Factors that Will Help You Choose the Right Water Heating System Size and Capacity for Your Home

April 12th, 2018

Sizing a new water heater system, that’s quite a challenge. The installed pipes and fittings, including the water heater tank, must provide enough hot water for the entire home. After all, there’s nothing worse than a shower turning cold before you’ve had a chance to wash your hair. Having said that, what is it that determines your home’s water heating system size?

Home Size 

Modern homes are loaded with comfortable extras. Among them, a second or third bathroom eliminates morning wait times. The kids don’t have to wait in line for their turn in the master bathroom, because they have a bathroom of their own. Let your installation engineer explore these rooms and calculate the flow rate of each bathroom fixture. All other water outflow points get added to this capacity-determining formula, so the kitchen and utility room won’t be ignored.

Time Factor 

Do you find this scenario familiar? You’ve been outside all day, you’ve come home, and you’re taking a thirty-minute shower. Five minutes before you step out, the hot water runs out and you gasp as a cold drizzle shocks your body. Time is the next capacity influencing factor. Long showers eat up hot water. Similarly, deep bathtubs require lots of filling, so the effect is the same. Shower or bath, pile of dishes or mountain of dirty laundry, your water heating system needs to be large enough to handle the extra load. 

Coinciding Usage Patterns 

Imagine a home that’s fitted with a low-volume tank. The pipe diameter is too small, and the water heating pump doesn’t have enough muscle. You turn on the hot water for that relaxing, enervating shower, and it somehow manages to deliver on its promise. The heated water lasts throughout the entire bathing experience. Now, imagine someone downstairs. They’re washing dishes or doing laundry. As soon as that downstairs tap is turned, the upstairs water turns ice cold. Not only must the water heating system be sized to handle any single usage period, it must be large enough to simultaneously provide hot water for every single occupant.

Tables full of engineering figures help installation engineers during the sizing stage. The BTU rating of a gas-powered burner contributes, as does the kilowatt (kW) rating when the tank in question is electrically heated. Furthermore, system recovery capacity is an essential product feature, one that ensures the chosen equipment delivers hot water, even when your home is experiencing a draw peak. Encountered most often when everyone returns home at the end of the day, the draw versus recovery coefficients must favour recovery.

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