, and the system size needs to increase.

A Good Rule-of-Thumb

Kotz Heating, Cooling & Plumbing believes this small chart is a good place to start.

Household Size Tank Heater Capacity (tank style)
Couple with no children 30-Gallon
Family of 3-4 50-60 Gallon
Family of 5-7 60-80 Gallon

This recommendation should give you enough hot water to shower, do laundry, and wash dishes. However, these sizes are a rough estimate and you also need to factor in your unique demands for hot water usage

Who’s Doing What

Maybe you have a person or two who loves to take a bath instead of a shower. Are there reasons you have unusual amounts of laundry to do on a regular basis? Those things need to be factored into your water heater replacement decision. Here are some numbers to help:

  • Average shower = 10 gallons
  • Average dishwasher = 6 gallons
  • Clothes washer = 7 gallons
  • Normal bathtub = 40 gallons

The time of peak water use also needs to be considered. Does everyone take a shower or bath in the evening? Or in the morning before leaving the house? Does that coincide with the time you like to run the dishwasher and/or the clothes washer? The water heater needs to be large enough to meet those peak demands.

Another Reason Why Size Matters

Just like in the fairy tale “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” your water heater needs to be “just right.” If the system size in your Waterford, MI home is too small to meet the load demands mentioned above, you may well discover the thrill of a cold shower. Additionally, it will have to work harder which can lead to more repairs and shorter lifespan. But (you know there’s always a ‘but’) buying a water heater replacement that’s too large makes no sense either. It’s going to cost more in monthly electric or gas bills.

Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse

If you are having hot water problems, don’t automatically assume you need a new hot water heater. Many times, the problem can be fixed with repairs by the professional plumbers at Kotz. It’s possible your old water heater just needs a new thermostat, heating element, or maybe even a simple cleaning and flushing.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

Whether it’s repair or replacement for the water heater in your Waterford, MI home, don’t be afraid to call Kotz for professional help. Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more great information like this.