Finding the Right Water Heater to Fit Your Household

Every household has different needs dependent on the people that live there. One thing all homes have in common is finding the right fit for your water heater. In order to discover what will suite your family best there are a few things to keep in mind.

Firstly the Water Heater Capacity, secondly the First Hour Rating and lastly your Personal Peak water demand.


The water heater capacity for one person is recommended to be 10-15 gallons per person.

For family’s it is recommended:

•Two people: 30-40 gallons

•Three people: 40-50 gallons

•Four people: 50-60 gallons

•Five people: 60-80 gallons

While choosing a water heater, it is also important to keep in mind your family and how it functions. Do people in your household take long showers? What hours of the day do they take showers? Are you planning to extend your family in the near future? These are a few examples of questions to keep in mind when purchasing a water heater. You want to make sure you choose what will meet your family’s needs best for the foreseeable future. Thinking in advance and whether your family will grow with it is essential with water heaters since their life expectancy can range up to 15 years.


The first hour rating amount is a calculation that can be used to determine the performance of your water tank. Specifically, the amount of hot water produced in one hour.

The calculation to find this is:

Your Tank’s Capacity x 0.70 + Recovery Time  = First Hour Rating

The tank capacity is multiplied by 70%, as the water being used will cause the tank to bring in new unheated water. As the new cold water is added into the tank the thermostat will gage this and restart the heating process.

The recovery within the equation refers to the specific heaters recovery rate.


Water demand domestically varies based upon each family and the hours in which they are most active in their water usage. The peak is the volume required at the hour in which water is being utilized the most. Keep in mind also the uses of appliances such as dishwashers, laundry machines, sinks, as well as showers and baths when considering this.

Considering all of these factors while purchasing the right water heater will set you and your family up for smooth everyday functioning success.

Payless Water Heaters has been servicing Southern California home and business owners for over 30 years, and have installed upwards of 100,000 individual units. We take pride in every facet of our work, and we’re willing to stand by our quality team, work, and products. To learn more about how we can help you with your next service or installation, give us a call at 866.615.4008 or contact us here!