Ask a Portland Plumber: How to Size Your Water Heater

There are some do-it-yourselfers can install their own water heater, but only if they have some help and they have the right tools and equipment. However, not just anyone can take on this type of work. You have to know something about electricity, the water heater itself can be very cumbersome, and you may even need to know how to solder.

Before the installation even takes place, however, you must get the right water heater for your needs. Why?

  • If it is too small, it will have to work extremely hard to satisfy your hot water demands.
  • If it is too large, it will waste energy because it will heat a lot of water that you won’t use.

The most important consideration in getting the right size of water heater is finding out the “first-hour rating.” What this means is the number of gallons of hot water that can be supplied by that appliance per hour.

You should look for a model with a first-hour rating that is within one or two gallons of your peak demand. If you have three people in your home, your shower demand will probably be about 30 gallons. Add two gallons for shaving and four for other uses, and you have a total of 36 gallons of peak-hour demand. Therefore, you should look for a model that has a first-hour rating of between 34 and 38 gallons.

If you have any questions about what type of water heater you need or would like to schedule an installation, call 3 Mountains Plumbing today!

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