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Water Heater Buying Guide

A comprehensive guide that will give you all the information you need on how to buy a new water heater.

Getting Started

Is it time for a new water heater?

  • Does your household now require more hot water due to increased use or additional family members?
  • Are your energy bills increasing?
  • Is your current water heater not functioning properly?

Types

Gas water heaters and electric water heaters are very similar. Electric models use two heating elements, while gas models have a gas burner at the bottom with the chimney running up through the middle of the tank. Natural gas water heaters normally use less energy and are less expensive to operate than electric models of the same size. Electric water heaters are recommended only where they are the only option.

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Size

To help size up your home we've provided a simplified chart below. This chart is based on the number of people living in the home, taking into account dishwashers and washing machines. There are also other factors that should be taken into consideration:

  1. More than 2 full baths
  2. Teenagers tend to use more hot water. We recommend counting teenagers as two people.
  3. If your house has a large bathtub or whirlpool your water heater tank should be at least 2/3 of the bathtub. (Example: 75 gallon tub should have 50 gallon water heater tank).
Water Heater Size Chart
BTU/HR 30 40 50 75 100 Gallons
30,000 1 2-3 - - - -
32,000 1 2-3 3-5 - - -
33,000 30 40 50 - - -
35,000 - 3-4 4-5 - - -
37,000 2-3 4-5 5-6 - - -
48,000 - 5-6 5-6 - - -
52,500 - 5-6 6-7 - - -
75,100 - - - 7+ 8+ -
Gas Water Heaters - Number of People

Features

What features should I look for in a water heater?

When purchasing a water heater make sure to look at gallon size, input, recovery and first hour output. As these numbers increase, you will get more reliable hot water. Also, different water heater models offer different features such as C3 Technology, Self-Cleaning, and others. Read below for more information on each feature.

Will the water heater fit in my home?

Take a look at the space where you currently keep your water heater. Know the dimensions of your current water heater and make sure you have room, especially if you're upgrading to a bigger size. If not, you may want to consult with a professional to see if plumbing can be run to a larger area to fit your new unit.

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Installation & Services

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