How to Choose a New Water Heater

Expert guidance and water heater installation in Thousand Oaks, CA by top, local plumbers.Is it time to replace your water heater? Replacing a water heater is inexpensive and sometimes choosing a replacement appliance isn’t as straightforward as you want it to be. At Thousand Oaks Star Plumbing, we know how important this decision is. Here are some things to consider when purchasing a new water heater.

Determine How Much Hot Water You Need

Water heaters come in different sizes. You may think bigger is better, but that isn’t always necessarily the case. You could end up spending more on a unit that you really don’t need. To figure out what size water heater is right for your household, start by looking at how many people live in your home. Refer to the following information for average hot water usage.

Household Size                                                                Gallon Capacity

1-2                                                                                          23-36

3-4                                                                                          36-46

3-5                                                                                          46-56

5+                                                                                           56 or higher


Next, consider how many faucets, toilets, etc., you have in the home to determine an average flow rate.  Here is a list of average flow rates for typical household fixtures.


Fixture                                                                                 Flow Rate

Bathroom faucet                                                              0.5-1.5

Kitchen faucet                                                                   3.0-7.0

Shower                                                                                1.0-2.0

Dishwasher                                                                        1.0-2.5

Wash machine                                                                  1.5-3.0


Gallon capacity and flow rate, combined, will help you determine the right sized water heater for your home.

Tank vs. Tankless

A lot of households are switching to tankless water heaters because of the energy savings. Is a tankless water heater a good choice for you? If you have a home with limited space for a monstrous water heater, then a tankless water heater is a good choice. These appliances can be mounted in areas that would never accommodate a tank heater.

Another perk of a tankless water heater is that it heats on demand and doesn’t store hot water. This means that you’re not heating water when you don’t need it and wasting energy.

However, on demand water heaters do have some limitations. For example, if you have a large family with a higher than average hot water need, one tankless heater may not be enough for your household. In a case like this, you may need two or more tankless units, which can end up being quite pricey to install.

At Thousand Oaks Star Plumbing, we understand that choosing a new water heater is an important decision. If you’re having trouble deciding, give us a call and we’ll send a plumber to your home to help you select and install a new water heater.


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