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75 gal. or 50 gal. hot water heater

10 years ago

We recently bought a house and are replacing the hot water heater before we move in. The old heater was 40 gallons, but we are trying to decide what size tank do we need. We are a family of 2 adults, 1 toddler and 1 on the way (so soon to be a family of 4, 3 of whom are females). We have 2 full bathrooms with regular bathtubs, nothing fancy; and 1 powder room. We also have a dishwasher and 1 old-fashioned washing machine that uses a lot of water. I believe all of the faucets/shower heads we bought for the house are 2.5 GPM. Both of us like to take long showers, maybe 25-30 minutes, plus there is a daily bath for the toddler, etc. We also expect visiting family sometime in the future - so the need for 4 showers within 1-2 hours - would be a necessity. I would prefer not to stand by the bathroom door with a timer and/or limiting everyone's showers to 5 minutes. We are making a lot of other energy-efficient improvements to the house, but this is one area where I think we should go with 75 gallon tank.

Any thoughts? Opinions? Your personal experiences? Did you install a 50 gallons tank that you later regretted? Did you install a 75 gallons tank and later wished you went smaller?

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