How to Choose the Right Water Heater - March 20th 2002



Folks, how many times have you run out of hot water? It can be pretty frustrating if it happens while you are in the middle of a shower, doing the dishes or trying to get all your laundry done.

You just might need a larger hot water tank to meet the needs of your family and your familyís lifestyle. Here are a few guidelines to help you choose the right sized hot water tank:

For Natural Gas Hot Water Tanks:

If you have less than five people living in your home and you find that you donít use an excessive amount of hot water, consider a 150 litre (33imperial gallon) tank with a 36,000 BTU per hour input rating (10.6 KW)

If you have five or more people living in your home, or you simply use a lot of hot water because everyone showers at about the same time each day, etc., consider a 189 litre (42 imperial gallon) hot water tank with a 45,000 BTU input (13.2 KW).


For Electric Hot Water Tanks:

If you have less than four people living in your home, youíll probably need a 175 litre (40 imperial gallon) tank with two 3-kilowatt heating elements.

If you have five or more people in your home or tend to use a lot of hot water, you may want to step up to a 270 litre (60 imperial gallon) tank with two 4.5-kilowatt elements.

Tips to Save Energy (and therefore money):

Insulate your hot water piping with 12 millimetre (1/2 inch) fibreglass or foam insulation to reduce heat loss as the hot water is distributed throughout your home.

Insulate any hot water piping that passes through unheated areas such as crawl spaces, attics and carports, etc.

Remember to flush your hot water tanks every couple of years to prevent sediment build-up on the bottom of the tank and on the heating elements which can reduce the lifespan of your hot water heater.