Choosing a Water Heater

Use this handy guide to choosing the right size water heater.

Enter the answers in the blanks, then total them up.

Number of people in household: ___
Number of tubs and/or showers: ___
Add 1 for a dishwasher: ___
Add 1 for a washing machine: ___
Add 1 for a whirlpool tub: ___
Miscellaneous additions*: ___

Total: ___

Other things to consider:

  • If children are entering their teen years, you may want to add 1 to miscellaneous additions.
  • If you want a more efficient water heater, consider an upgrade to a high-efficiency heater.
  • If you find yourself running out of hot water, add 1 to miscellaneous additions or upgrade to a quick-recovery and/or high-efficiency water heater.
  • If there is a whirlpool tub, use a 50-gal. or higher gas or electric heater as a minimum.

After totaling the boxes, use the following chart to determine the size of water heater necessary.


  • 4 or less: 30 gallon water heater
  • 5 to 7: 40 gallon water heater
  • 8 or more: 50 gallon water heater


  • 4 or less: 40 gallon water heater
  • 5 or 6: 50 gallon water heater
  • 7 or 8: 65 gallon water heater
  • 9 or more: 80 gallon water heater

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