The Plumber's Blog


Hot Water Heater FAQs

Posted in Blog by Blair
Comments: Comments Off on Hot Water Heater FAQs

A handy reference guide for hot water heaters. Here are a few answers to questions I often get:


When should I replace my hot water heater?

The age of a hot water tank can be a factor, when at tank is over 10 years old you may want to begin to consider a replacement. If the hot water tank is leaking or the hot water is running out after one shower it may be another sign that you need a new tank. Over time calcium may build up in the tank and it may begin to have a slow recovery. If you are experiencing any of these issues call Superior Plumbing, we can diagnosis your problem and provide you with the most optimal solution for your hot water needs.

What size of tank do I require?

Here is a quick test to assist with your decision on size of hot water tank.


Give one point for each: How many people in the home? How many bath tubs/showers in the home? Add one (1) for each dishwasher and washing machines.


Total this number and check the chart below.


Gas Water Heaters

If the total is: Gallon capacity needed
4 or less 30 gallon
5-7 40 gallon
8-9 50 gallon
10-12 75 gallon








Electric Water Heaters

If the total is: Gallon capacity needed
4 or less 40 gallon
5-6 50 gallon
7-8 66 gallon
9 or 10 80 gallon
10 or 12 120 gallon









How much does it cost to run a hot water heater?

Water heating accounts for about 15% of an average home’s energy bill. It is important then to buy the most energy efficient unit you can afford.


Should I drain my hot water tank every few years?

Draining your hot water heater can significantly extend its life. As water is heated, minerals are released from the water and left behind in the tank. If you don’t periodically remove the accumulation, it can build up and eventually clog the drain valve. Drain the water until it runs clear; you don’t have to drain the entire unit.


When I drained my tank white sediment came out?

Over time sediments or deposits of calcium and magnesium salts build up. If too much sediment builds up and adheres to the bottom of the tank the water heater may need to be replaced. These deposits rob you of both hot water and make it more costly to heat the water.


Is there a certain amount of space or clearance that is required around the tank?

You need 24 inches of service clearance in front of the heater and 2 inches from combustibles on the back and sides.

Comments are closed.