A 50 gallon water heater is the most common tank we install. It is such a common size because it can supply hot water for 3 – 5 people. Considering an average shower uses 17.2 gallons of water you can typically have enough hot water for up to five people to take a shower within an hour. The first hour rating on 50 gallon water heaters range from 60 gallons with an electric water heater to 95 on a high end gas water heater.
Upsizing or Downsizing
Many times when someone finds out what size water heater they have they think about upsizing or downsizing their water heater. If you are thinking about downsizing your water heater, keep in mind that this is not always possible. Plumbing code requires that you keep at least a minimum first hour rating on the water heater that is in your home. The minimum rating on your water heater is determined by the number of bathrooms and bedrooms in your home. You can reference the chart below to see what the minimum for your home.
Sometimes people also want to be able to get more hot water out of their water heater. To accomplish this, they want to upsize their water heater. If your previous water heater met the code requirements there isn’t usually an issue with upsizing your water heater from a code perspective. However, you may still run into some difficulties upsizing your water heater. The first consideration is space. Water heaters with more water in them are typically wider than your current heater. Do you have room for this? Secondly, when you are upsizing your water heater, it will typically have a larger BTU (British Thermal Units) rating on the water heater. The larger BTU rating may require a larger vent. Re-doing your venting can be an expensive proposition, check with your installation coordinator to see if this will be necessary.
If you have questions about 50 Gallon water heaters, need service/repair/installation, please do not hesitate to contact us!