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What Size of Water Heater Do I Need

February 10th 2021

For over 50 years, NCT Plumbing has been serving the Fort Worth, Texas region as a residential and commercial contractor with a team of dependable service repair plumbers. Our services range from clogged drains, water heaters, repairs, and construction to water filters and new construction.


Although plumbing is in our name, we are a Rheem-certified installer of the tank and tankless water heaters.  Our installations include new construction homes or repairs within the Fort Worth area with the capabilities of increasing your hot water supply by up to 45 percent. Our devices can save you space, energy, and money rather than installing an entirely new tank. 


All, it can sometimes be challenging to understand what size of water heater you need. When you have a properly sized heater, not only will it meet your household’s needs, but it will also work the way it should.


A water heater that’s too small won’t produce enough hot water to meet the demand of your household — such as not having enough water to run more than one shower at a time before the water gets cold — and a water heater that’s too big will end up being more costly.


It is also important to note that there are two types of water heaters: tankless water heaters and storage tank water heaters, which will also determine what size of water heater you will need.


When it comes to storage tank water heaters, how much hot water you use daily will depend on the size of the tank you need. To calculate the exact water heater size your household needs, you need to calculate your household’s “peak hour demand”. This refers to the maximum amount of hot water you need  — measured in gallons — during the busiest hour of your home’s day. 


For example, if everyone in your home showers in the morning, that would be your household’s “peak hour” as showers generally use the hottest water out of any other appliance.


In addition to peak hours, you will also want to consider a water heater’s first-hour rating (FHR) which details how much hot water a tank can produce in an hour when it is fully heated. The figures reflect how quickly the tank can reheat the water and provides an idea of what it can handle at the heater’s peak hour of usage. 


However, if you end up with a water heater that’s too small, you can consider adding a water heater booster, which will give you more hot water when you need it, conserve water when you go on vacation, have a set schedule so that it’s only used at a certain time of day, and will freeze protect when temperatures dip below a certain temperature.


Meanwhile, tankless heaters require two factors when it comes to sizing: flow rate, which is gallons per minute (GPM), which is how much hot water you will need at any given moment, and temperature rise, which is the difference between incoming cold water temperatures and the actual temperature you’re looking for.


You will want to determine what appliances you want to use at the same time and how much hot water each will use, which is called the flow rate and is measured in GPM. You can do this by producing hot water by adding the flow rates for each appliance together.


From there, you will want to calculate the difference between the water going into the heater and the overall desired temperature, which is referred to as temperature rise. 


Tankless water heaters are an option if you want to ensure water never runs out when you need it the most; they use internal coils to make sure water is hot only as it’s being used rather than being stored for future use.


Whether you are in the market for a storage-tank water heater or tankless water heater, NCT Plumbing is your go-to water heater installation in Fort Worth, Texas.


To learn more about our water heating services, contact us today. 


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