Should I Replace my Water Heater with the Same Size?

Sept. 22, 2017 | by Chad Sanborn

One question we often hear is whether you have to replace a water heater with the same size unit.

The best answer is, work with a plumbing professional to help make that decision. If a smaller unit fits your home and lifestyle, you could save money on purchase and operating costs. But you don't want to make that decision lightly.

Your plumbing professional will ask you some questions about your current water heater, and about the habits of the people living in the house. The first question is, did the old water heater provide enough hot water for everyone in the home? Then the questions will be move to how many people live in the home and when they most often want to use hot water.

Perhaps there have been changes in the home, such as children moving out, or back in. Perhaps a newly retired couple begins traveling extensively. A plumbing professional can recommend the right size of water heater for you. One that is too small won't provide enough hot water when you need it. And, it may use more energy trying to keep up. One that's too large may cost more and use more energy as well.

It can be hard to tell if a water heater is oversized, because it provides enough hot water. But you may be paying higher utility costs than you have to. New water heaters are also more energy efficient than ones that are 10-15 years old. So it may be possible to go with a 40-gallon unit than a 50-gallon system for example.

Bradford White offers an online sizing tool to help you understand your options. Go to the RightSpec® Residential Water Heating Sizing tool to get started. It will ask you some questions about the type of fuel, the number of bathrooms, and the number of people living in the home, appliances, and technical aspects such as vent type and ground water temperature.

The tool will give you several Bradford White products to fit your circumstances. It's a great way to understand your options when you talk to your plumbing professional.

This blog was developed by Bradford White. All posts, sponsored and un-sponsored have been reviewed and approved by the Sustainable Community Media Editorial Team to ensure quality, relevance/usefulness and objectivity.


Topics: Heating & Cooling, Water Heaters

Companies: Bradford White Water Heaters



Chad Sanborn
Chad Sanborn is the Product Marketing Manager for Bradford White Water Heaters. He has been in the water heater industry for over 13 years, supporting the growth and development of Bradford White in various capacities. In 2001, Chad began his career in the production areas of Bradford White's Middleville, MI water heaters manufacturing facility. Using his hands-on product experience, Chad transitioned into the engineering department in 2007, where he expanded his knowledge and influence by working with the testing procedures and standards for residential and commercial water heaters. In 2011, Chad was promoted to the Sales and Marketing team, where he currently holds the position of Product Marketing Manager. In his current role, he manages all products for Bradford White Corporation and works collaboratively with the sales and engineering teams to develop Bradford White's short and long-term water heater product development and marketing strategies. Chad holds a bachelor’s of science degree in Business Management from Cornerstone University and is an active participant in many plumbing, engineering and manufacturing trade organizations. www

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