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Question DetailsAsked on 3/29/2014

What size water heater is typical for a 4 bedroom home with 2 people?

It has come time for a new hot water heater and I am debating between a 40 gal and a 50 gal. Currently, just my wife and I live in the house, but we do have inlaws and friends visit from time to time (taking us to 4 people). Also, any tips for features I should be looking for in a hot water heater? Recomended brands to get or not get? Thanks!

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1 Answer


Either size will work for your own needs, but a decision to get a larger model should be based on needs. For example, in your current situation do you ever run out of hot water with showers, laundry, and dishwashing? If not, you're fine. If you have overnight guests, the question becomes two-fold: do you have enough hot water for dishwashing, and can you stagger showers to give the water heater time to catch up. This is where the water heater recovery time is more important than the absolute size. If 4 people are all taking individual tub baths, that's going to require something more substantial than even 50 gallons. If you can work around the shower issue, get the smaller heater to save money up front and ongoing operating costs.

Rather than focus on specific brands, I'd recommend getting a water heater with a longer warranty period, say 9 or even 12 years. This implies sturdier construction and much better insulation internally.

Answered 6 years ago by SalisburySam

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