“My family consists of me, my wife, and our twelve-year-old twin daughters,” Dominic explained. “Which is why I don’t understand why it is so impossible for me to take a hot shower. There are only 4 people in this family, and we limit the girls to ten minutes in the shower. Is my hot water tank just too small?”
Water Heater Tank Sizes
Concerns that the water heater is undersized are common, but it’s generally the condition of the unit that’s a top concern. As Washington Heights plumbers, it’s rare that we see tank size being the issue – but it does happen. 50 to 60 gallon tanks can be somewhat too small for a family of four, especially if laundry is being done frequently. The more common medium tanks hold 80 gallons, which generally suffices.
Sometimes the issue is that the family is using hot water at a too rapid rate. There are some simple fixes your plumber can do for you – such as installing low flow showerheads, which deliver the same satisfying experience using half the water – that will help the household supply of hot water last longer.
It is however also critical to ensure the water heater is working properly. If you are experiencing times when there’s just no hot water at all, or it takes forever for the water to heat up, or the water is much hotter than you expected it to be, there may be a problem with the water heater’s heating element, thermostat, or controls. Your Washington Heights plumber is the professional to turn to for help in this situation.
When it comes to the issue of water heater repair versus water heater replacement, you’ll want to keep some things in mind. The average useful life of a water heater is only 8 to 12 years. These units get a lot of use and do wear out. Replacement is often the more cost-effective option.