What’s the right sized hot water heater for my family?

by | May 24, 2015

Recently I was contacted by a family looking for a plumber Hornsby area. The woman I spoke to had decided it was time to upgrade her water heater after finding her family was using up all the hot water ahead of their requirements. I definitely agreed! I’ve spent many years providing my plumbing service Hornsby-way and with a large number of families populating the area, hot water heater upgrades and installs are a common call-out.

When it comes to buying a water heater, there are three things to consider: how much water is used in your household, what kind of water heater you want to use and what you will be using to power it. Choosing a water heater that is the perfect size for your household will not only ensure you never have to endure a cold shower (bonus!) you will also save on energy costs. I’ve put together a quick run-down to help you decide which size is best for your circumstances.

So is my hot water heater the right size?

The first thing you will need to figure out is how much hot water you will need. As a general rule, each person in your household uses around 50L of hot water each day.  If you use hot water for washing your clothes and you run your dishwasher often it may even be more like 60L a head.

Going off how many litres of hot water you will need, you can then decide what type of hot water heater you will need:

  • Tank Water Heaters: The size of the storage tank is based on the number of people in your household. A family of four will generally need a 125-160L tank installed.
  • Continuous Flow or Instantaneous Water Heating: These are sized based on the amount of hot water outlets in the home rather than the number of people. The more taps you have that use hot water, the larger the system needs to be.

If you aren’t sure whether you want to use a tank or an instantaneous system your plumber Hornsby area, Wild Water Plumbing, are your hot water heating experts. We will help you by assessing your needs before you purchase your next heating unit.

The next question will be about how you power that hot water heater.

What kind of energy do you want to use?

If your hot water system uses off-peak electricity your storage tank will have to be a bit bigger than one which is powered using continuous electricity. Off-peak electricity use saves you money but also means that your hot water tank needs to be able to hold enough water to get you through the day.

Solar heating is a great, environmentally friendly option for your water heating needs. When it comes to sizing a solar heated unit the size of your household needs to be considered not only for the tank storage but also the for the number of solar panels needed. Wild Water Plumbing can do your solar hot water heater installation after discussing the costs involved if you’re thinking of making the greener switch!

If you use gas to heat your water the tank will need to be the same size as a continuous electric tank. Many believe that gas water heaters are the most efficient and sustainable method for moderate to large families.

So what’s the breakdown for your household look like?

Depending on the size of your household some of the options listed above may suit you and your needs better than others. In terms of efficiency and running costs, instantaneous systems are better suited to smaller households while a large, gas storage system would be a better decision for a large family. At Wild Water Plumbing we stock domestic and commercial water heaters from the most reputable brands. We are happy to help you make comparisons and we offer a comprehensive guarantee on the units and their installation.

Whether it be gas, electric, solar, storage or instantaneous, we have the expertise to take care of your next hot water heater installation. Our plumber Hornsby service has been helping families make decisions about which water heater is best for over a decade. Give us a call to discuss your needs and we can provide an assessment of your hot water needs before assisting you with the purchase and installation of your new heater.