Water Heater Blog

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What Size of Water Heater Tank Is Right for Your House?

Oct 22, 2021 | Tankless Water Heaters

So, the time has come for you to replace your old water heater. That’s good news! But do you know which one you should get? You need to get a tank that’s big enough to meet the needs of your household, or you’re risking an unexpected cold shower! You might think that you could simply opt for the biggest one available, but that comes at a higher cost. Why should you waste money on a tank that’s too big if you’re not going to be able to maximize its use? That would also mean wasting energy because the heater will continuously run while unused water sits on the tank. 

The key, therefore, is finding the perfect size of tank for your home. Before you go and buy a new hot water heater in Houston, read these tips first, so you’ll know what size is right for your home:

What You Need to Consider When Choosing the Size of a Water Heater Tank

The Austin Texas Size of the Household

The general rule is this: the more people living in your house, the more water you use. One way to estimate how much you’re going to need is to allot 12 gallons of water for every person in the household. If you are a family of four or five, you need a tank that can hold at least 50 or 60 gallons. Anything bigger than five requires a tank of 80 gallons or so. That said, it’s not just the size of the household that you should consider. 

How You Use Water & Water Heaters

There are families with two or three bathrooms that are used all at the same time in the morning or night. This can increase the households’ water usage. So does running small loads of laundry every day instead of bigger ones once or twice a week. How often you wash dishes, mop the floors, take baths or showers all contribute to your water usage, too. You need to consider how your household uses water when you choose the size of your new tank. 

Your Peak Water Usage in Houston TX

You also need to estimate the maximum amount of water used by the household in an hour. To do this, you need to determine the time of day when the household uses hot water the most. Calculate using these estimates: 

  • Shower – 1 – 2 gallons of water per minute
  • Shaving – 0.5 gallons per minute
  • Automatic dishwasher – 6 gallons
  • Clothes washer – 7 gallons
  • Food preparation – 2 gallons per minute

You then need to consider how many minutes these activities are done and multiply that with the estimates provided above and which of these are often done at the same time. The number you get should be compared to the water heater’s first-hour rating, and it shouldn’t be higher.


You should also consider certain limitations like the space in your house where you’ll store the tank. You should make sure that it can accommodate a bigger one if you’re going to upsize. Another thing you should know is that when you get a bigger water heater, you’ll have to increase the exhaust pipe’s size, too. This is so the unit drafts properly because otherwise, you could deal with such issues as a carbon monoxide leak which is extremely dangerous.


Determining the right size of water heater tank is crucial if you’re going to get a new one. You don’t want to get one that’s either too big or too small for your household. By considering the factors, you’ll be able to get just the right size of the tank that you need. If you require help estimating the perfect size of the water heater tank for your home, you can count on an expert on hot water heaters in Houston to help you. 

Houston Water Heaters can provide you with expert advice and installation services to ensure that your home has hot water whenever you need it. Contact our team for a water heater installation in Houston, TX!

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