What Size Water Heater Do You Need? [Quick Answer]

Shelby Kearns
By Shelby Kearns  • Reviewed by Ben  • Updated:   February 9, 2024
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This really depends on how big your household is and your hot water needs.

  • Are you happy with your current water heater?
  • Do you run out of hot water often?

If you are happy with the heating capacity of your current water heater, you can replace it with the same size. If you are continually running out of hot water in your home, you should size up.

If you live alone and don’t use much hot water, you might be able to get by with a 30-gallon.

However, 40 and 50-gallon tanks seem to be the most common. For households of 2-3 people, a 40-gallon tank is normally sufficient.

Larger households and those with higher hot water needs will likely require a 50 or 60-gallon tank.

If you use A LOT of hot water, a 75-gallon tank might be your best choice. Depending on your situation, you might elect to go with two smaller water heaters (two 40-gallon tanks, for example) if you have a large house.

Your other option is to go with a tankless system that heats water on demand. You’ll never run out of hot water but the installation costs for tankless units are around twice as much as a water heater with a storage tank.

Originally this answer was posted by us on Quora.

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