What Size Water Heater Does Your Home Need?

When it comes time to replace your water heater, there are a number of different considerations that will need to be addressed. What fuel type will you choose? Do you have enough space? Should you go tankless? However, if you choose a storage type water heater, one of the most important factors will be the capacity size. You need to choose, in gallons, the storage capacity of your water heater and it needs to be the right choice for your family unless you want to be taking cold showers.


There are rough estimates for water heater storage tank size depending on the size of your family. These include:

  • 1-2 People – 30 Gallon Water Heater
  • 2-3 People – 40 Gallon Water Heater
  • 3-4 People – 50 Gallon Water Heater
  • 5+ People – 80 Gallon Water Heater

In truth a home of four people could require less hot water than a one person household. It really depends on how much hot water they use within a short period of time. If hot showers are well staggered, a small water heater can work just fine. However, if there is a morning rush for the bathroom, then you need a larger hot water heater with a better First Hour Rating (FHR), which is actually the most important factor to consider.

The first hour rating is how much water a water heater can pump out in an hour, this will be less than the tank size, but will help in calculating how large of  a hot water heater you need. Since the average shower takes about ten gallons, you need to multiply how many showers will happen in an hour and then find a water heater replacement with a first hour rating to match that.

Is your water heater limping or just plain old not big enough for your family’s needs anymore? We can help. Contact us today to see what we can do to help get you a water heater that works for you.